Nukezilla Review: Max Payne 3 (PS3)
The pill popping bullet dodging cop Max Payne is finally back in action with GTA and Red Dead Redemption developer Rockstar at the helm. Does this aging anti-hero have enough tricks to have us care about his return from retirement?
Max’s troubled past as a New York cop follows him all the way to sunny São Palo Brazil. Taking a job as a bodyguard for the rich Brancho family, Max struggles with his past and his alcohol problem the only way he knows how: with Noir style heavy handed voice over and shooting as many people that get in his way.
Just like the previous games, Max uses his adrenalin to slow down time or do a shoot dodge to either get in or out of trouble. They are a lot of fun to use, especially when the action heats up. But touching any object in the environment while doing a shoot dodge will take Max out of slow motion and leave him very vulnerable. Luckily, the last stand feature let’s Max take one last shot to save his skin.
The comic book style of the previous games is abandoned here for a more traditional narrative approach. Excellent cut scenes show off some impressive voice work even though the dialog is filled with the heavy-handed metaphors that Max can’t stop making. The story is solid with some excellent moments of action and a few graphic shudder-inducing scenes.
The sunny locals of Brazil are contrasted very well with flashback moments that take Max back to the dark and rainy streets of New York. These scenes give some insight into the story but don’t really allude much to the previous games. The death of Max’s family and relationship with Mona Sax are rarely mentioned. If you’re new to the franchise you may wonder what exactly happened to make Max the broken man he is.
The adult story and setting isn’t for the squeamish or kids. Language, nudity and gruesome scenes are everywhere.
Multiplayer makes it’s way into the franchise for the first time. Leveling up and outfitting multiplayer characters with different gear and guns is a blast. Even the bullet time slow-mo mechanic works in multiplayer just like in the single player game. If you enjoy Uncharted 3’s multiplayer you’ll feel right at home here.
Max Payne comes out of retirement with guns blazing. The great story, addictive shooting and a robust multiplayer suite shows us that Max is in good hands with Rockstar games. If you’re in the mood for some old fashioned violence then pick up Max Payne 3 today.