I am sure there are tons of reviews for this game, but this one is definitely going to be a love letter to the franchise.
From the opening strings of Max’s theme, this game transports you right back into the gritty, detective noir world that Max Payne lives in. Or at least it did for me as I have ALWAYS been a fan of Max.
Max’s story is fairly simple when you look at it just on the surface. Ex cop with a chip on his shoulder, lost everything including his family and now works mostly as a hired gun for men who want a particular skill set and are willing to pay for it.
The first Max Payne game came out a few years after the first Matrix movie and utilized a game mechanic known as Bullet Time similar to the slow motion action sequences in the highly stylized techno thriller. It was an eye catching tale about a cop trying to track down the source of a designer drug called Valkyr which was a catalyst in his wife and child’s murders.
The game featured a gritty neo-noir style and used graphic novel panels (with voice-overs) in place of animated cut-scenes to narrate the game, as it drew inspiration from hard-boiled detective novels.
The game featured some seriously creepy moments one of which is forever etched in my psyche and I am pretty sure it damaged me some how, but this game left me coming back for more everytime. Along with it’s sequel.
Ok so lets get into the actual review of the 3rd installment of Mr. Payne.
As I said, the opening string plucks got me jazzed up for this game and it didn’t let me down. First off, the game came on two discs! That’s a massive amount of material compared to most games. Especially in comparison to the abysmal (in my opinion) Lollipop Chainsaw, which left me feeling like Juliet was nothing but a cock-tease.
Max is long since left the force and is just trying to keep on this side of a drug overdose and alcohol poisoning, when he is approached by a face from his past with a job that could score him enough money to never have to be “that” guy again.
The cut scenes were a bit of an issue for me, only because the people looked wooden. Not that their actions were stiff, but they literally looked like they were made/craved from wood. Especially the darker skinned characters, they looked etched from solid mahogany.
The game mechanics were pretty solid, only issue I had was using soft lock when multiple enemies are on the screen. It gets a little hectic and hard to target the person you want to shoot. Not enough to actually hurt the overall game play, but it is a nuisance at times.
The in-game graphics are pretty solid though, with large sprawling views and great attention to up close detail. The game has a very Hollywood look and feel to it, as if this easily could have been ripped from the silver screen. It definitely felt like a pumped up action flick at times. Complete with boat jumping, gun firing, explosiony goodness!
There are tons of clues and collectibles strewn throughout the game, enough to keep even the most vigilant and eagle eyed player coming back for more. Not to mention a pretty sweet Arcade mode where you can just go rack up points for kills and an online multiplayer mode complete with deathmatches and more.
My only REAL complaint is that there wasn’t a real “mindfuck” moment in the game. Both the first and second games played with your head quite a bit. I was talking about this fact one of the last times I was at Destiny Games. Derek (one of the employees) said that he figured it was because Max is kind of on the down swing in his career and life, that he has been abusing booze and pills for so long he is his own walking mind fuck. I am paraphrasing here, but that was the overall gist of what he was saying. I guess I see that, but still I was really hoping for something just off the wall crazy to happen.
I have no intentions of turn this game in any time soon. I intend to find all the collectibles and clues as well as rack up some serious scores and kills in the other modes.
We don’t have a real rating system yet, but if you want to know what I think I say go buy the game. Totally worth it.