By Sam Coles:
The Max Payne series is something that I hold close to my heart with their dark and twisting stories coupled with fun and satisfying gameplay. Max Payne 1 and 2 came out two years between each other and remedy soon started working on a third instalment, however they were met with budget restraints due to the poor sales of Max Payne 2. Max Payne 3 was originally slated for a 2009 release on the Xbox 360 and PS3 but got delayed and we didn’t hear anything about the game until late 2011 around the same time GTA V was announced. Max Payne 3 eventually came out in May of 2012 and it was great, however there are a lot of people in the gaming community that don’t seem to like this game and I don’t understand why.
Max Payne 3 takes place after 9 years after the second game and we see Max at his lowest as he is drinking more and popping painkillers constantly. He now works as private security for a wealthy family in Sao Paulo Brazil who are being targeted by favela gangs and private military groups who have kidnapped your boss’s wife. You travel across Sao Paulo tracking her down unravelling a conspiracy of human trafficking where political figures make money from harvesting organs, you also have flash segments where you’re back in New York. This game has a very dark story not as dark as the other games but it is still very grim and is not for the faint of heart. I like this story as you see Max as a completely broken man at the start of the game but as you progress you see him reform himself as he stops drinking and repents his sins.
The gameplay is easily the best in the series because the shooting mechanics are incredible the controls are so tight with excellent animation. You really feel the weight and age of Max in this game as he slowly dives through the air with dual pistols before he hits floor at full force. Yes they did ditch the mechanic of being able to carry all your weapons as you can only carry two pistols and a two handed weapon. However this system works fine as it makes you adapt to the situation as you have to ditch certain weapons to accommodate for the situation.
The presentation in this game is beautiful considering it came out on the Xbox 360 and PS3 5 years ago it has excellent character models with fantastic animation. The environments look amazing with the dirty slums of the favela to the rain soaked docks where you can see the rain drops running down Max’s face. This game is extremely detailed with the violence as well because when you kill the final enemy in the room it will follow the bullet similar to Sniper Elite and show the holes the bullet leaves and you can keep firing until your magazine is empty. It’s so graphic with the violence and almost believable coupled with the animations when you shoot enemies in certain places as they will react appropriately as they will limp or crawl on the floor when they’re mortally wounded.
The only problem I had with this game is that it has frame rate problems (on console anyway) as it tends to drop below 30 fps during in game cutscenes, however it doesn’t during the pre-rendered scenes.
Max Payne 3 is a great game and I don’t understand the hate behind it, yes it is a simpler story but it is still an engaging game in all departments with beautiful graphics, great gameplay and dark and twisted story. You can grab this game for super cheap price these days if you’re playing on console get the PS3 version as it is on one disc unlike the two disc version on 360.