so its only a week till this game hits is anybody excited about it cause im somewhere in between getting it day 1 & waiting for a price drop. But i do hope it turns out to be good enough for a day 1 grab
Love, Loss & Payne Killers: Max Payne 3 Review & Discussion
The opening words of Max Payne 3, said by Max himself. And that is correct, it has been a long time since the original Max Payne appeared on gamer's radar; eleven years ago, to be exact. The original set a new precedent in the action genre, featuring game mechanics that had never been seen before, and a style and manner of storytelling all its own. However, many things can change over the course of eleven years, and that length of time can be the equivalent of centuries in the gaming industry. So, does Max Payne 3 hold muster, or is it better forgotten at the bottom of a whiskey glass or bottle of painkillers?
Max Payne continues right where the series left off, though that may not be apparent to players at first. Taking away the grim, urban setting of New York City and dropping Max in Sao Paulo, a city in Brazil, the story of how Max came to be here is told through various flashbacks throughout different points in the story. Long time fans will get several references, while new players can pick it up and play without being left in the dark. Again, the setting is quite a departure from the first two installments, but it has not changed the feel of the game at all.
Along with the skyscrapers of NYC, removed also are the comic blocks seen at the beginning of each chapter. This change is for the better though, as they are replaced with animated, in-game footage, giving the game a motion comic feel. The animated scenes, along with Max's gruff narration of the events, who is voiced by long-time Max Payne voice actor James McCaffrey, all come together to pull you into the story. That's right, the sunny setting of South America does not detract from the black and white noir feel we've come to know and love!
While time has caused many things to improve, the same cannot be said for poor Max. He's showing his age; grunting as he dives, and much less nimble than before. The pace of the game is not cranked down, though: Indeed, there is non-stop action and gunplay from start to finish! The slo-mo shoot dodging is still at the heart of the game, and the result of each firefight can often be directly attributed to the amount of adrenaline on the gauge at the beginning of it.
For newcomers unaware, the Max Payne series was the start of slow-motion game play; that's right, shoot dodging and Bullet Time are back and work just as well as they did all those years ago. A cover system has also been added to Max Payne 3, similar in style to GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption. Don't make the mistake of thinking that Max Payne 3 is a tactical shooter, however; cover will need to be utilized to its fullest, especially on hard difficulties, but staying still for too long anywhere will get you killed, regardless.
A really nice feature, that I've quite enjoyed, is the addition of the gratuitous slow-motion kill camera. Firing at the last enemy in an area will cause the kill cam to show up; the player can control how fast or slow the camera is, but it is quite a site to witness. It will also cause you to breathe a sigh of relief, since its a clear indication that you are safe, for the moment. A whole multitude of weapons, from hand guns to SMGs, assault rifles to shotguns, are at Max's disposal. There are also several scripted events where the fast paced gameplay is slowed down, and the player is given infinite ammo to tear enemies up as Max hangs from a chain or dives down the side of a collapsing building. Yes, the gameplay is feverish and loaded with nonstop action!
Max's signature painkiller addiction is also present; popping a bottle is the only way to heal him up and avoid a bullet through the brain. Use them sparingly, however, as having one on reserve when you run out of health will send you into a "last man standing" of sorts, where the game slows down and you are given a couple seconds to kill your killer. If your aim is true and you manage to take out your assailant, you are granted a reprieve from death at the cost of a painkiller bottle.
The game also provides quite a challenge; I began on hard, and was quickly punished for poor tactics and rookie mistakes. Weapons are plentiful, but while I was shooting nonchalantly I found myself out of ammo more than once, needing to perform a slow-mo melee in order to grab an attacker's weapon and flip it on him. The controls took a bit longer than usual for me to get used to, as well: The LB brings up the weapon wheel (without pausing combat, mind you) while the RB causes Max to dive in the direction pressed. To this day I find myself diving into the middle of a firefight when I really just wanted to change weapons; I wouldn't attribute this to poor controls, per say, but more so to my aging memory.
It appears that the main game is averaging between 8 and 10 hours, which is decent for a game in this genre. There is, however, a massive amount of replay value. I can see myself making multiple play throughs, and achievement hunters are looking at a minimum of five play throughs in order to obtain the 1k, but more on that a little later. Once you've finished the game, you can jump into Score Attack and New York Minute modes, featuring all sorts of different medals, accompanying leaderboard support, and even some different Max skins! The single player game also features a ton of "Grinds", which are certain tasks you can complete, such as one hundred head shots or twenty five groin shots, in order to earn XP. Couple the multiple amount of single player modes and unlockable difficulties, a large amount of grinds, and a decent set of different collectables, and it will be a while before anything else sees your disc tray.
What will really keep you coming back to Max Payne again and again, however, is the multiplayer. Many fans were wary when they heard that multiplayer was going to be included, with fears including a feeling that it was going to be tacked on, or there just because. Again, Rockstar does not disappoint and I've found myself as addicted to the multiplayer as I was with the original Modern Warfare. There is no free roam lobby like previous Rockstar entries, but that's just fine as you will want to get into the action as soon as possible. The Grinds mentioned above make there way to multiplayer with even more tasks to perform for bonus XP.
At first, the multiplayer offering may seem sparse; new players are only granted access to Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, as well as a rookie version of both. Once you gain some XP and get your first 100 kills, however, you will get to see just how much is on offer. The Gang Wars mode features objective-based rounds with wagers players can gamble on to rake in some extra cash if they are confident enough in their skill. In Payne Killer, one team of two plays as Max and his partner Passos gunning to stay alive for as long as possible - and everybody else plays as ruthless mercenaries armed to the teeth, relentlessly trying to take them down.
Payne Killer mode has a team of two players play as Max and his partner, Passos, while the rest of the players play mercenaries out for blood. Think of it as the next step in Max Payne 2's "Dead Man Walking" mode. The first player to get a kill in this mode, and said player's victim, become Max and Passos. With this upgrad comes special weapons and abilities that they can use to battle against all of the other players, as everyone else in the games objective becomes the elimination of Max and Passos. Mercenary players earn points based on staying alive and dealing damage, as well as getting kills against the titled character. The team of two need to cooperate and accrue points by bumping off their would-be attackers.
If all this isn't enough for you, there is also custom weapon loadouts to play around with once you have gained enough XP, as well as Bursts; special multiplayer abilities that can be used by gaining enough adrenaline in a match in order to give yourself a bit of an edge. Multiplayer is no run and gun game, and finding the right balance of tactics and proper equipment is the only way to come out on top. Bullet Time is there, and believe me when I say it just works. Activated by doing a shootdodge via the RB, it can turn the tide if you're fighting a losing battle.
Rockstar has also been kind enough to provide clan support, called "Crews", via the Rockstar Social Club website, which will allow you to see how your crew members are doing, compare stats, and partner up. There is no shortage of things to do in multiplayer, and the frenetic gameplay coupled with the urge to obtain more and more XP and better equipment will definitely keep you up at night.
Alright achievement hunters, Max Payne 3's list is not for the faint of heart or strapped for time. There are, of course, several tied to multiplayer. While not as many as you may think, some can be a large time sink, such as unlocking every weapon or reaching level 50. If your skill is a bit lacking, you may even be put to the test with trying to obtain first rank in a match. Single player is no cake walk either; as I said earlier, expect no fewer than five play throughs to net the whole 1000, as well as completing every single player Grind and finding all of the collectables. You are looking at an estimated 80-100+ hours for the full 1000, as well as a lot of skill on your part. You won't get many achievements in a quick play through, either, unless you're willing to start out on hard mode, turn on free aim, and scour Sao Paulo for collectables. The only redeeming quality to the list is that you will have a Hell of a fun time doing it.
Max Payne 3 is a different beast from its former iterations, with the sunny South America setting home to a dark story and even darker tone. True skill will be required to get through the game and conquer its achievement list, as well as mastering its multiplayer, but it is quite a story. With nonstop action and blazing gun fire from start to finish, Max Payne 3 has a bit of a learning curve, but mastering the controls and all of the tools at your disposal will feel quite rewarding. The multiplayer offering is a bit sparse at first glance, but it is as good as we've come to expect, and perseverance will be rewarded with tons of unlockable modes, weapons and more! With leaderboards and Crew support, as well as a large offering of DLC planned in the future, you will be going back to this one for many months to come. With a gripping story of redemption, nonstop action, and a seriously addicting multiplayer, I have to give Max Payne 3 a 9/10. Don't let this one slip by you, and be sure to check out the XbA crew on Rockstar's Social Club to team up and compare stats with fellow members. If you'll excuse me, I need to get back to it!