While most games use cutscenes to break up the gameplay, Max Payne 3 uses gameplay to break up the cutscenes.
Max Payne 3 once again breaks a lot of ground with it's spectacular visuals and effects and even does a great job of furthering the story, with the same film noir style narration and dark insight into Max's mind. Unfortunately, it does so at the expense of gameplay.
While most games use cutscenes to break up the gameplay and further the story, Max Payne 3 uses short gameplay sequences to break up the cutscenes...and that just about sums up its biggest falling point.
The playable parts are good fun to begin with and quite satisfying with their full destructable environments, bullet time effects and cinematic cameras, but unlike previous games that let you explore at your own pace, take in your surroundings and really feel immersed in the game, MP3 is very linear, rushed and confined. Simply put, you are given the controls for a short period, get to shoot some bad guys in a few rooms and then the cut scene takes you through the rest of the level.
As for the playable sections. They soon begin to feel quite repetetive, with no significant changes, enhancements or development and you'll often feel like you're doing the same thing over and over. What's more, it does feel a bit mindless at times with no real strategy involved.
Another irritating thing is that the cutscenes have these glitches and blur effects running throughout. Obviously it's an intentional design gimmick that emulates a broken security camera - something that ran its course back in the 90s, but is continually overdone to this day. It's very cliched and tacky, out of context and just makes the cutscenes harder to follow.
One final and very important point is that the PC version of Max Payne 3 is riddled with bugs. Many users are reporting crashes, blue screens, performance issues, and many can't even get the game started. Worse still, Steam have been refusing refunds to anyone who has already used their activation key, despite any technical issues that render the game unplayable. Don't take my word for it; take a look at the forums. So think very carefully before buying this from Steam or at least wait until all issues have been patched or resolved.
On the whole Max Payne 3 is one of the biggest disappointments in recent years. Although it is no worse than a lot of games on the market today, considering the hype and the phenomenal previous games, this game falls way short of expectations.
Addendum: Still crashes with the latest patch.