Game Review: Max Payne 3

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Some video games you don’t need the sequels to understand. Some are just plane fun. Max Payne 3 is one of them. But is it really appropriate?

Genre

Action / Adventure

Story

Max Payne is your standard action hero cliche — he’s an ex-cop who has lost everything, including his wife and child, and has developed a drinking habit. Taken in by an old colleague to act as private security in Brazil, a calm, relaxing “vacation” of a job has turned into a shooting gallery, with kidnappers, terrorists, corrupt cops, and a lot of shooting. Imagine if John McClane of Die Hard were written by Raymond Chandler, with shootout choreographic by John Woo, and you’d have a definite feel for this game.

Gameplay/Mechanics

This is a third person shooter–meaning you can see the character you’re playing as you go along.  Pressing the left trigger has Max aim, right trigger to shoot, and pressing the right stick initiates “Bullet time,” a period of time where everything is in slow motion, allowing Max to lock onto enemies with more precision.

Music/Graphics

The graphics and attention to detail in this game is impressive — one of our first levels has Max staring off at Sao Paulo in the distance, and later, visiting it.  The music is lively, both in the setting for the game, and in the soundtrack itself.

Morals/Appropriateness

There are a few problems here, though. The language is a bit of a problem–it’s not overused, and it’s appropriate in context, and any teenager you may have has probably already heard worse…. but keep in mind, I grew up with Die Hard as a Christmas movie since I was ten years old, so I might be jaded.  Also, the game can be a little bloody, but not as bad as it could be.  For example, if Max comes too close to an enemy and tries to fire, a cut-scene animation will kick in, and the player can have a close up of said enemy being shot at close range — though head shots turn into holes with some blood coming out, as opposed to a more realistic gray matter explosion, for which I’m grateful.

Also, there is a sequence that takes place in a strip club — which I only know because the noir-like narration informed me of it.  There is also references to drugs — mostly because the narration continually disparages the family Max is protecting, including a drug user.

Community/Multiplayer

There is multiplayer with this game, though I could not log in — maybe I’m just unfamiliar with multiplayer games, or the Game is now two years old, and no one else is playing, I couldn’t tell.

Addiction Danger

I enjoyed this game a lot, I really did. It felt like I was playing an in-depth noir movie turned into an 80s action film. Language aside, I think a standard gamer would quite enjoy this one. The only real problem I think anyone will find is how hard this game can be at times.  You will die. A lot.

Problems/Ending Comments

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ESRB Rating: M for Mature

My Rating: 8/10 — Just plain fun

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Copyright 2014 John Konecsni

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