Max Payne 3 – Conclusions

Max Payne 3

Okay, so I finished Max Payne 3 last night, well early this morning, and I had a little think about the game. I was perhaps a bit harsh on the game, in my ‘first thoughts‘ on it. Because all said, it was a fun play through.

Now admittedly I’m not a Max Payne fan. I had played a very little bit of Max Payne 2 and my initial thoughts on that game, was that it seemed a lot like Condemned. As I said in my first post about Max Payne, I felt that I had been there before.

I guess to an extent it felt like that because Rockstar had set the whole game up as a ‘Game Noir’ and that’s okay, but did they really have to have that ‘grind house’ look to it?

I am still trying to figure out why they did the scratchy and shaky appearance to the whole thing. It did look like a addicts vision of life around him, but the bleeding and blurry colours didn’t really make a lot of sense for a ‘third-person-shooter.’

If it had been a ‘first-person-shooter’ it would have fit a bit better, but I still maintain that it was an un-necessary distraction.

The story was okay. The bit about powerful, rich, corrupt families has been done before. I suppose that with the drug cartel problem in Mexico these days grabbing headlines, it seemed the topical thing to do. But again, it still felt a little like a ‘re-run’ that I had seen before.

My other main complaint? The game was short. Damn short. I guess they felt like the inclusion of a Max Payne multi-player would make up for that. I did play the multi-player for a bit after I had finished the game. Sorry Rockstar, it didn’t add anything to the game. For a start, my character wasn’t even Max, for crying out loud. That bit was locked.

English: The Rockstar New England logo, a divi...

I guess I do have to admit that I liked the almost easy task of blowing bad guys away in their dozens. I do like shooting things whether said things are aliens, bad guys or enemy soldiers I am a sucker for a gun fight.

The ‘bullet time‘ feature is still fun, although it took me ages to really master it and the R1 feature took me forever to remember I had it as an option. But when I did remember all I could think of was John Woo’s Stranglehold game.

To be completely fair I have to say that it was a good play, but, it did not have that wow factor. So in my thinking it is more of a rental versus a ‘gotta have’ game.

I will say that I did like the fact that Max was in his mid-forties. As an old fart myself, it was nice to see a protagonist who was not young, bronzed and muscle bound. Someone instead with a bit of character on his face. Grizzled and wrinkled and still able to get the job done.

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.