Max Payne 3 Review

Mike Kayatta

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Max Payne 3 Review

Drunken time manipulation has never been so fun.

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The_Darkness

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Video seems to be acting up. It is loading, it's just taking forever about it.

On topic: Huh. Sounds fun. I might try it out sometime this summer. And heck - any excuse to combine popcorn and video games is a good excuse, right?
 

hooksashands

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This game wasn't perfect, but it was nearly everything it could be in regards to a long John Woo daydream.

The only problem I had was the pointless movie reel scratches that kept blinking and stuttering around the screen. Shit was annoying.

I would gripe about the loss of the graphic novel strips too, but I'll let other posters do it for me since I know it's gonna come up eventually.
 

mad825

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I like how there's little mention in regards to the plot and more into the game mechanics and graphics.

Is this a Max payne story or cliché 101 copy and paste?

Also, realism in Max payne? The dream/drug sequences were trippy and in most cases broke the 4th wall.
 

Mike Kayatta

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I was less bothered by the trippy cut scene camera than I was by the fact that Max never seems to eat a dam thing while he's in them. Yes I know popping pills to regain health is a signature of the franchise, but let him have a burger once in a while.
 

Mike Kayatta

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mad825 said:
I like how there's little mention in regards to the plot and more into the game mechanics and graphics.

Is this a Max payne story or cliché 101 copy and paste?

Also, realism in Max payne? The dream/drug sequences were trippy and in most cases broke the 4th wall.
The story is pretty simple. That's not to say it's bad, just that there isn't enough there to talk about any of it without inadvertently spoiling something that's best left for your own experience. As far as it being "a Max Payne story," I'd say it's fairly different then the others. Rockstar's whole idea was to start "a new chapter in Max's life," and I'd say that, for better or worse, they have.
 

Bloodstain

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It is good to see it wasn't the failure that many predicted it would be. I will definitely try it out, I loved the first games.

Although I do very much miss the...

hooksashands said:
I would gripe about the loss of the graphic novel strips too, but I'll let other posters do it for me since I know it's gonna come up eventually.
...damn it.
 

Weaver

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Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.
 

Casual Shinji

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AC10 said:
Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.
And you know the best thing about them? YOU CAN'T SKIP THEM!!! The game loads at a snail's pace, and by the time you can finally skip the cutscene it would've only lasted a few more seconds anyway.

This game is just badly made, it's an absolute mess. I've heard one reviewer say it's basically GTA with Bullet Time, and that's about right, including the bad controls and bad cover mechanics.

Rockstar should be ashamed of themselves for putting something this broken on the market.
 

Weaver

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Casual Shinji said:
AC10 said:
Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.
And you know the best thing about them? YOU CAN'T SKIP THEM!!! The game loads at a snail's pace, and by the time you can finally skip the cutscene it would've only lasted a few more seconds anyway.

This game is just badly made, it's an absolute mess. I've heard one reviewer say it's basically GTA with Bullet Time, and that's about right, including the bad controls and bad cover mechanics.

Rockstar should be ashamed of themselves for putting something this broken on the market.
You know, i was kind of worried about this myself. IMO Rockstar has never really nailed the shooting mechanics in any game they've made, so I was incredibly wary of MP3. Thanks for confirming my fears! I'll probably stay well clear of this one.
 

The Lugz

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Mike Kayatta said:
Drunken time manipulation
you know this game's awesome when it comes with a line like that
seriously, say it one more time.. for luck :)

AC10 said:
Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.
the weird cut-scenes bother me a little too, it just seems over the top but i suppose they wanted to hammer home it was an effect not a bug
and i cant even imagine how it would look in stereo gaming

ill still pick it up though, ive been in need of a good shooter for a while
ive been on a fantasy trip recently
 

Dominic Burchnall

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Mike Kayatta said:
mad825 said:
I like how there's little mention in regards to the plot and more into the game mechanics and graphics.

Is this a Max payne story or cliché 101 copy and paste?

Also, realism in Max payne? The dream/drug sequences were trippy and in most cases broke the 4th wall.
The story is pretty simple. That's not to say it's bad, just that there isn't enough there to talk about any of it without inadvertently spoiling something that's best left for your own experience. As far as it being "a Max Payne story," I'd say it's fairly different then the others. Rockstar's whole idea was to start "a new chapter in Max's life," and I'd say that, for better or worse, they have.
Although one thing that can be said without spoiling two much is the way the story humanises the people that you spend your whole time plugging bullets at, rather than just making everyone mindless foot soldiers for you to plough your way through, and two of the main villains in particular. By the end of their inclusion in the story, you actually feel some emotions that you rarely feel for antagonists; pity, and respect. There's not many games I know will do that.

Also, while I realise I might well be in the minority here, I actually liked the warped camera views, 24 style transitions, and keyword highlights. The trick to it is to look to an area that won't give you a headache, and that's usually where the developers have put something important to the story.
 

tjoris9

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Mike Kayatta said:
Rockstar's whole idea was to start "a new chapter in Max's life," and I'd say that, for better or worse, they have.
Spoiler for Max Payne 2:

The way the second game ends it wouldn't really have made much sense if he kept dwelling on his family's deaths. It just would have made it obvious that the original writers weren't involved.

End spoiler.

AC10 said:
Casual Shinji said:
AC10 said:
Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.
And you know the best thing about them? YOU CAN'T SKIP THEM!!! The game loads at a snail's pace, and by the time you can finally skip the cutscene it would've only lasted a few more seconds anyway.

This game is just badly made, it's an absolute mess. I've heard one reviewer say it's basically GTA with Bullet Time, and that's about right, including the bad controls and bad cover mechanics.

Rockstar should be ashamed of themselves for putting something this broken on the market.
You know, i was kind of worried about this myself. IMO Rockstar has never really nailed the shooting mechanics in any game they've made, so I was incredibly wary of MP3. Thanks for confirming my fears! I'll probably stay well clear of this one.
It seemed to me like it played about as well as the average shooter. It's not as easy to aim perhaps as some of the other FPS/TPS's out there, but still not Cain & Lynch or Operation Racoon City bad. I'm not partial to the visual style of the cutscenes myself, and making them unskippable to hide loading screens makes Score attack and New York Minute a chore. I'd still say it's worth at least a rental, even if you're not a fan of the series.
 

AgentCooper

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I think the shooting sections are really spot on and I enjoyed the challenge. I didn't mind how the cut scenes were presented and I liked the the style better in this game then in Max Payne 2.
I will say it did have some pacing issues in a few chapters but really those just nit picks.



I'm currently in the last third of the game and plan on trying out the multi player soon.
 

Mike Kayatta

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Aug 2, 2011
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this game is a lot fun but I noticed a lot graphical pop ins during cut scenes. This game plays a lot like RDR which is a good thing and a bad thing. This game is hard and you'll always on the look out for extra ammo and pills.

The cut scene effect is okay but I think they overdid it. The storyline line is nothing special same with the other 2 max payne games.

Online plays like a mix of RDR and GTAIV(which is good and bad)
 

Metalrocks

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the cut scene part do look annoying in a way. still have to wait to the 2nd of june for the pc version. :(
i do miss the comic cut scenes, they have made the previous games a bit special as well but at least the game play is still fun and thats the main thing. im pretty sure i will miss some other things from the previous games but as long it does feel im playing MP, i think i can accept it.
still few weeks for me to go before i can buy it.
 

Nantucket_v1legacy

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I was actually quite disappointed in the game.
Sometimes his internal monologues were hilarious because they just reminded me of something a 14 year old kid would say when they discover the 'emo' fashion. Very pretentious.

The transitions were nauseating and I missed the graphic novel feel.

The action was a blast though.
 

maninahat

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Nantucket said:
I was actually quite disappointed in the game.
Sometimes his internal monologues were hilarious because they just reminded me of something a 14 year old kid would say when they discover the 'emo' fashion. Very pretentious.
Ha ha, have you played the previous games? You get such gems as:
"The sun went down with practiced bravado. Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding."

What does that even mean?

Does Max Payne 3 have less of the hammy, hardboiled metaphors? Or are they back with a vengeance? It always came across as amateurish - that people felt "well its a neo-noir story, it must have the endless monologuing!" No it doesn't. This isn't a book, and in a visual medium, visuals should tell the story. I don't need Deckard explaining everything to me in Blade Runner, whatever the producers might have thought.
 

Casual Shinji

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AC10 said:
Casual Shinji said:
AC10 said:
Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.
And you know the best thing about them? YOU CAN'T SKIP THEM!!! The game loads at a snail's pace, and by the time you can finally skip the cutscene it would've only lasted a few more seconds anyway.

This game is just badly made, it's an absolute mess. I've heard one reviewer say it's basically GTA with Bullet Time, and that's about right, including the bad controls and bad cover mechanics.

Rockstar should be ashamed of themselves for putting something this broken on the market.
You know, i was kind of worried about this myself. IMO Rockstar has never really nailed the shooting mechanics in any game they've made, so I was incredibly wary of MP3. Thanks for confirming my fears! I'll probably stay well clear of this one.
The shoot-outs can actually be a real blast once the game finally gives you the reigns, it's just that everything else is extremely mediocre and annoying.
maninahat said:
Nantucket said:
I was actually quite disappointed in the game.
Sometimes his internal monologues were hilarious because they just reminded me of something a 14 year old kid would say when they discover the 'emo' fashion. Very pretentious.
Ha ha, have you played the previous games? You get such gems as:
"The sun went down with practiced bravado. Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding."

What does that even mean?
This is actually fun sounding dialoge in that over the top Sin City sort of way. Max Payne 3 on the other hand is, as Nantucket mentioned, just whiny and bitchy. You could have a drinking game everytime Max says something about shallow rich people. You'd think that with age Max would gain an old man's mentality, but it seems all the booze and painkillers regressed his mind to that of a know-it-all teenager.
 

teh_gunslinger

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Mike Kayatta said:
Max Payne 3 Review

Drunken time manipulation has never been so fun.

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You wrote: "Max Payne 3 finds Max where one usually finds Max: eyes down at the floor of a bar with a drink in his hand and ten more in his stomach."

The player has never found Max Payne like that. The only bars he was in in the first 2 games got shot up and he didn't have a drink first.

CAPTCHA: that hurts.

How fitting. This damn game hurts.
 

Frybird

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I miss Sam Lake's writing.

It's not genius, and half of the time quite awful, but as it turns out, it was what Max Payne makes Max Payne.
The Nordic Mythology References, the self-awareness, the corny metaphors and overall the feeling that the story constantly is on the edge between goofy parody and compelling heavy handed drama. It was pastice, sort of what Tarantino does in most of his movies, imitating styles to thier extreme and embracing all the tropes and cliches to make a working story out of it.
Well rounded presentation aside, Max Payne 3 comes off as an average, predictable action thriller. In terms of storys in games, it may still be above many others, but it still comes off as a disappointment.

Two Chapters in, i sadly have to agree with Nantucket and Shinji.
In an obvious effort to make Max's monologues less weird and (endearingly) bad, it instead becomes drenched in constant, sometimes uncalled for bitterness and cynicism that makes Max sound like a whiny douche, and overall the story loses it's certain charm.
Oh, and it doesn't help that most of the supporting characters seem rather to belong in a GTA Game (i was surprised how much you see a distinct Houser writing style) than in Max Paynes.

But well, the shooting is fun and well made, so it's hardly a complete failure.
 

Nantucket_v1legacy

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maninahat said:
Nantucket said:
I was actually quite disappointed in the game.
Sometimes his internal monologues were hilarious because they just reminded me of something a 14 year old kid would say when they discover the 'emo' fashion. Very pretentious.
Ha ha, have you played the previous games? You get such gems as:
"The sun went down with practiced bravado. Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding."

What does that even mean?

Does Max Payne 3 have less of the hammy, hardboiled metaphors? Or are they back with a vengeance? It always came across as amateurish - that people felt "well its a neo-noir story, it must have the endless monologuing!" No it doesn't. This isn't a book, and in a visual medium, visuals should tell the story. I don't need Deckard explaining everything to me in Blade Runner, whatever the producers might have thought.
I have played the previous games but it has been years since I have.
Max Payne 3 is full of hammy metaphors. There is a scene where he's just in his apartment spouting them nonsensically. I understand why he is brooding and depressed but knock off the poetics for just five minutes.
 

saintchristopher

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Aug 14, 2009
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frankly if I hadn't enjoyed the script so much I wouldn't have played this game for more than a night. the gameplay never, ever changes. The only thing that makes this remarkable at all is how good James McCaffrey is as Max himself.
 

Mike Kayatta

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Aug 2, 2011
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The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels.

The metaphors. The similes. Two companions as reliable and true to the Max Payne series as a pair of Desert Eagles and a lifetime's prescription of painkillers. Gone. There's a bullet-shaped hole where the metaphors should be, and Rockstar are the ones fingering the trigger. Seeing the third game, it's like kissing your love goodbye, only to find she's already dead.

Looking back, you see the graphic novel cutscenes, the noir tropes... like a doomed romance, you only get the full picture in hindsight. The way the serious clashes with the surreal, the over-the-top meets the understated. You realise how the developers used the absurd to underscore the emotional content... and like any doomed romance, you finally realise just how they broke your heart. Mona, Vinnie, Vlad, Woden... they're all dead. And where you once had the memory of them, now all you've got is a drunken void where your memories should be. A gaping hole, growing deeper behind you.

Playing Max Payne 3, thinking about death is unavoidable. It's a weight chained to your ankles, a pocket full of stones dragging you into the sea. The death of the dream sequences. The death of the meta-TV shows. The death of the femme-fatale. Every sly wink and knowing nod made to the gamer, replaced with a scowl and a flip of the bird. It's like watching your own funeral, except it's not you in the casket, but a bloated old man with a shaved head and a terrible taste in shirts. Looking around, you see how things have changed. You're no longer a pastiche of noir cliches, but a character from Miami Vice. Where you once saw symbols in everything around you, painted onto the world like cave paintings, like hidden clues, now you see cheap moralising and Sunday morning preaching. Where you once saw the snows of the Fimbulwinter, and the beginnings of Ragnarok itself, now there's just the heat of a Brazilian summer's evening.

Metaphors. Similes. Metafiction. This is what I see when I look back. These moments, blinding as snow, they kill you, change you. You die and live again, remade.
 

AgentCooper

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Nantucket said:
maninahat said:
Nantucket said:
I was actually quite disappointed in the game.
Sometimes his internal monologues were hilarious because they just reminded me of something a 14 year old kid would say when they discover the 'emo' fashion. Very pretentious.
Ha ha, have you played the previous games? You get such gems as:
"The sun went down with practiced bravado. Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding."

What does that even mean?

Does Max Payne 3 have less of the hammy, hardboiled metaphors? Or are they back with a vengeance? It always came across as amateurish - that people felt "well its a neo-noir story, it must have the endless monologuing!" No it doesn't. This isn't a book, and in a visual medium, visuals should tell the story. I don't need Deckard explaining everything to me in Blade Runner, whatever the producers might have thought.
I have played the previous games but it has been years since I have.
Max Payne 3 is full of hammy metaphors. There is a scene where he's just in his apartment spouting them nonsensically. I understand why he is brooding and depressed but knock off the poetics for just five minutes.
I think the monologues get better when the story progresses and it feels like there is a better reason for it. I know some of the dialogue made the chapters better near the end when you finally found out what was really going on. I will admit in early chapters the narration could have been cut in half or really just silent levels.
 

Mike Kayatta

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Aug 2, 2011
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I was not going to buy this game initially... until it came down in price significantly. Then, I got a sudden itchy trigger finger to play a good shooting game... after playing the Spec OP line demo or whatever. I suddenly thought about this game again, and figured, "Why not."

Well. I love this damn game, so I'm glad I made this impulse buy. Oddly enough though, the things that everyone else seems to gripe about, albeit lightly, are the things I actually really like. I found myself going through the shooting scenes just to get to the cut scenes to advance the story. Not to say the shooting wasn't good, it's badass, but it does kinda get stale after a while, since that's all there is. You just shoot and move. There's no variety. Which is fine, I didn't except anything else. But the cut scenes are was sucked me in the most, and the story, and mostly Max himself and how he was dealing with the situation. I think they did a good job of spacing out the constant shooting. The whole weird blurs of color and diluted focus shots that take place do happen a lot... but I was never really bothered by them, except the first few times, but after a short while I just stopped caring... and even noticing. Also, the ending was good. It's been a while since I was satisfied with the ending. Generally these days they either suck, or they're just 'meh'. Also, Max does talk to himself a lot, using a lot of metaphors and junk, and some are kinda corny, but I actually didn't mind most of them.
 

Proverbial Jon

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Nov 10, 2009
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Wow... those cutscenes look like they would give me a headache.

I was apprehensive when this game was announced and this review has made me even more so. The clips where Max was spouting his usual metaphor heavy, pesamistic monologues amongst the bright colours of Sao Paulo were just laughable. Honestly, the two don't look like they fit.

In Max Payne 1 and 2 the city of New York was a character in itself and I LOVED that because both Max and his home were as dark, despairing and downtrodden (woo aliteration!) as each other. It was a perfect fit. I miss the old setting not because I am a fanboy with entitlement issues but because it was a major part of what made the games great for me.

If anyone has played the game and can convince me otherwise, please, be my guest.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels.
I love you right now. That's my favourite line from the original games. Along with:

"The past is a puzzle, like a broken mirror. As you piece it together, you cut yourself, your image keeps shifting. And you change with it. It could destroy you, drive you mad. It could set you free."
 

AgentCooper

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Proverbial Jon said:
Wow... those cutscenes look like they would give me a headache.

I was apprehensive when this game was announced and this review has made me even more so. The clips where Max was spouting his usual metaphor heavy, pesamistic monologues amongst the bright colours of Sao Paulo were just laughable. Honestly, the two don't look like they fit.

In Max Payne 1 and 2 the city of New York was a character in itself and I LOVED that because both Max and his home were as dark, despairing and downtrodden (woo aliteration!) as each other. It was a perfect fit. I miss the old setting not because I am a fanboy with entitlement issues but because it was a major part of what made the games great for me.

If anyone has played the game and can convince me otherwise, please, be my guest.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels.
I love you right now. That's my favourite line from the original games. Along with:

"The past is a puzzle, like a broken mirror. As you piece it together, you cut yourself, your image keeps shifting. And you change with it. It could destroy you, drive you mad. It could set you free."
The game does have flashbacks to New Jersey and most of sao Paulo takes place in the slums mostly. The game plays off of Max in the "fish out of water" and stupid American stereotype in Sao Paulo.
 

Derelict Frog

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AC10 said:
Casual Shinji said:
AC10 said:
Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.
And you know the best thing about them? YOU CAN'T SKIP THEM!!! The game loads at a snail's pace, and by the time you can finally skip the cutscene it would've only lasted a few more seconds anyway.

This game is just badly made, it's an absolute mess. I've heard one reviewer say it's basically GTA with Bullet Time, and that's about right, including the bad controls and bad cover mechanics.

Rockstar should be ashamed of themselves for putting something this broken on the market.
You know, i was kind of worried about this myself. IMO Rockstar has never really nailed the shooting mechanics in any game they've made, so I was incredibly wary of MP3. Thanks for confirming my fears! I'll probably stay well clear of this one.
Seems weird that you'd immediately decide not to buy a game based on this one random guy who played it, and not the stellar review under which your comment resides...

Also people keep seeming to equate noir with darkness and New York. Having completed Max Payne 1 and 2 there I can outright say that if it weren't for the game specifically saying that you were in New York you would have had no idea that you were there. It could have been any big city at night really. Apart from meaning black in French, noir doesn't have to be set at night. It's just a descriptor for a piece of work that emphasises sex and cynicism.
 

Weaver

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Derelict Frog said:
AC10 said:
Casual Shinji said:
AC10 said:
Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.
And you know the best thing about them? YOU CAN'T SKIP THEM!!! The game loads at a snail's pace, and by the time you can finally skip the cutscene it would've only lasted a few more seconds anyway.

This game is just badly made, it's an absolute mess. I've heard one reviewer say it's basically GTA with Bullet Time, and that's about right, including the bad controls and bad cover mechanics.

Rockstar should be ashamed of themselves for putting something this broken on the market.
You know, i was kind of worried about this myself. IMO Rockstar has never really nailed the shooting mechanics in any game they've made, so I was incredibly wary of MP3. Thanks for confirming my fears! I'll probably stay well clear of this one.
Seems weird that you'd immediately decide not to buy a game based on this one random guy who played it, and not the stellar review under which your comment resides...

Also people keep seeming to equate noir with darkness and New York. Having completed Max Payne 1 and 2 there I can outright say that if it weren't for the game specifically saying that you were in New York you would have had no idea that you were there. It could have been any big city at night really. Apart from meaning black in French, noir doesn't have to be set at night. It's just a descriptor for a piece of work that emphasises sex and cynicism.
Well, to say he's a random guy is false. He's been on here for about 3 years (and 4 myself). You kind of get to know people's opinions and tastes if you hang around somewhere for that long.

In reality though, I really just generally dislike Rockstar games almost every time, so that's what was really keeping me away. It's just that I truly enjoyed MP1 and 2 so I had a small iota of hope for 3. It just looks like an all the way different game in a style that just doesn't give with me. The game really just looks very "rockstar" in my eyes and, personally, that's not a good thing.
 

Mike Kayatta

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Derelict Frog said:
Seems weird that you'd immediately decide not to buy a game based on this one random guy who played it, and not the stellar review under which your comment resides...

Also people keep seeming to equate noir with darkness and New York. Having completed Max Payne 1 and 2 there I can outright say that if it weren't for the game specifically saying that you were in New York you would have had no idea that you were there. It could have been any big city at night really. Apart from meaning black in French, noir doesn't have to be set at night. It's just a descriptor for a piece of work that emphasises sex and cynicism.
There's more to noir than that.

It's not just sex and cynicism. Noir is what you get when you fuse crime fiction with existentialism. There's more to it than cynical monologues. Most of the main characters in Noir are given to introspection, and tend to wonder about stuff like the nature of fate, destiny, life, etc. It's the contrast of high-minded ideas like this with the low down, everyday grubbiness of crime that gives Noir its particular flavour. Noir is detective fiction with a dual-Masters in Psychology and Philosophy. And that's what the original Max Payne games played on. They ramped up the introspection and the existentialism to ludicrous levels, but still managed to create a genuinely emotional, involving narrative. As someone already mentioned above, it's like how Quentin Tarantino at his best is able to blow up the tropes of cinema while still telling an involving story.

As for New York... as has already been said, New York was more than just a setting for the MP games, it was an integral character. So much of the action took place in dismal tenement buildings, abandoned construction yards, district hospitals. The New York setting was absolutely crucial to nailing the atmosphere of the Max Payne games. Hell, in the first game, the fact that New York was going through an unprecedented winter played a huge part in establishing the gloomy mood of the story.

You can't just throw a character into a slum, but up some blind shadows and monologuing, and call it 'noir'. The first two Max Payne games were built on the idea of Max being trapped in this particular environment from which he couldn't escape. The entire setting of New York in Max Payne was designed to be a bleak, hostile, grim environment against which the developers could integrate their larger themes and subtext. I don't see how Sao Paulo can offer the same when its a city to which Max has no connection, and no real reason to stay in beyond "bodyguard contract."

I could be wrong, but it just doesn't seem to offer the same atmosphere as 'Noir York'.
 

Shadeovblack

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j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels.

The metaphors. The similes. Two companions as reliable and true to the Max Payne series as a pair of Desert Eagles and a lifetime's prescription of painkillers. Gone. There's a bullet-shaped hole where the metaphors should be, and Rockstar are the ones fingering the trigger. Seeing the third game, it's like kissing your love goodbye, only to find she's already dead.

Looking back, you see the graphic novel cutscenes, the noir tropes... like a doomed romance, you only get the full picture in hindsight. The way the serious clashes with the surreal, the over-the-top meets the understated. You realise how the developers used the absurd to underscore the emotional content... and like any doomed romance, you finally realise just how they broke your heart. Mona, Vinnie, Vlad, Woden... they're all dead. And where you once had the memory of them, now all you've got is a drunken void where your memories should be. A gaping hole, growing deeper behind you.

Playing Max Payne 3, thinking about death is unavoidable. It's a weight chained to your ankles, a pocket full of stones dragging you into the sea. The death of the dream sequences. The death of the meta-TV shows. The death of the femme-fatale. Every sly wink and knowing nod made to the gamer, replaced with a scowl and a flip of the bird. It's like watching your own funeral, except it's not you in the casket, but a bloated old man with a shaved head and a terrible taste in shirts. Looking around, you see how things have changed. You're no longer a pastiche of noir cliches, but a character from Miami Vice. Where you once saw symbols in everything around you, painted onto the world like cave paintings, like hidden clues, now you see cheap moralising and Sunday morning preaching. Where you once saw the snows of the Fimbulwinter, and the beginnings of Ragnarok itself, now there's just the heat of a Brazilian summer's evening.

Metaphors. Similes. Metafiction. This is what I see when I look back. These moments, blinding as snow, they kill you, change you. You die and live again, remade.

Thank you, that's all I need to know to make my decision.
 

TheNaut131

New member
Jul 6, 2011
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I was just about to make a thread about those stupid fucking cutscenes. I couldn't care less about Max's monologues in this game, because I can barely process what he's saying due to those stupid fucking flashes and those goddamn floating texts and-FOR THE LOVE OF MIGRAINE MEDICINE THOSE FUCKING CUTSCENES ARE ANNOYING!

I remember back when they were releasing those trailers for the aspects of the game, guns, bullet time, etc, etc. One of them was about storytelling and I believe the man speaking said:

Random Announcer Guy said:
"With Max Payne 3, Rockstar has tried to make a uniquely cinematic action game that uses a series of presentation innovations to move the game seamlessly from cutscene to gunplay"
Yes,they tried...and failed miserably. It's unique in the fact that it's the only game to ever give me a migraine without actually having to play it. Oh and here's another one:

Random Announcer Guy said:
"The game transitions gameplay to cutscenes using a range of cinematic editing techniques, without ever showing a loading screen"
Yes, instead you just put up a bunch of flickering lights and made everything disorienting, even when Max was simply walking down a fucking street or casual talking to someone in a completely lit area! Seriously Rockstar, there are easier ways to hide a cutscene. And besides, I'm pretty sure there's a loading icon in the upper left hand corner of the screen at times. There goes your "smooth" transitions.

In fact, that entire trailer displays mostly everything that's wrong with Max Payne 3. The "cinematics," the "Noir graphic style," and well, most of what I'm listing has already been stated here.

 

Mike Kayatta

Minister of Secrets
Aug 2, 2011
2,315
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0
AC10 said:
Well, if it's not noir style it's just not for me. Quite frankly, those cut-scenes look abysmal.
Really? I think they looks awesome, they fit the games tone perfectly.
 

Mike Kayatta

Minister of Secrets
Aug 2, 2011
2,315
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0


1. The cutscenes look bad, yes the previous 1-2 comicstyle cutscenes were much better than this seizure inducing mess

2.The setting and story lacks inspiration and is completely generic. The environment reminds me too much of Dead Island, another not-very-good kind of game

3.Max is no longer the max we once knew yet he tries to act as if he was and talks as if he was. Yet it doesnt seem to work much considering the situation he is in has completely changed

4.No signs of flashbacks or any kind of connection to the previous titles other than: oh look its max payne again.
So...what about the unanswered questions and plotthreads from the other games?
lol, hell if i know :3
 

Metalrocks

New member
Jan 15, 2009
2,406
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since i have to wait for the pc version, from what i read here is, that the cut scenes are bad (which i have to admit, they do look annoying and irritating) and that the story is not as good as the previous 2 games.
but the game play/shooting as such is really good.

am i reading it correctly here?
 

Mike Kayatta

Minister of Secrets
Aug 2, 2011
2,315
0
0
Metalrocks said:
since i have to wait for the pc version, from what i read here is, that the cut scenes are bad (which i have to admit, they do look annoying and irritating) and that the story is not as good as the previous 2 games.
but the game play/shooting as such is really good.

am i reading it correctly here?
I'd say you are, but honestly, the story isn't so much worse as it is different (though for many MP fans different will = worse, regardless). It's been a long time since people last played as Max, and Rockstar did its best to make a sequel where you wouldn't have to know anything about 1 or 2 to enjoy it. That may disappoint a lot of folks who wanted to see the original narrative line continue, but 2 did wrap most things up, and it's not like those stories have been retconned.
 

Metalrocks

New member
Jan 15, 2009
2,406
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Mike Kayatta said:
Metalrocks said:
since i have to wait for the pc version, from what i read here is, that the cut scenes are bad (which i have to admit, they do look annoying and irritating) and that the story is not as good as the previous 2 games.
but the game play/shooting as such is really good.

am i reading it correctly here?
I'd say you are, but honestly, the story isn't so much worse as it is different (though for many MP fans different will = worse, regardless). It's been a long time since people last played as Max, and Rockstar did its best to make a sequel where you wouldn't have to know anything about 1 or 2 to enjoy it. That may disappoint a lot of folks who wanted to see the original narrative line continue, but 2 did wrap most things up, and it's not like those stories have been retconned.
ok, thanks for the reply. i guess i will figure it out my self. have nothing else really to play so i might as well get it as long the game play is good and the story makes sense.
 

dragonswarrior

Also a Social Justice Warrior
Feb 13, 2012
434
0
0
j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels.

The metaphors. The similes. Two companions as reliable and true to the Max Payne series as a pair of Desert Eagles and a lifetime's prescription of painkillers. Gone. There's a bullet-shaped hole where the metaphors should be, and Rockstar are the ones fingering the trigger. Seeing the third game, it's like kissing your love goodbye, only to find she's already dead.

Looking back, you see the graphic novel cutscenes, the noir tropes... like a doomed romance, you only get the full picture in hindsight. The way the serious clashes with the surreal, the over-the-top meets the understated. You realise how the developers used the absurd to underscore the emotional content... and like any doomed romance, you finally realise just how they broke your heart. Mona, Vinnie, Vlad, Woden... they're all dead. And where you once had the memory of them, now all you've got is a drunken void where your memories should be. A gaping hole, growing deeper behind you.

Playing Max Payne 3, thinking about death is unavoidable. It's a weight chained to your ankles, a pocket full of stones dragging you into the sea. The death of the dream sequences. The death of the meta-TV shows. The death of the femme-fatale. Every sly wink and knowing nod made to the gamer, replaced with a scowl and a flip of the bird. It's like watching your own funeral, except it's not you in the casket, but a bloated old man with a shaved head and a terrible taste in shirts. Looking around, you see how things have changed. You're no longer a pastiche of noir cliches, but a character from Miami Vice. Where you once saw symbols in everything around you, painted onto the world like cave paintings, like hidden clues, now you see cheap moralising and Sunday morning preaching. Where you once saw the snows of the Fimbulwinter, and the beginnings of Ragnarok itself, now there's just the heat of a Brazilian summer's evening.

Metaphors. Similes. Metafiction. This is what I see when I look back. These moments, blinding as snow, they kill you, change you. You die and live again, remade.
Okay. No one has quoted you yet to tell you how awesome that was.

That Was Awesome.

That is all.
 

Mysterious Druid

New member
May 27, 2012
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I actually think the difficulty was one of the games' biggest problems. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a challenge, but I was kind of expecting a game where you'd be able to go guns blazing without getting killed in half a nanosecond. If Max was given more health, I'd have enjoyed it a lot more.

Or maybe I'm just a filthy casual.
 

Namehere

Forum Title
May 6, 2012
200
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I have to say, I was kind of gripped by the review. Think I might take a look at this one at some point. Not the deepest story ever but then it is an action game and I find new ways of telling old stories just as interesting as new stories. I know that because I enjoy Fringe. LOL
 

OldDirtyCrusty

New member
Mar 12, 2012
701
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Monxeroth said:


1. The cutscenes look bad, yes the previous 1-2 comicstyle cutscenes were much better than this seizure inducing mess

2.The setting and story lacks inspiration and is completely generic. The environment reminds me too much of Dead Island, another not-very-good kind of game

3.Max is no longer the max we once knew yet he tries to act as if he was and talks as if he was. Yet it doesnt seem to work much considering the situation he is in has completely changed

4.No signs of flashbacks or any kind of connection to the previous titles other than: oh look its max payne again.
So...what about the unanswered questions and plotthreads from the other games?
lol, hell if i know :3
1. Sure, they are hard to look at sometimes. I wish there would be an option to turn of doublevision and flickering. I guess that someone is going to change it in the pc version.

2. Maybe you should play the game instead of judging a couple of screenshots. There are way more settings than in the previous two games. MP2 is boring compared to MP3 (yay, another construction site).
The story isn`t bad either i liked it. The previous stories weren`t better just with more mythology and symbolism.

3. Just play the game.

4. ...and again just play the game, rent it and serious what unanswered questions and plotthreads (the only thing comming to my mind is the MP2 hard ending, but i`m glad that Rockstar didn`t got in any further since it was Remedys story back then).

I can`t understand the cutscene complaining going on here, use chapter select/checkpoint 2 and you don`t have to watch the first lengthy cinematic. After completing the level go back to the menu and use chapter select for the next one and checkpoint 2. The loading takes 25-30sec. The big advantage of this loading system is that there`s no wait after you die, you start at your last checkpoint. In this game you can die alot depending on the difficulty and i`m glad that i can restart right again.
Haters gonna hate and i love this game.
 

immortalfrieza

Elite Member
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May 2, 2020
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j-e-f-f-e-r-s said:
Derelict Frog said:
Seems weird that you'd immediately decide not to buy a game based on this one random guy who played it, and not the stellar review under which your comment resides...

Also people keep seeming to equate noir with darkness and New York. Having completed Max Payne 1 and 2 there I can outright say that if it weren't for the game specifically saying that you were in New York you would have had no idea that you were there. It could have been any big city at night really. Apart from meaning black in French, noir doesn't have to be set at night. It's just a descriptor for a piece of work that emphasises sex and cynicism.
There's more to noir than that.

It's not just sex and cynicism. Noir is what you get when you fuse crime fiction with existentialism. There's more to it than cynical monologues. Most of the main characters in Noir are given to introspection, and tend to wonder about stuff like the nature of fate, destiny, life, etc. It's the contrast of high-minded ideas like this with the low down, everyday grubbiness of crime that gives Noir its particular flavour. Noir is detective fiction with a dual-Masters in Psychology and Philosophy. And that's what the original Max Payne games played on. They ramped up the introspection and the existentialism to ludicrous levels, but still managed to create a genuinely emotional, involving narrative. As someone already mentioned above, it's like how Quentin Tarantino at his best is able to blow up the tropes of cinema while still telling an involving story.

As for New York... as has already been said, New York was more than just a setting for the MP games, it was an integral character. So much of the action took place in dismal tenement buildings, abandoned construction yards, district hospitals. The New York setting was absolutely crucial to nailing the atmosphere of the Max Payne games. Hell, in the first game, the fact that New York was going through an unprecedented winter played a huge part in establishing the gloomy mood of the story.

You can't just throw a character into a slum, but up some blind shadows and monologuing, and call it 'noir'. The first two Max Payne games were built on the idea of Max being trapped in this particular environment from which he couldn't escape. The entire setting of New York in Max Payne was designed to be a bleak, hostile, grim environment against which the developers could integrate their larger themes and subtext. I don't see how Sao Paulo can offer the same when its a city to which Max has no connection, and no real reason to stay in beyond "bodyguard contract."

I could be wrong, but it just doesn't seem to offer the same atmosphere as 'Noir York'.
Exactly, you couldn't be more right. MP3's gunplay is as good as ever, but everything ELSE is wrong.

Let's list them shall we?

1. The horrible cutscene effects that are painful to watch, never stop happening even for a few seconds, and don't contribute to the tone of the game at all. The graphic novel scenes from the first 2 games were FAR superior, and they didn't have much of a loading time either, so they could be quickly skipped. Without those terrible cutscene effects the cutscenes would be fine though.

2. The brightness of the game, in fact that there's any part of the game that's cheery whatsoever. MP3 is supposed to be a Noir, and Noirs are supposed to be dark and (literally and figurately) depressing. Max's monologing is the only part of MP3 that IS noir anymore.

3. Max shaving his head for no reason at all. I hear that shaving oneself bald is a sign of starting over, but even if that was the reason, if they had Max give that as the reason for doing it, then it would have been tolerable, but as it is from the perspective of fans and newbies alike it just comes out of nowhere with no purpose or cause. Luckily Max at least spends the first half of the game or so with hair.

4. They give a pretty BS reason for Max to leave New York.
Passos tries to recruit him for the bodyguard job which drives the plot, but Max tells him no. The reason he eventually takes the job is because within minutes of rejecting it he kills this Mob boss' son, so Max has to flee the country to save himself from the Boss' revenge. The BS part is that during MP 1 & 2 Max kills HUNDREDS of people per game without breaking a sweat. He even kills dozens of the Mob Boss' thugs largely solo just trying to escape from the guy. The idea that this one Mob Boss could be any real threat to Max, much less one that makes Max run from him is just ridiculous.

5. No subtitles for the Spanish. Don't put foreign languages in your game unless they are going to be translated, in fact this is both a problem in the cutscenes and gameplay. Cutscenes because if you can't understand a word the characters are saying then they lose a lot of their emotional impact, and gameplay because the enemies could be saying "Throwing Grenade!" or "I'm flanking him! Cover me!" or "The cake is a lie!" for all I know, and again, it screws with the impact of the game.

Honestly, if it weren't for Max's endless metaphor laced monologing and the excellent gunplay, there wouldn't be anything worth having in Max Payne 3.
 

OldDirtyCrusty

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Mar 12, 2012
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immortalfrieza said:
5. No subtitles for the Spanish. Don't put foreign languages in your game unless they are going to be translated, in fact this is both a problem in the cutscenes and gameplay. Cutscenes because if you can't understand a word the characters are saying then they lose a lot of their emotional impact, and gameplay because the enemies could be saying "Throwing Grenade!" or "I'm flanking him! Cover me!" or "The cake is a lie!" for all I know, and again, it screws with the impact of the game.

Honestly, if it weren't for Max's endless metaphor laced monologing and the excellent gunplay, there wouldn't be anything worth having in Max Payne 3.
Thats´s a new one. Seems that you didn´t understand why they kept the subtitles in portuguise (it isn`t spanish). You should feel alienated and they suceed with this. This has so much more impact than a simple translated subtitle.
 

Mike Kayatta

Minister of Secrets
Aug 2, 2011
2,315
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immortalfrieza said:
5. No subtitles for the Spanish. Don't put foreign languages in your game unless they are going to be translated, in fact this is both a problem in the cutscenes and gameplay. Cutscenes because if you can't understand a word the characters are saying then they lose a lot of their emotional impact, and gameplay because the enemies could be saying "Throwing Grenade!" or "I'm flanking him! Cover me!" or "The cake is a lie!" for all I know, and again, it screws with the impact of the game.
On this one point, let me just say that I believe the Portuguese subtitles were excluded for a reason. Max doesn't speak the language, and this story is told from his view point, so it actually wouldn't make sense for the player to understand the dialog while Max doesn't. And while it's perfectly valid that this technique didn't work for you, I personally think it added much to the immersion and feeling of being so "out of place."

Edit: Annnd, I just realized I am late to this point :)
 

ImSkeletor

New member
Feb 6, 2010
1,473
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algalon said:
So it's Man on Fire - the game. Max Payne will be standing in for Denzel.
Thats pretty accurate. It shares a lot of plot points with Man on Fire and that wierd camera thing is something they did every now and then in Man on Fire(a lot at the start of the movie) except they spend every second doing it instead of the like fifteen minutes of wonky camera in the movie.
 

ImSkeletor

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Feb 6, 2010
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Echo_019 said:
What Happened to his hair, do they explain that in the game
They explain it in the game.
He decides to give up the booze and start a new. To signify this he shaves his head.
 

Nurb

Cynical bastard
Dec 9, 2008
3,078
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0
As a fan of the last games, Max payne 3 is a disappointment. Standard grimdark "GRR GRR BOOZE GRR PILLS" without the balance of quirky humor the previous games had so it comes across as taking itself too seriously. It's also too frantic and doesn't let you take in the aftermath much and explore. After failing a mission while I was running up to a booth to get a golden gun piece, I found myself unable to enjoy it when I was just running from room to room blasting a bunch of generic brown people and stopping only enough to look for the glowy "GRAB ME" highlights on items that previous games didn't need.

It's not a Max Payne game, It's just a fat guy with PTSD and a drinking problem running around, but it's pretty and gritty enough that the current gen fans are going to love it. That's how sequels are with publishers these days.
 

Mike Kayatta

Minister of Secrets
Aug 2, 2011
2,315
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0
LOL

It's so funny...

People seem to be complaining about the cut-scenes... like 'story' is a bad thing in a game.

HAHAHAHA

Thank you 'haters' for showing me such a cool game! This would have been under my radar if not for the silly hate.

I always paned the Max Pain series based on it's stupid name, silly titles, run and gun mechanics, and horrible movie w/ Marky Mark.

I'd never have guessed that this new installment is just what I wanted/needed from a new AAA game.

Great story mixed with good gameplay.

What more could you ask for?

-Don't answer that, I know you all to be people who hate-

Regardless... thank you Rockstar. You've done it again!

Don't quote me here. You'll only be trying to deter me from my pleasure. And you'll have failed miserably, like a bad troll...
 

Aiberg

New member
Oct 2, 2009
69
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Boy, I had doubts about this game when they started showing screentshots of Max with a bald head in the sun, but the story was as good as the previous ones, which makes the game great in my book. I really really enjoyed it a lot.