Max Payne 3 (Game) Review

Max Payne 3

Released: 18th May 2012
RRP: £49.99
Publisher: Rockstar
Available on: Playstation 3, XBOX 360, PC
Rating: 18

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Max Payne 3 is the long awaited follow up to two of the gaming world's most iconic titles. Max is the perfect video game hero; dark, moody and full of regret resulting in a desire for revenge upon all those who led to his downfall.

Looking at the screenshots, its hard to believe this is a Max game as gone are the dark, snowy streets of New York and in its place are the bright, colourful and sunny settings of Sao Paulo, Brazil. However, after just a few moments of gameplay, it’s immediately obvious this is definitely a Max game!

The story follows Max as he continues his path of self-destruction; addicted to booze and painkillers and crippled by guilt and anger. He takes a job as a bodyguard protecting the family of a wealthy businessman in an effort to escape his troubled past, but in true Max style things quickly go wrong leaving him no option but to shoot his way to answers.

The gameplay is very old school Max Payne and immediately will teleport players of the original games back in time. The gameplay has been refreshed but still feels exciting and atmospheric with precision shooting required to complete the many levels, or chapters as they're referred to in game. New this time is a cover system, which is absolutely vital and works well as enemies will move around cover to position themselves for a shot at Max.

In some ways Max is very old school. There are no easy health fixes here, Max cannot simply hide behind cover and wait for his health to re-charge as is often the case in games. Instead, and in keeping in line with the story, Max needs his painkillers to boost his health but these are in limited supply so care needs to be taken in guiding him around the levels. Careless shooting will result in a quick and gory death for Max.

Max Payne 3 is definitely an adult game and feels better as a result. The graphics and in particular the death scenes are graphic and not for the faint hearted. The game's visuals are fantastic, with both Max and the game's other character’s animations standing out as a real highlight. The bright environments of Sao Paulo also look great and provide a real change in scene to the usual Max Payne setting. The only slight downside to the visuals some may find is the use of a filter on some of the game's cut scenes. Whilst this has obviously been done to add an artistic, filmmaking air, it can be a bit too much on occasions.

The game's audio is where Max Payne 3 truly stands out. The script is simply fantastic! Easily as good as any Hollywood film and probably better in many cases. The story, character interaction and voice acting are all top notch. This is definitely a Rockstar trademark as all their games, be it Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption or in this case Max Payne, contain terrific audio. I cannot praise this aspect of the game enough.

New to the series is the multiplayer mode and this works well, but it is the single player game where Max really stands out. Easily one of the best games of this generation and definitely a contender for game of the year, Max Payne 3 is well worth a purchase.

A must buy!

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