Mega games get mega reviews in a megaly disordered fashion.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Max Payne 3: Return of the Bullet Time

It's been about a decade or something since I last uploaded a review, but to be fair there's been pretty much nothing good out to play or I've had no money. It's either blank spaces when that happens or just me going "I played Mario on a SNES emulator again. That was...jumpy?", so get used to it. But yeah, review time.

Right, bit of backstory: Max Payne 1 came out in 2001, Max Payne 2 in 2003 and both are generally regarded as good, solid games. In depth, Noir-style, story and monologuing, decent action, well thought out bosses and also the first games to feature Bullet Time, which was a big deal for games back then. It makes sense that Rockstar would revisit the series on the latest generation console after nearly a decade gap to let people know what happened to Max, even without the lead writer from the previous games (instead they have the writer from Red Dead Redemption, which is good enough for me).

So yeah, the game itself. Well as you might have guessed diving slow motion through the air and nailing a guy across the room in the head with dual-wielded pistols before landing in cover behind a sofa and reloading is TOTALLY FUCKING BADASS. Other things that are TOTALLY FUCKING BADASS: running out of pain pills and diving slow mo over your only cover (through hanging pots and pans) to cap a guy with your shotgun, diving slow mo off a stair set and shooting a grenade with a bullet to kill your enemies, diving slow mo round a blind corner and taking everyone out with an AK before they notice you're there. Pretty much anything can be made better with slow mo diving. Except when you dive too far and kill yourself. No, wait, that's still cool. Obviously there's more to the game, but seeing as bullet time was the original selling point for a lot of people, it's just nice to note that it still hasn't gotten old.

The story is fairly standard and lousy with double crosses and people lieing, but it's all set in brilliant environments that make you want to watch more. I even felt compassion towards some of the characters, which I haven't felt since I saw Jaheira cry of Khalid's corpse at the start of BG2. Admittedly the situations are ridiculous, but even the game pretty much tells you try cry it a river before exploding everything on screen. There are the odd twist or turn that I didn't see coming and actually was fairly new. I would tell you and just label it spoilers, but you should just play through it and find out. If you start to get bored then the last line that Max says is completely worth it, trust me.

It's not perfect though. There are so many bits that are frustrating that it's not funny. In some areas, it's almost impossible to progress due to the enemies flanking system, volume, and lack of cover. The game does compensate by actually giving you more health packs when you die multiple times though, so that's always appreciated. The enemies have uncanny aim, as well, even on normal difficulty, but it makes you try harder instead of treating it like CoD. You also get to set the amount of auto-aim you receive as well, so that you can change things if they get too easy/hard.

As a parting note: I never even touched the multiplayer as I bought the game purely for the single player run through, so bite me. The achievements are a mix between playing the game or pretty difficult, which is nice as you can do a second playthrough and feel proud of what you do, or just playthrough once and snag up at least half if you try hard.

Anyway, I kind of lost interest towards the end, but yeah:: it's worth buying if you liked the others, and is a good place to start if you didn't. And once you finish here, go and buy a Blacksad comic because that is equally as Noir/awesome


Cliff Notes: More of Max being Max, with swearing, drugs, cartels, hookers, booze, bullet-time and shooting. Standard.

Rating: 7/10
Would I recommend it to friends: If they know who Max Payne is, then yes. If not, then maybe. But I would suggest buying it at a discount price just in case.

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