The suffering soul finds itself trapped in yet another conspiracy
Nine years have gone since we last witnessed Max Payne succumbing to his pain and giving others around him a taste of it. There was no doubt that the man had suffered a lot and therefore we were more than happy to help him in his endeavour as he went through the rundown tenements and shadowy sidewalks of New York to put a bullet through shady characters and criminals.
Now, the protagonist of the popular third-person shooter video game franchise is back. Unsurprisingly, he is still as shattered by the haunting memory of the death of his wife and child as ever. His only way to deal with this pain is to find solace in liquor and white pills.
Thankfully, Rockstar is not sending us back to the rundown tenements and sidewalks of New York. Instead, the latest game in the franchise shifts the action to the hedonistic nightclubs and scorching heat of Sao Paulo, where Payne is serving as a private bodyguard to Rodrigo Branco.
As expected, things do not go smoothly for long and a series of events are set in motion as Branco’s wife Fabiana gets kidnapped under Payne’s watch. Consequently, the main protagonist finds himself spiralling into a larger and darker story.
Max Payne 3 features a great script that represents the overall theme of the game and personality of characters exceptionally well.
The pace at which the game moves may seem a bit slow to people who lack patience. The story is told through frequent cut-scenes. These scenes not only serve to deliver the story, but also disguise the loading screens. While the two purposes are served really well through the cut-scenes, some players may complain about the frequency at which control is taken away from them. However, this is a trade-off that they will simply have to make peace with. While they would be constantly losing control of their character because of an intrusion by a cut-scene, the story delivered in the process is quite engrossing. Max Payne is a perfect example to show that video games can be a writer’s medium.
The game has held on to its hard-boiled heritage, with a non-linear narrative and cast of characters who are untrustworthy. The plot is dark and twisted due to plenty of deception and corruption. James McCaffrey has given a standout performance as Payne, making him look extremely real and merging his personality perfectly with the plot to allowing the player to feel his bitterness and understand his cynicism as he deals with other characters in game.
The cinematic effects are not as smooth and clean as the games of today feature. However, the developers have made it as such intentionally. The scan lines, chromatic aberration and shifting film stock is meant to give the game a distinctive texture. While the effect may seem a bit distracting in the beginning, it all settles down after a while and becomes apparent as a characteristic feature of the game.