Late To The Game: Max Payne 3 Xbox 360 Edition Review

Bullet-time in all it’s glory

Title cover of Max Payne 3.

You’re pulled into a conspiracy that you have to find the truth like an investigative journalist.  Except you have a gun instead of a pen.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written a “Late to the Game” review. I got caught up on my part-time jobs and taking classes on coursera.org. (I highly recommend signing up since it’s free and you can learn at your own pace).

I decided to play Max Payne 3 because I had played the original two and loved them both.

You play as an older Max, nine years after the second game. Still haunted by the past, Max is slowly drinking away his pain when he’s recruited to Brazil as a bodyguard.

What should be a safe retirement gig ends up turning into one bloody stay as you fight your way through numerous gangs and conspiracies.

The storyline in Max Payne 3 is alright, despite the muddled plotline and twists. The main mission revolves around saving the lives of the Branco family, which then turns into a conspiracy of harvesting organs and family betrayal.

It’s a tried a tried and true formula. However, it becomes more confusing as there’s no concrete answer for why Victor created a harvesting organs industry.

However, the third-person action shooter game is the driving point of the game. Gameplay in Max Payne 3 is quite smooth with minimal issues.

The most notable change is the defensive posture of the game. Reflecting an older Max who’s not as nimble as he once was, enemies will constantly attempt to flank you. This adds a great challenge as you try to maneuver around an area while you’re outgunned.

That’s when you hit bullet-time. You go into slow-mo that gives Max the advantage by slowing down your enemies while Max speeds up. It’s as good as ever and easy to use.

When there’s only one bad guy left, you get a slow-mo kill shot to see where the bullets hit. A cool feature that I wished had a 360 view, as sometimes the angles of the final moments are hindered by the angle of the viewing or the environment.

What I don’t like in the gameplay though is the bullet-dodge, specifically when you jump from cover. The time it takes you when you hit the ground to get up takes too long and exposes you to enemy fire. But they, if you’re going to die at least you look cool doing it.

Graphics in Max Payne 3 are beautiful. You see vibrant and seedy Sao Paulo area. With every grunt and cynical line from Max you see the toll it takes on him. With every explosion you seek new destruction to answer the question.

Sound wise this is crisp with the dialogue, blaring music, and bullets that rip your enemies apart.

Finally I didn’t test out multiplayer, with little testing of the time trials that much. The latter was a bit fun as you try to keep the clock ticking in missions by killing more bad guys.

I know I should play online, but I’m waiting for a holiday deal on a Xbox One with a full year subscription (crossing my fingers). (Read my Mass Effect 3 review for why I’ve not renewed my Gold Membership).

But with a story mode this great you’re sure to replay for better scores.

As the final chapter to an amazing trilogy, Max Payne 3  is a great ending.

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