Max Payne 3: Been There, Done That, Got The T-Shirt

Max Payne 3
Max Payne 3 (Photo credit: s3rioussam)

You know how sometimes you just get that feeling. You know the one I mean. The one where you just know that you’re not going to get too excited about something, despite all the hype? Well that’s how I felt about Max Payne 3.

So rather than rush down to the store and spend my hard earned dinero on buying a copy I went to BlockBuster and rented the game for a week. Wise choice.

Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the game, I just don’t love it.

Rockstar Games obviously set this instalment of the Max Payne story to be a stand-alone experience. In other words you didn’t have to play the other two games to enjoy it. It seems to work fine under this premise but, the story has been done before.

Rockstar Games seem to specialize in ‘Game Noir’ at the moment. It was great when games first started using ‘Film Noir‘ as a starting point for their games. But now? Everybody seems to be doing it and that’s okay, but geeze guys change the story up a bit. The “world weary hero” having to watch over the vacuous, vain and spoiled rich has been done before…A lot of times before, time to give it a rest Amigos.

English: The Rockstar Lincoln logo, a division...

The game play is easy enough, I’ve only died a couple of times, but overall the gun toting bad guys are easy enough to dispatch. Which brings me to my other ‘gripe’ about the game. The “Bullet Time” feature. Come on guys! I know that this feature was revolutionised  in Max Payne 1. But the feature of slowing down time for gunplay has been used by everybody since then, even in ‘Gun’ for Pete’s sake. *Just a short side note, I loved that game, just having Kris Kristofferson voice one of the character’s made the game an instant winner for me* So streamlining it for 3 just isn’t enough.

And I know that Max is supposed to be a ‘rummy’ who’s hooked on pills as well, but the graphics meant to show us that fact are annoying as hell.

But, I do still like the game, like any third-person shooter it is easy for me to get caught up in the action and spend hours playing the game.  I guess that is my point. I do love third-person shooters. But I don’t love Max Payne 3. I’ve looked at my reasons listed above and I still can’t quite put my finger on why.

It has to do with story, I’m sure. I had no problem getting into Naughty Dog‘s Uncharted series, but to give credit where it is due, the writing for the Uncharted games is top–notch.

Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception

I guess I’ll have to play it to the end. I should be able to accomplish this in the week I rented it for (you sure couldn’t have done that in the old days). In the mean time, I’ll ammo up and go out and kill some more bad hombres  and see where Max is going to take me next.

Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

3 thoughts on “Max Payne 3: Been There, Done That, Got The T-Shirt”

  1. Hey Mike, I sort of recently stumbled onto the reviews and things you and Meg have been doing on Youtube, which led me to both of your blogs. Really great stuff from both of you! I’m a big nut for games and films too, so it’s great finding people to share in that passion. As for Max Payne 3, I’m really with you on the story thing. Meg and I had a ‘blog conversation’ more or less about the new Tomb Raider coming out, and our fears over the new direction of Lara’s character development. It’s too bad to hear that they’ve dropped the ball with Max, and after so many years of waiting! The first two games, roughly ten years ago, were really great. I loved that gritty New York setting. The film noir flavor back then was definitely a favorite of mine. But you’re absolutely right about them beating this game noir style, as you say, to death. I’m with you entirely. I wouldn’t say I didn’t entirely expect it from Rockstar though. I guess it is kind of their thing, huh? But they did give us Red Dead Redemption, and that is still one of my all time favorite games! The scope, the story, everything. When the credits you role, you know you played one hell of a game! Well anyway, great post! I look forward to checking out more in the future. Take care! -Josh


    1. Hi Josh,
      Glad to hear you like the blog! It also nice to hear that someone else got the same feel from MP3 as I did. Perhaps Rockstar is just in a rut, like you said Red Dead Redemption was awesome to the nth degree. But They definitely need to get off the “noir train” or at least change things around before they wind up in the caboose. Thanks for the feedback, dude! Mike


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