Max Payne 3 User Review
- Time Spent:
- 10 to 20 Hours
- The Bottom Line:
- "Instant classic"
Let me start off the way I always do... with a disclaimer. I am not a gamer, per se. I am not very good at them, I don't do multiplayer, I don't join discussion boards to talk about games, I have no friends that play, nor do I have an expansive library that allows me to really compare one game to another. My experiences are my own and, by god, I am no expert. These are the opinions of an amateur.
The thing I like most about Rockstar titles like GTA and Red Dead Redemption is the fact that once a mission is over, I can wander around the environment killing time doing whatever. Sometimes I throw GTAIV in just so I can hop in a car and listen to the Journey radio station. And I live in New York City. I LOVE the open world effect. With LA Noire, Rockstar sort of let go of that attribute and gave players about 2% of the free roam we know and love. With Max Payne (and it's Max Payne predecessors) (and Manhunt), we are very much locked into a tightly-scripted action adventure thrill ride that we are unable to get away from for a second. AND THAT IS FINE WITH ME.
From the second I put the game in, I immediately absorbed myself into the character of Max Payne and basically lost myself into the break-neck pacing of the game. I didn't WANT to free roam; I wanted too achieve my objective, find out what my new objective would be, and proceed to kick more butt. You very much want to see where the story is going, and the folks at rockstar made damn sure to keep it interesting.
The game has perfected everything that makes a game good. The voice acting is incredible. The characters are totally fleshed out and established. Max Payne was born to lose, and in this game you really feel bad for the guy; you know how hard he is trying, but he always seems to come up short (like me! my vice is booze and pills too). The graphics are unbelievable, the environments are very interactive, and the blood animations are gross, shiny and real wet looking. I am playing on the level up from "easy"; what can I say... I SUCK at games. Yet even at medium difficulty, this game is HARD. The enemies are relentless, and since your cover can easily be blown to shreds, it is important to keep moving and ducking. When Max gets injured and slows down, man, the game play reflects it. The relationship to how the game play is vs. how messed up Max is is brilliant. Thank God for bullet time. Sometimes all you need is that split second of slow-mo to blow an enemy's head off before you yourself eat it.
I also like that the enemies fight at different skill levels. The mobsters in Hoboken? Kids stuff. Totally sloppy and easy to destroy. The para-military guys in Brazil? Forget it. Those guys are TOUGH. You can totally see and feel the difference in enemy skill during your game-play.
I only have two and a half problems with the game, and they are either legit concerns or reflections of how crappy I am at gaming. First, I find the shoot-dodge to be incredibly clumsy and difficult to manage. I actually rarely use it because I'll find myself diving in one direction trying like hell to re-aim my weapon only to end up shooting at the ceiling or the floor like an idiot. It's often just easier to squat or find cover than to deal with that nonsense.
I also find the camera maneuvering to be a bit sluggish. If there is an enemy destroying me with bullets from behind, it feels like it takes too long to swivel around and readjust my weapon and make my kill. Even though they have a control set up so you can quickly turn around, I always find myself disoriented and scrambling to re-adjust my aim. It can often be a very costly fumble.
My half-a-problem lies in the restart checkpoint situation. There are points in the game where I've been blasting and creeping my way through a battle only to die by a stray bullet from the last enemy. I then have to restart the entire sequence again. Call me a wimp, but man I wish there was something beyond autosave available. ie, being able to manually save my game.
Other than that this game is BRILLIANT. The only way to approach the game is to go in with the mindset that the game is actually a movie where you control the action and the pacing. And, man, sometimes I find myself with no meds and about 1% of energy left and getting myself out of a jam in that condition is VERY exhilarating. So, yeah, we may not have some big world where we can stop and explore on our own but, hey, I am sure GTAV will sate that hunger. In the mean time, enjoy the ride. It's a white-knuckle, nail-biting experience!
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