Max Payne 3 Review

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Derelict Frog:

AC10:

Casual Shinji:
And you know the best thing about them? YOU CAN'T SKIP THEM!!! The game loads at a snail's pace, and by the time you can finally skip the cutscene it would've only lasted a few more seconds anyway.

This game is just badly made, it's an absolute mess. I've heard one reviewer say it's basically GTA with Bullet Time, and that's about right, including the bad controls and bad cover mechanics.

Rockstar should be ashamed of themselves for putting something this broken on the market.

You know, i was kind of worried about this myself. IMO Rockstar has never really nailed the shooting mechanics in any game they've made, so I was incredibly wary of MP3. Thanks for confirming my fears! I'll probably stay well clear of this one.

Seems weird that you'd immediately decide not to buy a game based on this one random guy who played it, and not the stellar review under which your comment resides...

Also people keep seeming to equate noir with darkness and New York. Having completed Max Payne 1 and 2 there I can outright say that if it weren't for the game specifically saying that you were in New York you would have had no idea that you were there. It could have been any big city at night really. Apart from meaning black in French, noir doesn't have to be set at night. It's just a descriptor for a piece of work that emphasises sex and cynicism.

Well, to say he's a random guy is false. He's been on here for about 3 years (and 4 myself). You kind of get to know people's opinions and tastes if you hang around somewhere for that long.

In reality though, I really just generally dislike Rockstar games almost every time, so that's what was really keeping me away. It's just that I truly enjoyed MP1 and 2 so I had a small iota of hope for 3. It just looks like an all the way different game in a style that just doesn't give with me. The game really just looks very "rockstar" in my eyes and, personally, that's not a good thing.

Derelict Frog:

Seems weird that you'd immediately decide not to buy a game based on this one random guy who played it, and not the stellar review under which your comment resides...

Also people keep seeming to equate noir with darkness and New York. Having completed Max Payne 1 and 2 there I can outright say that if it weren't for the game specifically saying that you were in New York you would have had no idea that you were there. It could have been any big city at night really. Apart from meaning black in French, noir doesn't have to be set at night. It's just a descriptor for a piece of work that emphasises sex and cynicism.

There's more to noir than that.

It's not just sex and cynicism. Noir is what you get when you fuse crime fiction with existentialism. There's more to it than cynical monologues. Most of the main characters in Noir are given to introspection, and tend to wonder about stuff like the nature of fate, destiny, life, etc. It's the contrast of high-minded ideas like this with the low down, everyday grubbiness of crime that gives Noir its particular flavour. Noir is detective fiction with a dual-Masters in Psychology and Philosophy. And that's what the original Max Payne games played on. They ramped up the introspection and the existentialism to ludicrous levels, but still managed to create a genuinely emotional, involving narrative. As someone already mentioned above, it's like how Quentin Tarantino at his best is able to blow up the tropes of cinema while still telling an involving story.

As for New York... as has already been said, New York was more than just a setting for the MP games, it was an integral character. So much of the action took place in dismal tenement buildings, abandoned construction yards, district hospitals. The New York setting was absolutely crucial to nailing the atmosphere of the Max Payne games. Hell, in the first game, the fact that New York was going through an unprecedented winter played a huge part in establishing the gloomy mood of the story.

You can't just throw a character into a slum, but up some blind shadows and monologuing, and call it 'noir'. The first two Max Payne games were built on the idea of Max being trapped in this particular environment from which he couldn't escape. The entire setting of New York in Max Payne was designed to be a bleak, hostile, grim environment against which the developers could integrate their larger themes and subtext. I don't see how Sao Paulo can offer the same when its a city to which Max has no connection, and no real reason to stay in beyond "bodyguard contract."

I could be wrong, but it just doesn't seem to offer the same atmosphere as 'Noir York'.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels.

The metaphors. The similes. Two companions as reliable and true to the Max Payne series as a pair of Desert Eagles and a lifetime's prescription of painkillers. Gone. There's a bullet-shaped hole where the metaphors should be, and Rockstar are the ones fingering the trigger. Seeing the third game, it's like kissing your love goodbye, only to find she's already dead.

Looking back, you see the graphic novel cutscenes, the noir tropes... like a doomed romance, you only get the full picture in hindsight. The way the serious clashes with the surreal, the over-the-top meets the understated. You realise how the developers used the absurd to underscore the emotional content... and like any doomed romance, you finally realise just how they broke your heart. Mona, Vinnie, Vlad, Woden... they're all dead. And where you once had the memory of them, now all you've got is a drunken void where your memories should be. A gaping hole, growing deeper behind you.

Playing Max Payne 3, thinking about death is unavoidable. It's a weight chained to your ankles, a pocket full of stones dragging you into the sea. The death of the dream sequences. The death of the meta-TV shows. The death of the femme-fatale. Every sly wink and knowing nod made to the gamer, replaced with a scowl and a flip of the bird. It's like watching your own funeral, except it's not you in the casket, but a bloated old man with a shaved head and a terrible taste in shirts. Looking around, you see how things have changed. You're no longer a pastiche of noir cliches, but a character from Miami Vice. Where you once saw symbols in everything around you, painted onto the world like cave paintings, like hidden clues, now you see cheap moralising and Sunday morning preaching. Where you once saw the snows of the Fimbulwinter, and the beginnings of Ragnarok itself, now there's just the heat of a Brazilian summer's evening.

Metaphors. Similes. Metafiction. This is what I see when I look back. These moments, blinding as snow, they kill you, change you. You die and live again, remade.

Thank you, that's all I need to know to make my decision.

I was just about to make a thread about those stupid fucking cutscenes. I couldn't care less about Max's monologues in this game, because I can barely process what he's saying due to those stupid fucking flashes and those goddamn floating texts and-FOR THE LOVE OF MIGRAINE MEDICINE THOSE FUCKING CUTSCENES ARE ANNOYING!

I remember back when they were releasing those trailers for the aspects of the game, guns, bullet time, etc, etc. One of them was about storytelling and I believe the man speaking said:

Random Announcer Guy:
"With Max Payne 3, Rockstar has tried to make a uniquely cinematic action game that uses a series of presentation innovations to move the game seamlessly from cutscene to gunplay"

Yes,they tried...and failed miserably. It's unique in the fact that it's the only game to ever give me a migraine without actually having to play it. Oh and here's another one:

Random Announcer Guy:
"The game transitions gameplay to cutscenes using a range of cinematic editing techniques, without ever showing a loading screen"

Yes, instead you just put up a bunch of flickering lights and made everything disorienting, even when Max was simply walking down a fucking street or casual talking to someone in a completely lit area! Seriously Rockstar, there are easier ways to hide a cutscene. And besides, I'm pretty sure there's a loading icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen at times. There goes your "smooth" transitions.

In fact, that entire trailer displays mostly everything that's wrong with Max Payne 3. The "cinematics," the "Noir graphic style," and well, most of what I'm listing has already been stated here.

AC10:
Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.

Really? I think they looks awesome, they fit the games tone perfectly.

image

1. The cutscenes look bad, yes the previous 1-2 comicstyle cutscenes were much better than this seizure inducing mess

2.The setting and story lacks inspiration and is completely generic. The environment reminds me too much of Dead Island, another not-very-good kind of game

3.Max is no longer the max we once knew yet he tries to act as if he was and talks as if he was. Yet it doesnt seem to work much considering the situation he is in has completely changed

4.No signs of flashbacks or any kind of connection to the previous titles other than: oh look its max payne again.
So...what about the unanswered questions and plotthreads from the other games?
lol, hell if i know :3

since i have to wait for the pc version, from what i read here is, that the cut scenes are bad (which i have to admit, they do look annoying and irritating) and that the story is not as good as the previous 2 games.
but the game play/shooting as such is really good.

am i reading it correctly here?

Metalrocks:
since i have to wait for the pc version, from what i read here is, that the cut scenes are bad (which i have to admit, they do look annoying and irritating) and that the story is not as good as the previous 2 games.
but the game play/shooting as such is really good.

am i reading it correctly here?

I'd say you are, but honestly, the story isn't so much worse as it is different (though for many MP fans different will = worse, regardless). It's been a long time since people last played as Max, and Rockstar did its best to make a sequel where you wouldn't have to know anything about 1 or 2 to enjoy it. That may disappoint a lot of folks who wanted to see the original narrative line continue, but 2 did wrap most things up, and it's not like those stories have been retconned.

Mike Kayatta:

Metalrocks:
since i have to wait for the pc version, from what i read here is, that the cut scenes are bad (which i have to admit, they do look annoying and irritating) and that the story is not as good as the previous 2 games.
but the game play/shooting as such is really good.

am i reading it correctly here?

I'd say you are, but honestly, the story isn't so much worse as it is different (though for many MP fans different will = worse, regardless). It's been a long time since people last played as Max, and Rockstar did its best to make a sequel where you wouldn't have to know anything about 1 or 2 to enjoy it. That may disappoint a lot of folks who wanted to see the original narrative line continue, but 2 did wrap most things up, and it's not like those stories have been retconned.

ok, thanks for the reply. i guess i will figure it out my self. have nothing else really to play so i might as well get it as long the game play is good and the story makes sense.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels.

The metaphors. The similes. Two companions as reliable and true to the Max Payne series as a pair of Desert Eagles and a lifetime's prescription of painkillers. Gone. There's a bullet-shaped hole where the metaphors should be, and Rockstar are the ones fingering the trigger. Seeing the third game, it's like kissing your love goodbye, only to find she's already dead.

Looking back, you see the graphic novel cutscenes, the noir tropes... like a doomed romance, you only get the full picture in hindsight. The way the serious clashes with the surreal, the over-the-top meets the understated. You realise how the developers used the absurd to underscore the emotional content... and like any doomed romance, you finally realise just how they broke your heart. Mona, Vinnie, Vlad, Woden... they're all dead. And where you once had the memory of them, now all you've got is a drunken void where your memories should be. A gaping hole, growing deeper behind you.

Playing Max Payne 3, thinking about death is unavoidable. It's a weight chained to your ankles, a pocket full of stones dragging you into the sea. The death of the dream sequences. The death of the meta-TV shows. The death of the femme-fatale. Every sly wink and knowing nod made to the gamer, replaced with a scowl and a flip of the bird. It's like watching your own funeral, except it's not you in the casket, but a bloated old man with a shaved head and a terrible taste in shirts. Looking around, you see how things have changed. You're no longer a pastiche of noir cliches, but a character from Miami Vice. Where you once saw symbols in everything around you, painted onto the world like cave paintings, like hidden clues, now you see cheap moralising and Sunday morning preaching. Where you once saw the snows of the Fimbulwinter, and the beginnings of Ragnarok itself, now there's just the heat of a Brazilian summer's evening.

Metaphors. Similes. Metafiction. This is what I see when I look back. These moments, blinding as snow, they kill you, change you. You die and live again, remade.

Okay. No one has quoted you yet to tell you how awesome that was.

That Was Awesome.

That is all.

I actually think the difficulty was one of the games' biggest problems. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a challenge, but I was kind of expecting a game where you'd be able to go guns blazing without getting killed in half a nanosecond. If Max was given more health, I'd have enjoyed it a lot more.

Or maybe I'm just a filthy casual.

I have to say, I was kind of gripped by the review. Think I might take a look at this one at some point. Not the deepest story ever but then it is an action game and I find new ways of telling old stories just as interesting as new stories. I know that because I enjoy Fringe. LOL

Monxeroth:
image

1. The cutscenes look bad, yes the previous 1-2 comicstyle cutscenes were much better than this seizure inducing mess

2.The setting and story lacks inspiration and is completely generic. The environment reminds me too much of Dead Island, another not-very-good kind of game

3.Max is no longer the max we once knew yet he tries to act as if he was and talks as if he was. Yet it doesnt seem to work much considering the situation he is in has completely changed

4.No signs of flashbacks or any kind of connection to the previous titles other than: oh look its max payne again.
So...what about the unanswered questions and plotthreads from the other games?
lol, hell if i know :3

1. Sure, they are hard to look at sometimes. I wish there would be an option to turn of doublevision and flickering. I guess that someone is going to change it in the pc version.

2. Maybe you should play the game instead of judging a couple of screenshots. There are way more settings than in the previous two games. MP2 is boring compared to MP3 (yay, another construction site).
The story isn`t bad either i liked it. The previous stories weren`t better just with more mythology and symbolism.

3. Just play the game.

4. ...and again just play the game, rent it and serious what unanswered questions and plotthreads (the only thing comming to my mind is the MP2 hard ending, but i`m glad that Rockstar didn`t got in any further since it was Remedys story back then).

I can`t understand the cutscene complaining going on here, use chapter select/checkpoint 2 and you don`t have to watch the first lengthy cinematic. After completing the level go back to the menu and use chapter select for the next one and checkpoint 2. The loading takes 25-30sec. The big advantage of this loading system is that there`s no wait after you die, you start at your last checkpoint. In this game you can die alot depending on the difficulty and i`m glad that i can restart right again.
Haters gonna hate and i love this game.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:

Derelict Frog:

Seems weird that you'd immediately decide not to buy a game based on this one random guy who played it, and not the stellar review under which your comment resides...

Also people keep seeming to equate noir with darkness and New York. Having completed Max Payne 1 and 2 there I can outright say that if it weren't for the game specifically saying that you were in New York you would have had no idea that you were there. It could have been any big city at night really. Apart from meaning black in French, noir doesn't have to be set at night. It's just a descriptor for a piece of work that emphasises sex and cynicism.

There's more to noir than that.

It's not just sex and cynicism. Noir is what you get when you fuse crime fiction with existentialism. There's more to it than cynical monologues. Most of the main characters in Noir are given to introspection, and tend to wonder about stuff like the nature of fate, destiny, life, etc. It's the contrast of high-minded ideas like this with the low down, everyday grubbiness of crime that gives Noir its particular flavour. Noir is detective fiction with a dual-Masters in Psychology and Philosophy. And that's what the original Max Payne games played on. They ramped up the introspection and the existentialism to ludicrous levels, but still managed to create a genuinely emotional, involving narrative. As someone already mentioned above, it's like how Quentin Tarantino at his best is able to blow up the tropes of cinema while still telling an involving story.

As for New York... as has already been said, New York was more than just a setting for the MP games, it was an integral character. So much of the action took place in dismal tenement buildings, abandoned construction yards, district hospitals. The New York setting was absolutely crucial to nailing the atmosphere of the Max Payne games. Hell, in the first game, the fact that New York was going through an unprecedented winter played a huge part in establishing the gloomy mood of the story.

You can't just throw a character into a slum, but up some blind shadows and monologuing, and call it 'noir'. The first two Max Payne games were built on the idea of Max being trapped in this particular environment from which he couldn't escape. The entire setting of New York in Max Payne was designed to be a bleak, hostile, grim environment against which the developers could integrate their larger themes and subtext. I don't see how Sao Paulo can offer the same when its a city to which Max has no connection, and no real reason to stay in beyond "bodyguard contract."

I could be wrong, but it just doesn't seem to offer the same atmosphere as 'Noir York'.

Exactly, you couldn't be more right. MP3's gunplay is as good as ever, but everything ELSE is wrong.

Let's list them shall we?

1. The horrible cutscene effects that are painful to watch, never stop happening even for a few seconds, and don't contribute to the tone of the game at all. The graphic novel scenes from the first 2 games were FAR superior, and they didn't have much of a loading time either, so they could be quickly skipped. Without those terrible cutscene effects the cutscenes would be fine though.

2. The brightness of the game, in fact that there's any part of the game that's cheery whatsoever. MP3 is supposed to be a Noir, and Noirs are supposed to be dark and (literally and figurately) depressing. Max's monologing is the only part of MP3 that IS noir anymore.

3. Max shaving his head for no reason at all. I hear that shaving oneself bald is a sign of starting over, but even if that was the reason, if they had Max give that as the reason for doing it, then it would have been tolerable, but as it is from the perspective of fans and newbies alike it just comes out of nowhere with no purpose or cause. Luckily Max at least spends the first half of the game or so with hair.

4. They give a pretty BS reason for Max to leave New York.

5. No subtitles for the Spanish. Don't put foreign languages in your game unless they are going to be translated, in fact this is both a problem in the cutscenes and gameplay. Cutscenes because if you can't understand a word the characters are saying then they lose a lot of their emotional impact, and gameplay because the enemies could be saying "Throwing Grenade!" or "I'm flanking him! Cover me!" or "The cake is a lie!" for all I know, and again, it screws with the impact of the game.

Honestly, if it weren't for Max's endless metaphor laced monologing and the excellent gunplay, there wouldn't be anything worth having in Max Payne 3.

immortalfrieza:

5. No subtitles for the Spanish. Don't put foreign languages in your game unless they are going to be translated, in fact this is both a problem in the cutscenes and gameplay. Cutscenes because if you can't understand a word the characters are saying then they lose a lot of their emotional impact, and gameplay because the enemies could be saying "Throwing Grenade!" or "I'm flanking him! Cover me!" or "The cake is a lie!" for all I know, and again, it screws with the impact of the game.

Honestly, if it weren't for Max's endless metaphor laced monologing and the excellent gunplay, there wouldn't be anything worth having in Max Payne 3.

Thatsīs a new one. Seems that you didnīt understand why they kept the subtitles in portuguise (it isn`t spanish). You should feel alienated and they suceed with this. This has so much more impact than a simple translated subtitle.

immortalfrieza:

5. No subtitles for the Spanish. Don't put foreign languages in your game unless they are going to be translated, in fact this is both a problem in the cutscenes and gameplay. Cutscenes because if you can't understand a word the characters are saying then they lose a lot of their emotional impact, and gameplay because the enemies could be saying "Throwing Grenade!" or "I'm flanking him! Cover me!" or "The cake is a lie!" for all I know, and again, it screws with the impact of the game.

On this one point, let me just say that I believe the Portuguese subtitles were excluded for a reason. Max doesn't speak the language, and this story is told from his view point, so it actually wouldn't make sense for the player to understand the dialog while Max doesn't. And while it's perfectly valid that this technique didn't work for you, I personally think it added much to the immersion and feeling of being so "out of place."

Edit: Annnd, I just realized I am late to this point :)

What Happened to his hair, do they explain that in the game

algalon:
So it's Man on Fire - the game. Max Payne will be standing in for Denzel.

Thats pretty accurate. It shares a lot of plot points with Man on Fire and that wierd camera thing is something they did every now and then in Man on Fire(a lot at the start of the movie) except they spend every second doing it instead of the like fifteen minutes of wonky camera in the movie.

Echo_019:
What Happened to his hair, do they explain that in the game

They explain it in the game.

As a fan of the last games, Max payne 3 is a disappointment. Standard grimdark "GRR GRR BOOZE GRR PILLS" without the balance of quirky humor the previous games had so it comes across as taking itself too seriously. It's also too frantic and doesn't let you take in the aftermath much and explore. After failing a mission while I was running up to a booth to get a golden gun piece, I found myself unable to enjoy it when I was just running from room to room blasting a bunch of generic brown people and stopping only enough to look for the glowy "GRAB ME" highlights on items that previous games didn't need.

It's not a Max Payne game, It's just a fat guy with PTSD and a drinking problem running around, but it's pretty and gritty enough that the current gen fans are going to love it. That's how sequels are with publishers these days.

LOL

It's so funny...

People seem to be complaining about the cut-scenes... like 'story' is a bad thing in a game.

HAHAHAHA

Thank you 'haters' for showing me such a cool game! This would have been under my radar if not for the silly hate.

I always paned the Max Pain series based on it's stupid name, silly titles, run and gun mechanics, and horrible movie w/ Marky Mark.

I'd never have guessed that this new installment is just what I wanted/needed from a new AAA game.

Great story mixed with good gameplay.

What more could you ask for?

-Don't answer that, I know you all to be people who hate-

Regardless... thank you Rockstar. You've done it again!

Don't quote me here. You'll only be trying to deter me from my pleasure. And you'll have failed miserably, like a bad troll...

algalon:
So it's Man on Fire - the game. Max Payne will be standing in for Denzel.

You forgot about the Bullet Time, but this on so many levels.

Boy, I had doubts about this game when they started showing screentshots of Max with a bald head in the sun, but the story was as good as the previous ones, which makes the game great in my book. I really really enjoyed it a lot.

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