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Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great return of a gaming legend., 28 May 2012
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This game is a wonderfully refreshing change from the first person shooters that have dominated the market for so long. Yet again Rockstar have produced a winner that uses a gripping narative and smooth action to deliver a gaming experience that is well worth the money.

For those who are familiar with the genre, Max is a manically depressed alcoholic now ex-cop who struggles with his inner demons with the aid of various narcotics in order to forget the past. Essentially, he's no all american hero, which gives a nice change to the cliche super cop out to save the world. Max's story is told through lengthy cut scene's that are superbly directed and contain voice acting that goes above and beyond where a video game is concerned. The scene's are designed as if from a cctv camera, with the occasional fuzz screen built in. This gives an interesting perspective, as if it's being told from the blurred memories of an alcoholic. It could be said that these cut scenes are a tad over indulgent and a way of padding out the campaign as most of them can't be skipped due to the fact that they disguise the loading screens. However, it's a small price to pay when they're so intuiging to watch and allow for you to be fully emerced in the story.

The presentation is superb, but as with special effects in film, good graphics are the status quo in this day and age. Never the less, Rockstar delivers them well with some brilliant environment designs ranging from classy night clubs to grotty slums. The environments all have a destructible edge to them, so as the bullets fly glass shatters and concrete crumbles all around you. What's probably the most impressive is the detail where gore is concerned. Each bullet makes it's own unique cavity in a victims body. An enemy will then react differently depending on where they are shot. This all hits a climax when you kill the last enemy in a group and an automatic slow motion kill camera starts up which shows up close the damage that you're doing and boy is it nasty.
The occasional bug does occur but when the machine is being pushed to it's limits it can't be helped. Unfortunately a small glitch is made all the more obvious by the immaculate surroundings. So the occasional blurred surface or cut scene bug stands out all the more, though these never really impact significantly on gameplay.

Finally, the gameplay is magnificent. Anyone who has played other Rockstar productions, GTA4, Red Dead Redemption etc will be familiar with the third person shooting style. What makes this experience unique is Max's ability to go into "bullet time", where everything goes into a matrix style slow motion. This naturally gives Max somewhat of an unrealistic advantage over the magnitude of enemies pressing down on him but who cares. This signture of Max gives the game an awsomely cinematic feel. Once the controls have been mastered it's possible to move fluidly from cover to cover, outmanouvering your enemies taking very little damage while dealing out one hell of a lot of pain to them. A significant improvement over the last games is the way that Max now handles far more realistically. Dive into a wall and funnily enough you're stopped in your tracks and fall to the floor with a grunt. It's all very smooth and despite the advantage held with bullet time, enemies are smart and provide an excellent challenge, espescially on the harder difficulty settings, as they will attempt to make flanks and cover each other as well as being a pig to kill when wearing body armour.
The odd flaw can be encountered for example when Max goes into a last stand mode and is at a strange angle so can't kill anyone which then leads to your death. In addition, the aim assist is a bit strange at times so using the free aim mode is recomended for more fluidity and to add an extra dimension the the challenging play.

So overall a very cleverly crafted and well presented game. Probably a game that sells more for the campain than the mulitplayer, as the online experience is certainly fun but honestly is never going to compete with the big names in online gaming. Never the less, this is yet another superb production from Rockstar that provides an enthralling storyline and addictive gameplay that ensures excellent value for money.
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