When Max Payne 3 was first unveiled, I didn’t know what to think. All I could see was that the game took place in another country and that Max Payne was bald. Now that I’ve played through its campaign, I can honestly tell you that bald or not, Max Payne is still one hell of a protagonist.
Max Payne 3 takes place eight years after Max Payne 2. While drinking away his sorrows in a bar, Max gets recruited to work as a bodyguard for Rodrigo Bronco in San Paulo, Brazil. While Max is working one of his private gigs, a street gang takes Rodrigo’s wife from him. As Max is being fired at, he realizes that this job is not just another random gig and that he must get to the bottom of this conspiracy before his life goes to hell for a third time.
The story is split into three sections and is approximately 18 to 20 hours in length. In this incarnation, cut-scenes act as comic panels and hyphenate important words that pop up during significant moments. Every segment of the story flows together seamlessly and is the equivalent of a blockbuster action rollercoaster. In other words, it’s on the same level as Die Hard.
Over the past few years, Rockstar games has earned a reputation for the high-quality voice acting in its games; Max Payne 3 is no exception. Max Payne is still voice acted by James McCaffrey and every word that comes out of his mouth is pure magic. All of the side characters are superbly played and the well-written script provides the game with so much charm.
Sound effect wise, Max Payne 3 nails it to the boards. The sound of bullets whizzing past Max’s head while in slow motion is enthralling and the guns are realistic and powerful. When a bullet passes through an enemy, you can hear it viciously tear through the A.I.’s flesh as blood squirts everywhere; the sound effects are simply out of this world.
Max Payne 3 is a beautiful game. With each new chapter that passes, a fresh environment comes packaged with it. Not once did I get bored of my surroundings. Whenever a gunfight occurs it is visual chaos; when the dust settles, the environment is a wreck. Glass is shattered, pieces of the walls are scattered all over the floor and the enemies are riddled with bullet holes. The physics are incredible. For example, if Max jumps into a wall face first, he’ll face plant and fall on his face.
Every minute of Max Payne 3’s gameplay is pure intensity. The gunfights are insanely nerve wracking due to the fact that Max is outnumbered every single time. If it weren’t for the bullet time mechanic, the fights would not be nearly as much fun; landing a headshot in slow motion is tremendously satisfying. Whenever the fight comes to a close, the player gets a slow motion cam of the bullet ripping through the final enemy. The best part about this is that if the player wants to, he or she can further slow down the slow motion cam to nail a couple more bullets through the enemy’s face in violently rapid succession.
Painkillers are still a major asset in the world of Max Payne, as the player will be using them quite often to survive the level. If an enemy A.I. shoots down the player, he or she can activate the last man standing feature to get back up. Basically, Max must kill his assassin to stay in the fight and once the feature is triggered, the game automatically uses up one of Max’s painkiller bottles. Without this feature, Max Payne 3’s level of immersion wouldn’t be as great.
Once the story is completed, the player has the option to go back through the levels in the arcade mode and New York Minute. In the arcade mode, the player has the opportunity to grind for the highest score on any level that he or she chooses. New York Minute, a fan favorite from Max Payne One and Two, gives the player one minute to kill as many enemies as possible. For every enemy that is killed, a minute is added to the clock.
With single player comes the multiplayer. First of all, the multiplayer is free which is a godsend. The multiplayer portion has nine modes: Rookie Team Death Match, Rookie death match, Team Death match, Death Match, Payne Killer, Gang Wars, Large Team Death Match and Large Death Match. From the beginning, the only modes that are available are the Rookie Team Death Match and the Rookie Death Match. If the player wants to play the larger modes, he or she must complete the training grinds to unlock them.
Customization options are also available for those whom want to deck out their avatar. By climbing up through the grinds, larger weapons can be unlocked alongside new character skins. All in all, Max Payne 3 has a well-built multiplayer that will last players a long time.
Once again Rockstar Games has an incredible title that people will be talking about for years. With impressive qualities such as astonishing voice acting, fast paced gameplay and aesthetically pleasing graphics, one could not go wrong by picking up this gem of a title. If you are on this fence about this about Max Payne 3, I am here to tell you that you should go out and buy it now.
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