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Max Payne 3

22 May 2012
PC, Xbox 360, PS3

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Max Payne 3

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Max Payne 3 (2012)
A delirious blend of stellar storytelling, breath-taking visuals and explosive gunplay, Max Payne 3 is one of the few videogames that deserves the blitzkrieg of hype that’s heralded its arrival.

Relocating the outrageous ultra-violence from the grimy streets of New York to the bustling favelas of Sao Paulo, Max Payne 3 finds the titular nutjob still dwelling on past tragedies and relying on a mixture of booze and pills to keep his personal demons at bay. But while the grizzled ex-cop is still a preternatural gunslinger who can slow down time to pick off enemies and fling himself through the air like the hero in a John Woo movie, the relentless march of time means middle-aged Max isn’t quite as durable as he used to be, offering fans a fresh approach to the action as they use cover to protect their vulnerable hero and adopt defensive positions, bringing a modicum of strategy to the action as bullets criss-cross the air around you.

Yet while the gun-slinging is more considered than the balls-out blasting in previous Max Payne games, the shooting is still thrilling, unflinching and intense. Staged in fully-destructible environments, the anarchic action feels more excessive than ever, with windows shattering all around you, objects you’re hiding behind becoming ripped to shreds, and graphics so sharp you can see every bullet tearing through the air. The simple device where players are only permitted to carry a small number of weapons helps make for more streamlined battles, while Max’s signature Bullet Time moves still feel as fresh and exciting as ever, and stand head-and-shoulders above lesser games that have tried to use a similar mechanic. And while the shooting is sublimely simple and will allow even the most cack-handed player to feel like a gaming god in a matter of minutes, what will live with you longest is the adventure’s toe-curling brutality, with gunfire tearing gaping holes in enemies, blood spraying from fresh wounds, and time slowing to a crawl to showcase your final bullet in a fierce shoot-out finding its man in uncompromising detail.

Just as impressive as the shooting is the game’s Hollywood-style presentation, with a stunning performance by James McCaffrey who reprises his role as Max, graphic-novel-style cut-scenes that perfectly complement the game’s gritty atmosphere, and clever writing that makes the story richly compelling and will keep you hooked until the end of the 12-hour single player campaign. Luscious graphics that create a staggering sense of place – whether it be Sao Paulo’s labyrinthine slums or hedonistic nightclubs – also help make Max Payne 3 is one of the best-looking games on the shelves today, blessed with a plot so deep and twisted that it feels like the greatest action blockbuster you’ve never seen.

A huge variety of weapons, the best set-pieces this side of Uncharted and sound effects so punchy they feel like a kick to the stomach also help make Max’s third outing a blaster to cherish, but it’s the madcap multiplayer mode that’s most surprising, with a rich variety of blood-thirsty modes that will keep players returning to Max Payne 3 for months as they hurl themselves into barbarous cycle of fast, chaotic and downright addictive group battles.

Reviewed by David McComb

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Max Payne 3
Empire Star Rating

Empire has gone mad.

This was a tepid, shallow, disgusting game that left me feeling depressed and dirty. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Gator MacReady at 12:06, 12 July 2014 | Report This Post

RE: Max Payne 3

Sorry, i forgot to add - i mean Max Payne 3 :P ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chocolade at 07:27, 02 January 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Max Payne 3

which game Choccy? ... More

Posted by gazpop at 12:34, 28 December 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Max Payne 3

I really like the graphics and storyline, but honestly - i was hoping this game will be better. ... More

Posted by chocolade at 08:05, 27 December 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Max Payne 3

cheers Rich just got given Mass Effect and ME2....lovin it!! ... More

Posted by gazpop at 12:46, 22 December 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Max Payne 3

Depends if you want constant bullet mayhem offered by Max Payne, which lacks the charm of 1-2 but is excellent in terms of gun play and set pieces - OR the style of game in Red Dead which is all slow burning atmosphere, exploring the plains by horse back etc. Both offer differing styles of slo-mo shooting. RD at this point will be a lot cheaper and come packed with the supernatural zombie DLC so has more content. ... More

Posted by rich at 21:53, 20 December 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Max Payne 3

it's winter, brrrrr, and I am thinking of hitting the console for a spell....loved MaxPayne 1 and 2 but there's so much disagreement re number 3 so I am most confused. Red Dead Redemption however gets a pretty much blanket 8 or 9 out of 10 score. Thoughts? In fact, I may need to go to some of the more popular threads to ask for extra advice ... More

Posted by gazpop at 15:27, 19 December 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3 better and more difficult then Max Payne 1,2.Graphics and music are amazing.Presentation of this games is really nice.I rate 10/10 rating for its presentation. ... More

Posted by tinobest at 12:31, 22 August 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Max Payne 3

There are only 2 things about Max Paye 3 that comes close lagacy left by Remedy. Max Payne himself, and the music. And both of these things happen to be very different from the first 2. Max Payne is more suicidal, more gritty in appearence and more hellbent than ever. The music is much more stylish Synthesized soundtrack heavily inspired by 80's B movie productions like Escape from New York. But the gameplay, from shooting, to running to getting in and out of cover is just painfull. It ve... More

Posted by foodfather at 13:25, 23 July 2012 | Report This Post

Max Payne 3

It's been a long time coming, but Rockstar delivers a massively gratifying action experience with a wide variety of locations, and a large number of ways to destroy them whilst throwing yourself around in slow motion. Concerns over the character design prove to be unwarranted thanks to the story and where it takes our pill crunching hero, and while the plot is a fairly basic crime drama underneath all the mystery elements it still delivers a number of satisying emotional beats - Max may even be... More

Posted by rich at 22:54, 20 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Really??

L: Mattrudyuk Oh and the multi-player was ridiculous, sorry forgot to mention that part.  Mindless shooting, much like the game itself sp; Ridiculous-ly good,  of course. ... More

Posted by st3veebee at 12:21, 17 July 2012 | Report This Post

RE: Really??

Oh and the multi-player was ridiculous, sorry forgot to mention that part.  Mindless shooting, much like the game itself ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Mattrudyuk at 15:44, 28 June 2012 | Report This Post

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