And yes, the game sure is decent, looks gorgeous and runs very smoothly. Gameplay is almost unchanged, bullet time is back and so is shoot dodge, and thankfully they didn't change the healing mechanic as well, you still need painkillers. What leaves a bitter taste in my mouth is the fact this clearly isn't a Remedy game, that is quite obvious, and as soon people accept this they might start enjoying this game more.
Sunshine, half naked women, loud electronic music, drugs, booze… this sure sounds like a good Gta setting, but I'm afraid it has nothing to do with Max (aside from the booze). This was probably the first thing they did wrong, Brazil and Max just don't mix up, like at all. As any Gta game this game is full of caricatures, bland characters and a protagonist that is not in the center of the story. Old games were all about Max and his mental struggles, this one, not so much.
Story I didn't care for much, other characters aside from Max also, nobody is interesting. Great narrative once again from James McCaffrey and wonderful cutscenes. In general presentation of the game is flawless and well polished. With cutscenes they skipped the loading screens which is good but on the other hand there is so many of them sometimes you control Max for full 10 seconds until you enter another scripted scene.
Combat is more of the same, with the addition of cover system and last man standing mechanic (shoot the guy before you die and heal up). This game is extremely linear, you just can't miss the path where you need to go, feels like Rockstar is holding your hand and pointing you in the right direction (and that is the only direction). Maps are small and there is a lot of narrow corridors where shoot dodge is completely useless, and the only way to get further up is to kill 7,8 enemies from the same damn cover, because there is no other way (especially on harder difficulties).
I have to admit despite all this negativity I'm having fun with the game, shooting is still a blast, slow motion diving and killing hordes of enemies is as satisfying as ever. James McCaffrey is a joy to listen to, game is lenghty and occasionally funny. It's worth playing.
The thing you have to realize here. Rockstar made a Rockstar game with characters that could easily be from Liberty City, added a small amount of Max Payne into a world that is completely not Max Payne and there you have it, a decent game that completely missed the point of Max Payne. Even tough i enjoyed it i can't help but feel disappointed in the end.