Anthony "Tony" Magestro--or known on the field of battle as Metzge--is an avid writer, gamer, and entrepreneur. When he's not writing, gaming, or entrepreneuring, he enjoys cooking, trippy movies, and trying to be awesome to varying degrees of success. Feel free to check out his LinkedIn page, especially if you need freelance help with content writing or digital marketing. Or just like to network, that's fine too.
“Your past is like pieces of a broken mirror. You try to pick them up, but you only end up cutting yourself.” Such is the life of Max Payne, former poster boy for the NYPD and vengeful vigilante cop that took down an army of drug addicts, mercenaries, and mobsters with nothing but painkillers and hot lead. If there’s one thing the Max Payne series is known for, it’s the protagonist’s string of bad luck and after years of this crap, Max is beginning to show his age. Though his hair might be showing bits of gray, the new locale of Brazil is anything but. Some fans might be displeased with the departure from the standard crime noir-esque storytelling in Max Payne 3, but the vivid colors and interpretation of the latest installment of the series along with Max’s absolution is refreshing and expertly executed—though not nearly as painful as a 9mm to the side of the head.
As avid fans of the series can expect, Max Payne 3 has a great story narrated by legendary voice actor James McCaffrey. The first thing you might notice is Rockstar’s interesting switch to a graphic novel format with actual cinematics, rather than narration through the use of a comic book like the two earlier games. This might be to showcase the amazing graphics this game has and rightly so. Max Payne 3 is a whopping 27GB, almost eight times larger than the first two games combined. Though shiny graphics aren’t necessarily appeasing to some of the “hardened” Max Payne fans.
I’ve heard people gripe that there’s not any drug-induced dream sequences or that the game is too colorful but I think the splash of Brazilian flare does the setting good, especially when compared to Max’s trips down memory lane back stateside before he got his gig and a bodyguard for some local Sao Paulo celebrities. Just because the game has a wider color palette, doesn’t mean it’s not just as gritty—if not more so—than games past.
You can feel every bullet impact and the combat is extremely organic: exit wounds, kicking someone in the crotch and executing them point blank with an EBR; it all captures the essence of Max Payne in his brutal signature way of dealing with his “problems” very well.
Bullet Time has also been tweaked and refined, making the game surprisingly more realistic, slowing down time just enough to make it seem like focused shots rather than a supernatural ability to stop reality. As far as mechanics go, the developers have added clues and golden gun parts to help provide extra context to missions as well as replayability for OCD players like myself who have to unlock every single thing imaginable.
I have virtually no gripes with the game itself, however despite the change of pace and color scheme I mentioned earlier, other players—especially casual ones new to the series—might find the game unforgivingly difficult. Because the Max payne series doesn’t like Max to be too overpowered, certain situations are rather difficult, what with a bunch of armed thugs with body armor and you’ve found yourself cowering behind a counter with a few bullets left and a pocket full of dreams.
This might frustrate players who are used to instant gratification, being bulletproof lone wolves who need only to sit until their wounds are magically healed. But Max Payne teaches us a valuable lesson: when shit gets tough, turn to a bottle of painkillers (seriously, don’t, I mean Max is even trying to quit in this one, but you get what I mean).
Max Payne 3 is by far one of my favorite games and a great end to the trilogy. I can’t imagine how anyone would pick up after the ending to this one, but at least throw James McCaffrey some more roles.