It’s been almost a decade since Mr Payne last graced gaming with his slow motion, dual wielding, run ‘n’ gun goodness, but the time for his return is here. With Max Payne 3 finally let out of its cage, expectations within the gaming community are running incredibly high for Rockstar’s stab at the beloved franchise. However, if the words “Max Payne” don’t seem to resonate with you in any way, or you’re stuck in a situation that requires exactly four reasons why Max Payne 3 kicks ass, don’t fret, we got you covered.
4Noir is back
The Max Payne series has always been one of the finest examples of noir in video games, and number three is no exception. Dan Houser (who handled writing duties for the entire Grand Theft Auto 4 saga) penned the script, which easily nails the attempt of capturing Max’s cynical, disturbed state of mind. The neo-noir comic book-esque cut scenes found in previous installments have been dropped in favour of over-the-top cinematics and set pieces that blend seamlessly into gameplay, Uncharted style. You’ll often be left wondering “that was in-game footage?”
Still wallowing in bottles of alcohol and pills over the tragedy of his wife and child, Max finds himself in the underworld of private security on the sunny boulevards of São Paulo, Brazil. Contracted to shadow and protect the party girl wife of Rodrigo Branco, trouble is barely an arm’s length away from Max. It doesn’t take long before he finds himself ambushed and discovers that Branco’s other half, Fabiana has been kidnapped. What follows is a whole lot of flying bullets, bodies dropping and a noir story that barely lets you catch your breath.
Plugging someone full of lead has never looked so beautiful. The Euphoria engine used in Rockstar’s previous titles is back and let’s just says it’s received one hell of an upgrade. You’ll be consistently blown away at the almost meticulous attention to detail, as bullets shred through hordes of enemies. Skin is viciously torn, bodies fall with a lifelike grace and blood paints walls with an almost artistic nature. Is it wrong to praise how good someone looks when taking two magazines worth of bullets to the face? Of course not. Especially not when it looks this damn polished.
If the thought of Max Payne’s signature gameplay being brought over to multiplayer didn’t already cream your pants, let us assure you that it will. Bullet Time is here in all its glory, but implemented in simple and smart manner that doesn’t break the flow of battle. How? Only players in your line of sight are affected by Bullet Time. Add in your usual multiplayer modes with a Max Payne twist, along with the ambitious Gang Wars (which weaves story elements from the campaign with dynamically changing objectives) and you have yourself one fresh, robust multiplayer package sure to rival of the likes of Call of Duty.
You know, the people behind some of the most popular titles in the industry like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last few months, yes Rockstar are responsible for Max Payne 3.
The series’ original creator, Remedy Entertainment (currently busy pointing flashlights at ghosts with Alan Wake) sold the rights to Max Payne over to Rockstar back in 2002, and we couldn’t ask for a better studio. Rockstar’s usual attention to detail and finesse in production value are all back in full force. Gritty script and narrative? Check. Polished visuals? Check. Superb voice acting? Check. Hot Coffee mod? Well, not exactly, but you get the point. Rockstar are no stranger when it comes to pushing the envelope with its games and Max Payne 3 is no different.
Despite having a fairly sparse resume of pure adrenaline action titles, Rockstar does Max Payne 3 justice by simply delivering what everyone loved about the franchise in the first place. Dropping foes with copious amounts of bullets in the most stylish way possible, all whilst flying though the air – in slow motion.
It’s good to have you back, Max.