Top critical review
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on 24 October 2012
`Max Payne' is a franchise that is been in slumberland for some time. Back in the day it helped to develop and refine the slo-mo game mechanic that is prevalent in hundreds of games today. Originals cannot always remain relevant and perhaps this is why Rockstar decided to mothball the franchise until 2012, but in a world of bleakly realistic movies, is it not time for another game about the cynical cop with the leather coat and permanent sneer?
`Max Payne 3' is a mash up of what is new and what is old about the franchise. The game mechanic that made the series so popular in the first place remains intact and has been developed upon. Max is not one for cover and if you jump out at the enemy, time slows so that you can despatch your foe with pinpoint accuracy. The graphically quality and seamless integration of this slo-mo is far better than in the PS2 days and Rockstar have rightly structured the game around this mechanic. Although not as fresh as it used to be, gun time is still the most pleasurable aspect of the game.
The differences in `Max Payne 3' than in previous iterations come in terms of story and tone. Gone are the panels that made the game feel like an adult comic book and instead you get a bleak modern feel; part found footage, part `Children of God'. Max is as drunk as ever and prone to talking to himself, but the story is far more in-depth this time and the levels far more diverse and interesting.
Despite diversity in terms of level location, `Max Payne' still feels overlong in places, with the game mechanics remaining the same throughout. In the end it was the storyline that kept me playing till the end, because I was bored of the gameplay. Ceaseless jumping and shooting may have cut it in 2004, but a modern gamer needs a little more diversity to their game and `Max Payne' does not provide this. There is the added distraction of an online versus mode, but the main event is graphically and narratively compelling, but overlong and increasingly samey.