Max Payne 3

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Max Payne 3 review
Matt Porter


Messy bit of fun


Payne has three weapon slots, two for pistols, which he can use separately or dual wield, and one for a bigger weapon. He visibly carries this extra weapon when using a pistol, and drops it if he decides to dual wield and tucks it under his arm when he reloads. There are no magical hovering guns or bottomless inventories here, which is a nice touch. The shooting feels good and responsive, with an indicator of when your target is dead so you know when to move on to the next enemy. Ammo is rarely scarce, and there are usually bottles of painkillers liberally scattered around which act as Payneís health kits.

Visual and audio

Max Payne 3 has some really good visual touches, Max is always stroking his beard or shaking out his arms when idle, and for the brief moments where there is no shooting going on, something will be happening on screen such as kids kicking a football around or a few people deep in conversation who will become quiet as Max approaches. All of this combined with the quite simply excellent graphics gives a great sense of realism. The lighting and water effects are superb, and there are huge amounts of detail, right down to each individual hair in Payneís unkempt beard. The cutscenes contain visual flourishes and stylistic camera effects such as split screen and colour separation, perhaps to give the player a sense of how Max sees the world in his inebriated state, but it feels a tad overdone at times. The sound effects are well implemented too. The guns sound powerful and the voice acting is generally good enough to make you feel as if you are watching an action movie in the cutscenes.

All this visual and audio flair and panache takes its toll on your PC though, the game is very hardware intensive. There were several instances when a cutscene would freeze up while the audio would keep playing, with the only fix being an irritating full quit, sometimes losing a few minutes worth of progress. Itís hard to know whether to blame this on the game, or my aging computer, because besides these moments the game ran quite smoothly, barring the occasional frame rate hitch. Equally, if you are not planning on buying the physical copy, make sure you have a fast Internet connection or a lot of time on your hands, as the game is close to a gigantic 30Gb download.

The game features a functional multiplayer, with standard third person shooting and the usual game types such as deathmatch and team deathmatch. It contains preset classes to choose from, or you can customise your own loadouts to suit your play style. There are also a decent amount of customisation options for your avatar. You can form Crews, which are simply groups of friends who can play together in order to earn benefits in game. The main thing that sets this section of the game apart from most other multiplayer experiences is the addition of bullet time. The catch being that when you enter slow motion, everyone else in the game slows down as well, but only your allies get the benefit of the increased reflexes and aiming speed.

Messy bit of fun

Rockstar had a tough job on their hands when they took on this game because of the great fan appreciation of the first two games from Remedy. Whether the developer has done the series justice is up to those die hard fans, but for those of us who just want ten hours of entertainment, or more if you include the multiplayer, Max Payne 3 is a gritty, over the top yet rooted in reality, messy bit of fun.


fun score


Gritty excitement, great cinematic moments and fun run and gun gameplay.


Multiplayer experience is nothing new. Occasional performance dip on highest graphical settings.