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'[GAME] Max Payne 3'

This thread has been linked to the game 'Max Payne 3'.
Sat 26/01/13 at 12:12:
Regular
Posts: 261
It has been over a decade since the first Max Payne was released. The game stood out from other shooting games by being the second video game to use bullet time, the first being Requiem: Avenging Angel. The story was told in comic book strips rather than typical cut scenes. During game play you hear Max’s inner monologue which usually comes in the form of metaphors but also helps you understand his motives. Max Payne 2 continued with this tradition but with improved graphics so that Max no longer looked constipated.

Max Payne 3 has kept faithful to the series for the most part, but the game no longer uses comic book strips to tell the story. Instead the game’s cut scenes are all made using in-game footage and also whichever weapon you last equipped is shown during cut scenes which are pretty clever. However, cut scenes in Max Payne 3 are fairly large and unfortunately unskippable which is a problem if you wish to obtain collectibles throughout story mode. In the story you can find “clues” which will explain the story in more detail and you can collect parts of Golden Guns which, when all parts of a gun is found, can hold additional ammo and can be used in multiplayer. The cut scenes are unskippable because they serve as the game’s loading screens, which is a good idea on your first playthrough but it doesn't encourage multiple playthroughs. Although it didn't bother me, the game uses blur effects within the cut scenes which some may find annoying.

The story starts off with Max retired from the NYPD drinking and taking painkillers in his apartment. His self abuse stems from the loss of his wife and daughter nine years ago and he still tries and fails to move on. While drinking in a bar a man called Raul Passos, who remembers him from when they trained in the police academy, offers Max a job in South America as a private security guard. Max is initially reluctant, but after a confrontation in the bar he ends up shooting the son of a powerful mob boss making the job offer a good opportunity to flee. He ends up working for a wealthy family known as the Broncos’. The wealthiest member is Rodrigo Bronco who works in real estate who has two brothers: Victor, a politician and Marcelo, a party animal. At first Max believes that thieves just want to kidnap family members for ransom money but after many attempts it seems that the thieves are getting inside help.

I personally liked the story in Max Payne 3 although I felt that some characters could have used more development to make the plot twists more emotional. The main antagonist isn't seen much throughout the story and once the twist is revealed there could have been some flashback cut scenes to show how he did what he did. Also the main plot twist involving Max isn't explained very well which has created many threads online asking for clarity, but it makes sense if you understand it. The environments in the campaign are heavily detailed and vary from nightclubs, cemeteries, boats, Brazil’s favelas, offices and apartments. Max’s monologuing is less tongue-in-cheek and more depressingly serious this time round, which may be jarring for some fans. The first two Max Payne games start off with a personal tragedy with revenge as a motive, whereas Max Payne 3 has him wallowing in self pity and he stumbles into something that he doesn't understand until the end. It is good, but it is a less personal tale.

The gameplay of the campaign is true to the roots of the first two games in terms of difficulty. On normal mode the game offers a significant challenge as it only takes a couple of bullets to bring Max down making you weary of even single enemies. If you stay in cover enemies will flank you and spam grenades at you and most cover is destructible forcing you to move anyway. Max doesn't regenerate health and you have to find painkillers in specific areas to make it easier for yourself. Bullet time regenerates when enemies are firing at you and when you hit your targets so you can build up a large amount, but it won’t last long enough to make the game easy. Bullet time will end early if Max collides with something which can create some amusing physical comedy with Max bashing his head on a table or face planting into a wall.

There are certain points in the game when enemies are overwhelming in numbers and some cases checkpoints are far between. I also wonder why after a couple of deaths the game will give you additional painkillers to make it easier. It feels mildly patronising to me when they do this. The gameplay doesn’t change much throughout the 10-12 hour campaign apart from the changes in the weapons you use, which means the gameplay may wear out its welcome for some. Only the fear of death that can be delivered by a single guard keeps you on your toes and weary of your surroundings. The story has some good set pieces and I thought it was worth a playthough.

On top of a solid campaign are a Multiplayer mode, which I believe is underrated and my favourite multiplayer game of 2012. Multiplayer is somewhat similar to Call of Duty and some of the complaints I have with COD also apply to Max Payne 3. You can tell that the development team were inspired by COD as they implemented Last Stand when you are holding a painkiller during the campaign as well as multiplayer, where you can still shoot with a slither of health when you die and you get back up if you get the kill.

On top of this there is an account leveling system where you unlock guns, attachments for them, items and Bursts. Bursts are similar to kill streaks but you activate them using Adrenaline which you gain from not only kills but looting bodies. To loot a body you have to hold the “E” key when you are over their body and you gain some money to unlock weapons, items and bursts or you may get a painkiller or ammunition or adrenaline. However, this leaves you vulnerable so you need to make sure that no enemies are around.

Bursts introduce some interesting advantages such as confusing who is friend and foe. The Sneaky burst changes your team colour to the enemies so that they may think you are an ally allowing you to surprise them with a kill. Death comes very quickly and even if you remember their name it may cause you to hesitate for a second which will be too late. Paranoia turns all your enemies’ allies into the enemy colour and at higher levels turns off friendly fire potentially having the enemy kill themselves. There is also a burst called Hangover which makes your enemies respawn on death with low health and dizziness making them an easy target for a short duration.

The multiplayer modes that you can play are Gang Wars, Payne Killer, Death Match and Team Deathmatch. Gang Wars is a team based objectives game which gives you a random task or prevent the enemy from pulling off a task e.g. set a bomb and keep it armed for a duration; take over an area of turf; protect an individual or drop bags at supply points. These games are well balanced apart from preventing assassinations which is hard to do and usually the target is killed by the other team.

Payne Killer is a deathmatch mode where the first person to get a kill becomes Max and the second person to get a kill becomes Passos. Max and Passos cannot kill each other and they start with a full bar of adrenaline and two painkillers making them tough targets to bring down. The winner is the person with the most kills. It is a fun mode as you return to normal if you die so you try to hold on to your form for as long as you can.

The weight of your equipment affects how fast your health and stamina regenerates as well as how fast you can run. Although this is more important in Gang Wars where you need to quickly get to objectives, you can make yourself a harder target to hit when strafing with speed.

Your character has 1 head slot, 1 body slot and 3 item slots. You can have damage reducing helmets; a scary mask which increases reloading time for the enemy; a balaclava gives you extra adrenaline for kills from behind and a gorilla mask for extra adrenaline for melee kills. Your body slots have light, medium and heavy armour options but you can also wear camouflage to hide your name tag or wear a bomb suit to protect yourself from rpgs, grenades and other explosive weapons. The item slots have a wide variety of options such as booby trapping bodies when they are looted, reversing bullet time, healing from kills and giving yourself silent footsteps.

Multiplayer is like Call of Duty in terms of how quickly you end up fighting. Unlike Battlefield or Planetside 2 the maps aren’t big enough to use vehicles to travel through and you respawn straight into the action. Like Call of Duty you may be killed straight after spawning and the spawn points are limited so they can be memorised to a player’s advantage.

Having a leveling system in a competitive game is slightly unfair as new players will be using light armour compared to high level players who will have access to heavy body armour. Weapon balance also seems to be in favour of duel wielding pistols which most players seem to always use. Some people defend this by saying that dual pistols is a Max Payne staple and should be powerful, but they seem to be the best guns for close range as well as medium range making shotguns and SMGs feel inadequate. Snipers, Light Machine Guns and explosive weapons have their places as strong long range weapons though.

The game still has some bugs with rare occasions where you fall through the floor or get stuck in cover and although I have only experienced it once there are cheaters who can’t be killed, have infinite painkillers or can shoot through walls. There are also occurrences where you can disconnect from a game with sync problems.

Issues aside I think the multiplayer is done very well and the ability to use bullet time against your enemies is fun. Any enemy caught in your line of sight is slowed down which works to your disadvantage if an enemy is behind you. Watching each bullet move through the air in slow motion is a cool feature and you generally see players leaping over balconies to stylishly gun down their enemies. However kills and deaths come fast and if you don’t like Call of Duty then this isn't likely to bowl you over.

A game that provides both a solid Campaign and Multiplayer experience is easy for me to recommend. There are still bugs within Multiplayer but as recent DLC has been released, hopefully they will support and patch them in the future, but the bugs don’t occur often enough to be a game breaker. Well done to Rockstar for creating a game worthy of the Max Payne name.
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Sat 26/01/13 at 12:12:
Regular
Posts: 261
It has been over a decade since the first Max Payne was released. The game stood out from other shooting games by being the second video game to use bullet time, the first being Requiem: Avenging Angel. The story was told in comic book strips rather than typical cut scenes. During game play you hear Max’s inner monologue which usually comes in the form of metaphors but also helps you understand his motives. Max Payne 2 continued with this tradition but with improved graphics so that Max no longer looked constipated.

Max Payne 3 has kept faithful to the series for the most part, but the game no longer uses comic book strips to tell the story. Instead the game’s cut scenes are all made using in-game footage and also whichever weapon you last equipped is shown during cut scenes which are pretty clever. However, cut scenes in Max Payne 3 are fairly large and unfortunately unskippable which is a problem if you wish to obtain collectibles throughout story mode. In the story you can find “clues” which will explain the story in more detail and you can collect parts of Golden Guns which, when all parts of a gun is found, can hold additional ammo and can be used in multiplayer. The cut scenes are unskippable because they serve as the game’s loading screens, which is a good idea on your first playthrough but it doesn't encourage multiple playthroughs. Although it didn't bother me, the game uses blur effects within the cut scenes which some may find annoying.

The story starts off with Max retired from the NYPD drinking and taking painkillers in his apartment. His self abuse stems from the loss of his wife and daughter nine years ago and he still tries and fails to move on. While drinking in a bar a man called Raul Passos, who remembers him from when they trained in the police academy, offers Max a job in South America as a private security guard. Max is initially reluctant, but after a confrontation in the bar he ends up shooting the son of a powerful mob boss making the job offer a good opportunity to flee. He ends up working for a wealthy family known as the Broncos’. The wealthiest member is Rodrigo Bronco who works in real estate who has two brothers: Victor, a politician and Marcelo, a party animal. At first Max believes that thieves just want to kidnap family members for ransom money but after many attempts it seems that the thieves are getting inside help.

I personally liked the story in Max Payne 3 although I felt that some characters could have used more development to make the plot twists more emotional. The main antagonist isn't seen much throughout the story and once the twist is revealed there could have been some flashback cut scenes to show how he did what he did. Also the main plot twist involving Max isn't explained very well which has created many threads online asking for clarity, but it makes sense if you understand it. The environments in the campaign are heavily detailed and vary from nightclubs, cemeteries, boats, Brazil’s favelas, offices and apartments. Max’s monologuing is less tongue-in-cheek and more depressingly serious this time round, which may be jarring for some fans. The first two Max Payne games start off with a personal tragedy with revenge as a motive, whereas Max Payne 3 has him wallowing in self pity and he stumbles into something that he doesn't understand until the end. It is good, but it is a less personal tale.

The gameplay of the campaign is true to the roots of the first two games in terms of difficulty. On normal mode the game offers a significant challenge as it only takes a couple of bullets to bring Max down making you weary of even single enemies. If you stay in cover enemies will flank you and spam grenades at you and most cover is destructible forcing you to move anyway. Max doesn't regenerate health and you have to find painkillers in specific areas to make it easier for yourself. Bullet time regenerates when enemies are firing at you and when you hit your targets so you can build up a large amount, but it won’t last long enough to make the game easy. Bullet time will end early if Max collides with something which can create some amusing physical comedy with Max bashing his head on a table or face planting into a wall.

There are certain points in the game when enemies are overwhelming in numbers and some cases checkpoints are far between. I also wonder why after a couple of deaths the game will give you additional painkillers to make it easier. It feels mildly patronising to me when they do this. The gameplay doesn’t change much throughout the 10-12 hour campaign apart from the changes in the weapons you use, which means the gameplay may wear out its welcome for some. Only the fear of death that can be delivered by a single guard keeps you on your toes and weary of your surroundings. The story has some good set pieces and I thought it was worth a playthough.

On top of a solid campaign are a Multiplayer mode, which I believe is underrated and my favourite multiplayer game of 2012. Multiplayer is somewhat similar to Call of Duty and some of the complaints I have with COD also apply to Max Payne 3. You can tell that the development team were inspired by COD as they implemented Last Stand when you are holding a painkiller during the campaign as well as multiplayer, where you can still shoot with a slither of health when you die and you get back up if you get the kill.

On top of this there is an account leveling system where you unlock guns, attachments for them, items and Bursts. Bursts are similar to kill streaks but you activate them using Adrenaline which you gain from not only kills but looting bodies. To loot a body you have to hold the “E” key when you are over their body and you gain some money to unlock weapons, items and bursts or you may get a painkiller or ammunition or adrenaline. However, this leaves you vulnerable so you need to make sure that no enemies are around.

Bursts introduce some interesting advantages such as confusing who is friend and foe. The Sneaky burst changes your team colour to the enemies so that they may think you are an ally allowing you to surprise them with a kill. Death comes very quickly and even if you remember their name it may cause you to hesitate for a second which will be too late. Paranoia turns all your enemies’ allies into the enemy colour and at higher levels turns off friendly fire potentially having the enemy kill themselves. There is also a burst called Hangover which makes your enemies respawn on death with low health and dizziness making them an easy target for a short duration.

The multiplayer modes that you can play are Gang Wars, Payne Killer, Death Match and Team Deathmatch. Gang Wars is a team based objectives game which gives you a random task or prevent the enemy from pulling off a task e.g. set a bomb and keep it armed for a duration; take over an area of turf; protect an individual or drop bags at supply points. These games are well balanced apart from preventing assassinations which is hard to do and usually the target is killed by the other team.

Payne Killer is a deathmatch mode where the first person to get a kill becomes Max and the second person to get a kill becomes Passos. Max and Passos cannot kill each other and they start with a full bar of adrenaline and two painkillers making them tough targets to bring down. The winner is the person with the most kills. It is a fun mode as you return to normal if you die so you try to hold on to your form for as long as you can.

The weight of your equipment affects how fast your health and stamina regenerates as well as how fast you can run. Although this is more important in Gang Wars where you need to quickly get to objectives, you can make yourself a harder target to hit when strafing with speed.

Your character has 1 head slot, 1 body slot and 3 item slots. You can have damage reducing helmets; a scary mask which increases reloading time for the enemy; a balaclava gives you extra adrenaline for kills from behind and a gorilla mask for extra adrenaline for melee kills. Your body slots have light, medium and heavy armour options but you can also wear camouflage to hide your name tag or wear a bomb suit to protect yourself from rpgs, grenades and other explosive weapons. The item slots have a wide variety of options such as booby trapping bodies when they are looted, reversing bullet time, healing from kills and giving yourself silent footsteps.

Multiplayer is like Call of Duty in terms of how quickly you end up fighting. Unlike Battlefield or Planetside 2 the maps aren’t big enough to use vehicles to travel through and you respawn straight into the action. Like Call of Duty you may be killed straight after spawning and the spawn points are limited so they can be memorised to a player’s advantage.

Having a leveling system in a competitive game is slightly unfair as new players will be using light armour compared to high level players who will have access to heavy body armour. Weapon balance also seems to be in favour of duel wielding pistols which most players seem to always use. Some people defend this by saying that dual pistols is a Max Payne staple and should be powerful, but they seem to be the best guns for close range as well as medium range making shotguns and SMGs feel inadequate. Snipers, Light Machine Guns and explosive weapons have their places as strong long range weapons though.

The game still has some bugs with rare occasions where you fall through the floor or get stuck in cover and although I have only experienced it once there are cheaters who can’t be killed, have infinite painkillers or can shoot through walls. There are also occurrences where you can disconnect from a game with sync problems.

Issues aside I think the multiplayer is done very well and the ability to use bullet time against your enemies is fun. Any enemy caught in your line of sight is slowed down which works to your disadvantage if an enemy is behind you. Watching each bullet move through the air in slow motion is a cool feature and you generally see players leaping over balconies to stylishly gun down their enemies. However kills and deaths come fast and if you don’t like Call of Duty then this isn't likely to bowl you over.

A game that provides both a solid Campaign and Multiplayer experience is easy for me to recommend. There are still bugs within Multiplayer but as recent DLC has been released, hopefully they will support and patch them in the future, but the bugs don’t occur often enough to be a game breaker. Well done to Rockstar for creating a game worthy of the Max Payne name.

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