Review: Max Payne 3 (PC)

Posted: September 23, 2013 in Games
Tags: , , , ,

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My Max Payne experience, summarised in three words: Yawn. Yay! Grrr.

Max Payne may be Rockstar’s other franchise, but there’s no doubt that they’ve lavished their not-inconsiderable resources on this title. It’s a fabulous game, dripping with big-budget sensibilities and superbly crafted action sequences. Max is the same guy we’ve known for a while – a washed up ex-cop with a predilection for self-pity and one-liners – but he’s still got the moves. The action is cinematic, balletic and brutal. As a pure action shooter, Max Payne 3 ranks among the very best.

And yet… it’s all so achingly familiar. The opening levels impress with their lavish production values, but they’re essentially the same Max that we’ve played at least twice before. Yawn. However, roughly a third of the way through, the story picks up and the environments become more lavish. Rockstar also use this moment to introduce their trump card: the first of many incredible set-pieces. Yay! Then the shooty excellence continues unabated all the way to the conclusion, when the increasing intensity and checkpoint saves conspire to create some truly frustrating end-of-game moments. Grrr.

Thankfully, the Yay! gets the casting vote. Despite the lingering feeling of deja-vu, it’s one hell of a ride. Don’t miss it. 4/5

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