May Payne, a former New York police officer with a tragic and painful past, has landed a job as a washed out private security contractor in Brazil. Max provides protection to rich Brazilians, corporate executives and their families. Whether he’s any good at it, we’ll soon find out. The plot is generally painful, tragic and bloody. The variety of bad guys with a death wish is quite staggering: crooked Brazilian cops, crooked Brazilian politicians, crooked Brazilian paramilitary, Brazilian thugs, sadistic Brazilian dealers and so on… That was even before the Petrobras carwash scheme was made public! No wonder Max is on constant painkillers! Maybe Max should consider changing his name to something a bit more light-hearted… Max Smile?
Playability: Jump and shoot
Or walk and shoot, run and shoot, fly and shoot, swim and shoot… how about talk and shoot? Max Payne 3 makes shooting things easy. Take cover (or not), aim (or not), zoom in (or not) and click to shoot. You’ll eventually hit something. The game mechanics are a breeze to master and could be described as a comprehensive shooter assist system. Taking cover, auto aim, bullet time, dodge, last stand (your hero is technically dead, but his very last bullet hits the bad guy so you still win!) make this modern day action shooter a user friendly experience for even old video gamers.
Annoyance: Blood splattering your screen
The tale of Max Payne 3 is closer to a numbing body count than it is a personal odyssey. There’s not really much to do in the game aside from shooting. Even in his memories, Max is still shooting away at old ghosts. And if Max is not shooting, then he’s drinking! True, the bad guy is a really bad person, and his eventual comeuppance is a relief (no more blood yay!). Since the cut scenes between blood baths are comparatively short, the whole campaign feels like a pile up of dead bad guys (and a few good guys too) with the pretense of a background script.
Beauty: Too many favelas, not enough beaches
Too much darkness, not enough sunshine. Although the acting is good, it is unsurprisingly somber. São Paolo is more than just shoot outs, gang warfare, and police raids, far more. Not enough samba! Colega, no need to travel all the way to Brazil, if you’re not going to enjoy samba and a bit of cachaça. What happened to the Gilberto Gil or Seu Jorge soundtrack? Local football matches anybody? Next time, maybe Max ought to stay in Jersey? By the way, Max is not exactly pretty to look at and the ladies are definitely not Brazilian supermodels.
The Old Video Gamer’s Prattle: Numbing body count 7/10
Max Payne takes himself and his game a little too seriously. Where’s the fun Max? What’s the point? Max Payne 3 is professional and polished but ultimately a performance without enough exotic flair. It is a shame that such a promising locale as São Paolo doesn’t quite bloom in the game.