Max Payne 3 does not shy away from depicting violence. The game’s kill camera ensures that the player gets a good look when high-calibre bullets burst faces or blood is freed from the confinements of a human body. The camera zooms in and slowly follows the trajectory of the final bullet that is fired to finish off an enemy. This indeed adds a spectacular cinematic effect to the action, but does little to make the violence and splattering blood any less shocking or sublime. The game does make the reason behind such violence visible to the player, helping him understand the merciless nature of the fights that normally result in charred flesh, dismembered limbs and bullet wounds.
The production value is pretty high and the developers have apparently put in a lot of effort into making the level of detail marvellous. The details also extend to other aspects of the game and make the whole experience really life-like and believable.
Simple, elegant and satisfying are arguably the best three words to define the gameplay in Max Payne 3.
Two of Payne’s signature moves, bullet-time and shoot dodge, are back and Rockstar has ensured that players do not find it too hard to master them. By the time the two signature moves are mastered, the players will find themselves orchestrating other shootouts, though it becomes a little frustrating at times that the situation cannot be tackled in alternate ways.
The game does hand Payne a silenced weapon and places him in a situation where he has to remain covert. However, such instances are very rare and all hell breaking loose is a more common occurrence throughout the game. Rockstar keeps dictating the terms to players, expecting the action to feature an all-out carnage rather than a Metal Gear Solid-inspired gameplay.
The single player campaign lasts about 10-12 hours. The game also has a variety of arcade modes on offer to keep the players busy. The game even has a multiplayer mode, which can be described as both chaotic and surprisingly fun. Gang War in particular does something that is something unique and somewhat ambitious. It tries to incorporate narrative into what is normally considered to be a player-determined mode. The player gets to play four rounds, each with its own distinctive mission, which can range from getting control of a territory or defusing bombs to assassinating a randomly selected target from the opposition team. Based on the outcome of the four rounds, one of the teams enjoys a point advantage while heading into the fifth and final round, which ends up being an all out death-match. While it would be an overstatement to call this new idea completely successful, there is no denying the fun that Gang War offers.
Max Payne 3 is rather unique in the sense that while mostly games lack an intuitive storyline but offer a pretty solid gameplay, it offers a rather simple gameplay with a superb narrative.
We give the game a 9.0 for its compelling story, strong performance by the cast of characters, especially Payne, and satisfying gameplay, though it would have been nice to see the introduction of new moves and tricks.