I don’t care about Max Payne. Let me back up; before this third installation, I didn’t care about Max Payne. Now, having just spent 12 hours firing 21 thousand bullets into over 2100 of New Jersey & Sao Paulo’s worst all I can say is that I can’t wait to do it again.
While not as open & sprawling as Grant Theft Auto IV or Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar turns out just as compelling a story with Max. There is definitely portions they could have trimmed towards the end, but Rockstar is generally criticized for the third acts of their franchise series losing the narrative thread a bit. Honestly, that might just be the only complaint I have about the game. Visually? Stunning. Musically? Buying (that’s right, with money) the soundtrack. Story? Gripping. I was invested in Max’s spiral towards destruction & eventual redemption from the opening minutes, which you have to give Rockstar credit for. Enabling someone new to an entire mythology to pick up the third part of a trilogy and becoming immediately invested in the characters is no small feat.
The biggest surprise, however, was the multiplayer. I never been a fan of any of Rockstar’s previous multiplayer efforts in either GTA IV or RDR. They were just too sprawling, the game modes too difficult to figure out, the ability for a new player to pick up and play almost nonexistent. Additionally, I’ve just never cared for third person multiplayer; even Uncharted’s couldn’t hold my interest for more than a few casual games. The multiplayer in Max Payne 3 is so good that I can barely stand not playing it now. “So what’s the big difference?” you’re (not) saying to yourself. Brass tacks? Simply, it’s fun and cool. Somehow, and I can’t put my finger on it, Rockstar has been able to freshen up what has become an increasingly stale bolt-on feature to games while making it arguable a better time than the single player campaign.
If you’re not playing this game, shame on you. Go get it. I’m a member of the Polygon crew; request an invite and join up! Or just add me on the PSN; screen name is Savage6000.