Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3 has achieved a masterpiece status through its cinematics, storyline, art style, excellent mechanics and its solid multiplayer, but unfortunately there are some issues with the title which holds it back from being nearly perfect. The issues that plague the game and sometimes makes the game frustrating include oddly placed checkpoints, some what repetitive shootout sequences and difficulty balance issue which could cause great frustrations for people. Yet even with these issues Max Payne 3 manages to blow my mind and give me a truly fantastic experience.

We revisit Payne who is now a drunken wreck, delirious with grief over the murder of his wife and daughter. He is in a state of mental distortion and openly admits he is ready for death but somehow still manages to hang on through his obsessive drinking and pill abuse. Max Payne 3 brings us on a adventure where we get to explore the past and present state of Max. Max has taken up a job of being a private security contractor in Sao Paulo, Brazil where he is tasked to protect a wealthy family in a city filled with social tension. We also get to play through the events leading up to the sudden change in career, which takes place in New Jersey. Here Max has an unfortunate run in with Italian gangsters which forces him to leave town and accept his friend’s job proposal as a private security contractor. As the stories unfold players will learn more and more about Max and the troubles he encounters.

Players will play through Max’s past and present at the same time and at both plots will slowly unravel and create a truly deep and engaging story. The story is further improved by the superb voice acting, enthralling music and a very interesting visual style. Players will be subjected to blurred visions, doubled graphics, saturated blooming effects that wipe the screen, comic book style scenes, and washed out colors. All this choreographed with typography to create a truly unique and majestic experience of what it means to hit rock bottom.

Along with these cinematic visuals Max Payne 3 takes us to a wide range of locations from New Jersey bars and run down apartment buildings to prisons, stadiums, nightclubs, jungles and favelas. Each area seeming to be carefully crafted to offer a very realistic experience of what it may look like to have a firefight within each area. This plays heavily on the graphical capabilities of the game which may not be the absolute best but honestly they are damn good. Flowing from cutscene to a massive firefight rolls seamlessly with some minor loading in between checkpoints. (On a side note I really enjoy what the devs did with bright flash lights and lasers.)

The game plays much like a much cleaner and improved version of the past 2 games with one of the difference being the pitch perfect control system. A customisable auto-targeting system that lets players decide how hard or soft they want their auto targeting systems to work. The higher the auto targeting you select the more aggressive the auto targeting will work by forcefully yanking your crosshairs toward specific enemies. Both options are smart, seamless and intuitive. This system allows newcomers to ease into the turbo-charged pace of the game without much difficulty. There’s also a free aim system for veterans, happy to do their own thing with the rather sensitive cross hairs which provides a perfect aiming system.

The controls have been tweaked as well. They are much more fluid and responsive, although sometimes you may look like a ragdoll during slow motion kill cam shots. But this updated control system creates a great experience for this rather hectic and fast paced game where you are always on the move. You will have to run, dodge, dive, duck and roll to stay behind cover and advance forward. The great thing is, like a true action hero you can shoot while doing all these things, with precise accuracy.

The last update comes in the form of Max Payne’s signature components and arguably one of the mechanics that make the game so great, bullet time and shootdodge. Essentially, they have only been tweaked – get kills to fill the meter, then press right analogue to enter slow-mo bullet mode, Allowing you to run or jump into the midst of a firefight and take out every enemy before hitting the ground or running a few steps. Even after 2 games of using these components it still feels fresh and new. It is utterly satisfying to dive headfirst down a stairwell, firing your pistols at a roomful of gang members or secret forces. For some this may get boring or feel overused but it is always a satisfying experience because you do it without thinking and the outcomes are never the same. You may miss every shot or your meter may have not been filled all the way causing a shorter bullet time than expected. Hell I have jumped into walls and even into the person I was shooting which really throws a kink in your split second decision.

Some new additions includes the sheer difficulty of the game and kill shots. The game feels like an old school game when it comes to difficulty and some sequences may take a number of tries because you either died or ran out of time. Sometimes you may be able to scrape by a giant fire fight but fall victim to single shot from a single enemy that was hiding which will throw you back to your last checkpoint which may be quite far back. It may also just be me but the AI on medium really knew how to place their shots and grenades to cause the most damage. Die enough times and the game will throw you some extra painkillers to use and when you die you will enter bullet time to have a chance to kill your killer. Kill him before you fall to the ground and the game will automatically use one of your pain killers and if you don’t have any pain killers… well game over. The introduction of kill shots also makes the game more enjoyable for a short time. Kill the last person in an area and you will enter into bullet time and will watch as the bullet kills the person. Yes this has been done before, but continue to shoot at the person and watch as each bullet you pump out penetrate your enemy. It is actually a pretty satisfying experience especially if you have a semi automatic gun.

The game also changes up the amount of guns you may carry. Players may only carry 2 small guns whether it be a pistol or a small machine gun and one 2 handed gun which can consist of a shotgun, rifle or assault rifle. The great thing is that the gun has a large arsenal for players to use so finding a gun you enjoy may be a little difficult.

Max Payne 3 also has a few extra modes to add ontop of its 10-hour(ish) campaign, there’s an arcade mode, split into two options: Score Attack which gets you to re-attempt any chapter you have completed for the highest score possible, adding multipliers to consecutive or stylish hits; New York Minute is all about finishing missions as quickly as possible, earning extra time from kills.

Aside from these 2 new modes the game tacks on multiplayer. When I say tack I mean a solid multiplayer experience with plenty of modes and customization to keep a player busy and engaged. They have regular modes like deatmatch and team deathmatch but then they also have Payne Killer, which puts two players into the roles of Max and Passos in a juggernautish style– they’ve got to survive as long as possible and if one gets killed, the killer takes on that role. So the 2 hunted need to stick together in order to survive which is an excellent take on the traditional juggernaut mode. But, none of these modes really stack up (in my opinion) to Gang Wars, which takes elements from the story mode and mixes them into a multi-stage team-based battle, with various challenges from conquest territorial skirmishes, to plant and defend objectives.

Players can also customize their character with various weapons, items gear and even kill streaks which are called “bursts”. Burst come in various forms from having the ability to enter bullet time to appearing as a friendly to an enemy and even forcing enemies to lose all their weapons attachments. Players can level up these “Burst” to do more damage and cause more mayhem. To view all the items, weapons, gears, bursts and more visit this page.

Max Payne 3 may be linear but what it lacks in vast open environment it makes up with solid controls, updated mechanics, stunning visuals, a compelling story and an overall feeling of Euphoria. It is a tale of epic proportions that not many games in recent history can match and simply put, it is one of the best shooters I have played in a long while that meant anything more than a simple multiplayer experience.

Luigi Guarnuccio

About Luigi Guarnuccio

I am a Multimedia Gamer. I have been gaming all my life and it is my main source of inspiration for my work as a designer/developer.

23 Responses to “Max Payne 3”

Robby1051 says:

Great review (yep I RTed and shared it from @gntrobby1051 ) And you made me look forward to Max Payne! I was worryed that it was too long in development but they pulled it off!. Nothing like diving about shooting things in slowmo in a gritty outlined plot not starring Mark Wahlberg!

Daren Davey says:

Love the Max Payne games! I really like the slow motion shooting and dream secuences. Really great games!

Casey Jones says:

Been playing the Max Payne games since the originals, loved every single one of them. Bullet time when I was younger captivated me like no other game mechanic it was just so amazing to see the actual bullets flying at you and from you.

I’d of bought it already if I was able :)

Great review Luigi, keep it up.


Paul K says:

It was the series that really started the slow mo action mode and it is still awesome today. The story and gameplay has always been top notch!
Thanks for the review and a chance to win the game!!


Josh N says:

Like most people I like the Slow-Mo of Bullet Time, but what I really enjoy is the brooding look and attitude of Max. Like a tough version of Bruce Willis in Die Hard!

Gxgear says:

I really enjoyed the previous Max Payne titles, they were the ones who made an lasting impression on the bullet time mechanic. Whenever I run out of bullet time I’d just bait the baddies out the door one by one and rub them them with a cheese shotgun blast to the face :P


Erika H says:

Been with Max since the PC games, fell in love with the graphics style there. I pride myself on “being there” when bullet time started. I was very excited to hear Remedy Games themselves approved this story line since they started this (literally, one of their guys WAS Max Payne because they couldn’t hire an actor) and now, he’s come into this gorgeous generation fully recognized. To top it all off, the film-noir commentary always made my day. I still quote Max saying from the first game: “The train was lit up like a Christmas tree.” For some reason back then I thought that was hilarious.


Kyron says:

Great review! To sum it up in a nutshell, Along with the Halo series, Max Payne has been one of my all time favorites. The storyline and the game basically was like a great movie. The fall of Max Payne and then him rising again is simply phenomenal. I didn’t think they were going to make a third one because the second one had somewhat of a closure to it so it was still up in the air. Now that Max Payne 3 is here, I’m all jittery because I’ve waiting for this since the original Xbox! I would love to immerse myself in bullet-time action again and see how badass Max Payne truly is and to see if he finally finds closure in his life. Thanks for the chance!

Twitter: @Pushaman55

Daniel says:

The original max payne is one of my all time favorite games, played it all day , and then 2 came out . was so much much fun really of the first games too introduce ragdolls physics i was freaking out, but seeing max payne go through with dealing with the murders of his family , and plus the bullet time which was never done before in a game before max pane the game has a place in my top 10 love the series, , cant wait too play the 3rd, also the multilayer looks fun , great review , and thanks for the contest.

Twitter : @spyroyoo

Juan Sanchez says:

Good review dudes! Max Payne is a total badass! Seems like he has Balls of Steel like Duke Nukem. And fast thinking in close events like Leon Kennedy. Lol


Jason Turner says:

Great review yall! I have to say one of the reason I love Max Payne is because from the first one I have such found memories of me sitting in my room nerding out with surge and staying up all night. I love the new story and from the coverage I have seen the multiplayer is pretty awesome. It would be an honor to win and could also give yall some videos of the story and multiplayer.

Jason Turner says:

@jeepguy934 is my twitter as well :)

Nicole Bouchard says:

Awesome giveaway I had the max payne games back in the day for my playstation 2 and im hearing so many good things about 3 i hope to pick it up soon Thanks for the chance

Ryan Donnelly says:

I Honestly played the first one long ago. All I remember is great visual effects and soundtracks.
More importantly the HUD is comfortable. -@MasterBlud

Courtney says:

I love the Max Payne series because the characters are so complex, and bullet time has always helped to enhance the already awesome story. Thanks for the opportunity! twitter: @coneecheewa

Rob Hestar says:

I used to go over to my cousins house and watch him play Max Payne 1 on the xbox Till I was able to get my own xbox and borrow the game from him.I love the story in the first 2 (they were messed up) but that’s what I loved about them .I can only imagine what 3 has in store.The first needs to come soon so I can buy a copy and see what good ol trouble max is getting himself into this time :P .


Chris Hofer says:

I honestly have never played the Max Payne series…but from some of the reviews I’ve read, it sounds pretty awesome! So, I’m sure people are now saying, “Never played? That’s really sad.”. Yeah…I know. Maybe if I win, then I could understand what all the hype was about. Thanks for a chance to win.

Twitter: @PriusGuy2004

eugaet says:

I think my favorite thing about the Max Payne series is the damaged state of mind of the protagonist. Definitely some dark stuff at work there. Bullet time was awesome of course, but I’ve always been more into story than gameplay.

oasis789 says:

Two words: bullet time. @oasis789

Daren Davey says:

Love the max payne games! The slow motion bullet time is my favorite feature of the game. It really looks cool!

aznxchunky says:

the bullet time was amazing and i Would love the chance to see how Max is like after playing through the stories of the first two.

Andrew says:

I haven’t played any of the Max Payne games yet, but from what I’ve read, the effects, the characters and the story are all excellent.


Brian L says:

Love the Max Payne’s I know this one won’t let me down. Thanks for the giveaway!

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