(This is my first take on a serious game review, so please have a bit mercy xD)
Max is back in full force! And is being voiced again and this time also motion captured by good old James McCaffrey who we all love (the original Max Payne voice actor).
The story takes place 9 years after its predecessor (Max Payne 2:Fall of Max Payne). Max is now old and is still very torn apart from the death of his wife and daughter,still talking deeply to himself (like in the previous games), and to ease the pain he uses painkillers and drinks...Alot (and who would'nt after having lost your wife and daughter in a brutal gunfight). After many days of lingering around and drinking, Max's old friend from the police academy Raul Passos offers him a job by being a bodyguard for a rich family (The Brancos) in Sao Paulo in Brazil, you might think "Brazil?! why?!" ...Well i don't know, i guess the developers decided that New York was enough in the first and the second game, so it's time for some changes in scenery (although New York for the third time wouldn't have bothered me at all).
Anyway, Max accepts the job, and now he has to keep watch of the family...But soon, things start to turn pretty ugly. One of the family members is kidnapped and Max, of course, has to try and get her back. That's the main storyline concept of the game, i don't want to spoil any more of it. All this is shown with graphically very advanced cutscenes that have actors acting in mo-cap suits...The cutscenes are jaw-dropping, the game plays like a well acted movie, really.
The gameplay in this game is absolutely fantastic, Rockstar really nailed the gunplay and character animations in this game that make for some very intense cinematic gunfights, stuff breaks beautifully and its all really chaotic. Everything moves so fluently and it has that "rag-doll" kinda physics (the same "RAGE" engine that was used in GTA 4 but a bit more improved). It is extremely satisfying to do a slow-mo jump and then just shoot the sh*t out of everyone. Max can duck, roll, go to prone, go to cover behind different objects AND of course Max's signature move that we all know and love, the bad ass bullet time jump. Combining all these different moves, and using a bit of imagination, you can do dozens of different cool kills every single time you play trough the same levels, the gameplay is always different every time, direct your own movie basically. You can even pause the game, turn around the camera and take awesome screenshots say for your desktop for example :D.
The difficulty in this game can be very rage inducing. I can safely say that you will die in this game ALOT,seriously it doesn't even matter if you're a pro in shooter games...No this game definatly makes you hit the retry button all the time, it is an extremly hard game, and only the die-hard Max Payne players should really consider going above the normal difficulty...But games got to have a bit of challenge too.
Graphics and sounds in this game are top quality. The PC version has improved visuals over the console versions, like higher resolution, better textures, better lighting and more. It requires a pretty hefty computer to run everything at its max, especially in dx11 + anti aliasing. Yes, the game also has DirectX 11, which adds tessellations to the character models and on top of that, it runs incredibly smoothly...Yes a Rockstar game that runs smoothly on PC, finally. Rockstar has always been known for sh*tty optimized games for the PC ,mainly the most infamous one GTA IV, so thats a big plus. Well done Rockstar, i applaud you for that :-). Anyway, the graphics are stunning and it really does look close to real life, the attention of detail on Max, especially his facial details are so stunning and advanced that he looks like a real human already, instead of a programmed video game character. I think i can add to the graphics sections too that this game is very brutal. When you shoot at enemies, the bullets make big bloody holes on the enemies, literally, holes where the flesh is hanging outside and blood coming out of it, no wonder the game is 18+.
The gun sounds are spot on, meaty sounding and realistic (you can even hear the very mechanical function of a gun when you pull the trigger in slow-mo), not too tight and not too explosive but don't get me wrong the guns have "balls"and it is very satisfying to fire them. The music in this game really gets you pumped up and it just makes the game even more intense and dramatic.
The game has a high replay value and has lots of unlockables and also includes a pretty decent multiplayer where you level up, earn perks and unlock different weapons as well. Multiplayer has classic modes like deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag etc...And also some new modes like "gang wars" that plays out like a mini story...Yeah i know i left the multiplayer part out of this review but there's really not much more to say than that, and Max Payne has always been a single player experience, so do NOT get this game just because of the multiplayer, because its only like 20% of this game, the rest 80% is with the single player experience.
Overall this is a game that has to be experienced in my opinion and it does respect its predecessors, the ones that came from Finland, from the company Remedy... Although i must say that it probably isn't for everyone, i would say the game is mostly targeted for an older audience, because the game does criticize society a bit and Max Payne's "Poor me" talk that he does pretty much might become annoying for some, but that's because some people haven't experienced what it is like to be depressed and what it is to feel like everything sucks there's no point in life anymore, that's why some players don't so to say "understand" him, and its just the way Max has always been. Max is kinda like "The Punisher" from Marvel Comics. I can personally relate to this game, because my life hasn't been all "sunshiny day and perfect grades at school and a good job" either. That's why this game is so great, Max is just a very cool and relatable character, hes real and not a faker. The game also puts you to question our so called "good society". In short Max Payne 3 feels like a true man's game, it doesn't have that "fantasy macho weapon power" like in call of duty games for example. This game is very emotional, dark and disturbing,and actually pretty philosophical too. My only complaint about this game to be honest is that the cutscenes could have been a little shorter and the difficulty is a bit too hard, but the cutscenes are enjoyable to watch (at least for me).
Anyway If you're tired of the constant tsunami of first person shooters with "iron sight" aiming (like i am) then Max Payne 3 will be a complete breath of fresh air for you. I wan't more games like this, more 3rd person shooters with a good story and not just the same we have almost in every game that is "America saves the world" or "save the world from a nuclear disaster" basically, i think you know what i mean.
PS. Don't let Max's beer belly and new haircut fool you, Max is as fit as ever!