Friday, July 14, 2017

Max Payne 3 (PC) Review

I was looking forward to a sequel to Max Payne 2 for many years. When Max Payne 3 was announced, I eagerly waited for the reviews. They confirmed what I had suspected, this game deviated quite a bit from the classic Max Payne games. This was disappointing for me, so I did not buy it at launch. I picked it up on a sale for $3.99.

I am glad I did not pay more because this game is a thoroughly disappointing experience for me. I will never replay it, and it was uninstalled the moment I finished the game.

Max Payne and Max Payne 2 were not just great games, but they were great PC games. They have all the features you would expect from a proper PC game - quick save, quick load, smooth controls, support for mods etc.

All of this is gone in Max Payne 3. Other than the visuals, everything took a step back from the previous games.

Graphics settings I used

The biggest complaint I have with the game is the gameplay, which has changed for the worse, in my opinion. It is heavily scripted. Every combat sequence is followed by a cut scene. It is not possible to enter and exit an area without a cinematic. It was interesting the first few times, but it gets old, very quickly. The game gives very little control to the player when it comes to exploring areas. Entering a room is now done in the form of an in-game cinematic.

Out of the 9 hours I spent playing the game on normal difficulty, I get the feeling that I was watching cut scenes for probably 50% of the time. This hurt the pacing of the game. It’s almost as if Rockstar wanted to make a movie, but were forced to add some gameplay to it.

The change of the setting did not work for me either. I prefer the snowy New England setting for Max Payne as opposed to the sunny, tropical Brazil. The comic book storytelling is replaced by blurry cinematics with a film grain filter. This does not feel like a Max Payne game, but more like a Kane Lynch game.

Favelas in Sao Paulo Brazil. Great graphics, but uncharacteristic setting, and linear gameplay hurt the game.

The smooth controls from the previous games are gone. They are replaced by relatively sluggish controls, which are very reminiscent of GTA 4, although not as bad. There is a cover mechanic, and every firefight devolves into a peaking from cover and taking pot shots at enemies. There is bullet time of course and it definitely works well, but even that is nothing original anymore. It has been done to death in video games since the first Max Payne.

The game is perfectly functional for me. I never had any technical issues. All my complaints with the game are gameplay related. There was some cool moments during the short campaign, but  overall it is a disappointment for me.

Verdict - Not Recommended.

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