Max Payne, the quintessential self-loathing anti-hero is back and more badass than ever. As Max Payne 3 begins you see Max standing over a bleeding man aiming a rather large gun at some poor shmuck’s head. Cut to a decadent party in Brazil, where our plucky hero still has a full head of hair and has no idea why he is at this shindig when he doesn’t even speak their language.
Not to worry soon plenty of armed thugs burst in and give you plenty to shoot at. The third installment, and the first to grace next generation consoles marks a departure from the previous two which followed a film-noir style and were set exclusively in snowy New Jersey.
The gun-play elements, while very similar to the previous games have been given a good polish, including the use of duel-wielding which allows you to use any two, one handed weapons in concert, which makes for a great deal of variety in gameplay.
Plenty of elements have been retained including the trademarked bullet-time and bullet dodge abilities. These allow you to get the drop on the hordes of enemies and their many, many guns. One of the new elements to be introduced is the last stand ability, allowing Max to survive a potentially fatal gunshot wound if he can shoot and kill the attacker in time.
The Max Payne series has always been marked as incredibly cinematic, and ultra-violent, with lots of vice, conspiracy and murder thrown into the batch, this one is no different, in fact it takes it up a notch. This is the first Max Payne to include the now almost obligatory online multiplayer. Not to say this is not a welcome addition as it gives the game longer playability even if it is a somewhat by-the-numbers class based affair.
Max Payne 3 is an entertaining, stylish, and brutal 3rd person shooter that packs plenty of punch in its gameplay and plot. It is well worth your time assuming you can handle Max’s incredibly damaged personality.