One of the biggest games of the summer was Max Payne 3. Its been many years since weve last seen Payne in action and since then the series has switched developers from Remedy to Rockstar. Did they do the series justice? After two playthroughs I can say that for the most part yes. Like the previous two entries you have some interesting enemies, a little bit of humor (mainly from the TVs you can turn on), a plot that makes sense at first but then gets a little confusing by the end and Max always down on his luck sulking as he blasts through hundreds of enemies.
The mechanics of the Max Payne 3 carried over much of what made Max Payne 1 and 2 fun. That means that bullet time is back though you cant rely on it that much and the slow mo during dodging still works as well. However unlike the first two entries Max Payne 3 no longer is about run and gun action. Rockstar has followed the trend of many third person shooters this generation and implemented a cover system. This does change the way this entry of the series plays from the rest. For the most part it works. When there is distance between you and the enemies popping out to take shots is really fun. What isnt so fun is when you have to get out of cover. The way Max controls is a bit like how GTA4 controlled meaning that there is this weight to the character that doesnt make your actions immediate. For example if Im heading to the right and make a quick turn to the left it takes some time. Also, ground rolls arent as comfortable and many times you use this to get out of dodging grenades. It never gets comfortable. Its frustrating that running and gunning feels so unnatural now because it was so fluid in the first two games. There were a number of times I died because there was no perfect place to get cover and that spells doom for our hero. Still, for the most part the game does play well. Well enough for me to enjoy multiple playthroughs.
There are definitely some things in Max Payne 3 that are much better than before. Te length of the game is quite long for a single player third person shooter. Especially compared to the short Max Payne 1 and 2. There is lots of different scenery and locales you go to ranging from Maxs old days in New Jersey to clubs in Brazil, soccer fields, favela slums, and some other places I dont want to give away. Another thing that I enjoyed was specific set pieces. You get put in specific cool looking situations where Max is automatically put into bullet time and you just worry about shooting. Like I said earlier, there is some humor in the game that comes from the TVs you can turn on. My only gripe would be that I wish that subtitles for the Portuguese were shown in English so I could understand what was being said. There could have also been more TVs and shows too. I miss my Lords and Ladies soap opera from Max Payne 2. The last thing that stood out was the physics. There is a really nice mixture of rag doll physics with some pre animated deaths. For example if an enemy was shot in the neck area they would grab at their wound before letting the physics take over the rest of their death animation. Its best to see some game play to see how this works. It made for a lot of cool deaths.
Is this the last we see of Max Payne? I cant say, but after another episode of infinite slaughter and heart ache I feel like Max should be left alone for the rest of his life. The story is concluded though I guess if the publisher wanted they could find some characters to attach to another Max Payne game. One last little thing. HEALTH did the soundtrack for this game and it didnt really stand out. A couple of tracks were nice (Tears is a great track no doubt) though their input didnt have much of an affect.