Friday, August 30, 2013

Max Payne 3 (2012)

Guest Writer: Xavier Faulknor

The action packed Max Payne series have been on a hiatus ever since it’s last installment Max Payne 2 in 2003. Since then, many people have yearned for a sequel to one of their beloved hero’s last generations. Now Rockstar Studios have picked up this franchise with its latest installment Max Payne 3. Does this game redeem itself as one of the best shooters out there; or does it fall flat to its name?

Story: You play as Max Payne, an emotionally scarred ex-cop nursing himself with alcohol and painkillers until he stumbled upon Raul Passos, who helps him into taking a new job as a private security contractor in South America. The setting is in Sao Paulo, Brazil several years after Max Payne 2, and it’s just as dangerous as New York.

Max’s cynical memories tell the daring but interesting events are presented. At times the game pushes its dark theme a bit too far, often mocking the premise that can plaque Max’s likable character. He’s a flawed hero, yes, but it shouldn’t feel over-bearing to witness his story.

The Max Payne series is well known for its driven story-telling. From the first installment, Max, the narrator told through physical and metaphysical experiences. Max Payne 2 followed that same stigma. This game focuses on more realistic events so die-hard fans may miss the interactive nightmares from previous games. Still Max Payne 3 has an amazing story that shouldn’t be missed.

Gameplay: The intense gunfights are both immersive and entertaining. Painkillers are your best friend- giving Max the ability to regain health. Along painkillers comes Bullet-Time, the ability to slow down gunfights to obtain precise and accurate shots. There’s three ways to enter bullet-time; by freely activating it; by using bullet dodge, in which you dive and shoot enemies; and Last Man Standing mode, which upon death, gives you a chance to take out an enemy before dying, with a use of a pain-killer.

With every shot enemies react to pain; whether it’s a shock from the shoulder, or a shot to the leg disabling movements. The Euphoria engine manipulates Max’s movements as well. Grazing objects or walls while diving can cause collisions, hindering his maneuvers during a gun battle. This can become an annoyance because the clumsiness causes Max to be exposed, setting himself up for imminent death. At least the death scenes are pretty gruesome, showing the last hit that caused it.

Sound: The eerie sounds of the violin throughout Max Payne 3 blends magnificently with the setting of this game. The soundtrack adds on to the dusk action of gunfire and agony when killing your foes. Dark, but action packed, this game does not fault in this criteria. Similar to previous installments, hearing Max’s narrative adds more to the story although bit over-dramatic sometimes. Still it doesn’t ruin what makes this series unique when all its good elements are put together.

Multiplayer adds to the typically standards of most multiplayer-enabled games, but other modes like Gang Wars sets itself apart. Numerous objectives are given based on which gang completes them, and each victory adds a small advantage until the ending showdown. Battles are intense just as single-player and it’s just as thrilling, which helps the overall entertainment of this game.

Max Payne 3 is a dark and gritty game with fierce gameplay, although sometimes its narrative is flawed. It’s story spans for about 8-10 hours in addition to finding gold parts and clues that scattered around each level. With the action oriented single player experience, adding on with the extending multiplayer component, this game would satisfy anyone with the need to shoot bad guys. Even with its flaws, Max Payne 3 is a great game that worth the purchase.

I give this game, 4 out of 5.

No comments:

Post a Comment