Diablo 3 has strengthened its hold on Jeff Cannata who really only wants to talk about his barbarian, but there’s so much more to cover. Garnett returns to the driver’s seat after spending last week getting a sneak peek at some of the big games ready to vie for the spotlight at E3. “Indie” Jeff and Andrea Rene complete the adventuring party that gets down to business discussing their varying degree of anticipation for E3, the demise of 38 Studios, and the plight of subscription model MMOs, whether Max Payne 3 actually improves the gunplay over previous Rockstar open world games, and a handful of other games including Lost Planet 3 and Rock Band Blitz. Put a bird on it with Finishing Moves and you’ve got one massive show to take along on the Memorial Day weekend.
I’m going to come out and say it: I never played Max Payne before. I have never even seen the movie. So when Rockstar Games announced they were making Max Payne 3 I did not think much of it.
Fast forward to the present and the hype over the game is too much for me to NOT pay attention. I am intrigued by the “Bullet Time” mechanic and their progressive multiplayer strategy. So I pop the game into my Xbox 360 and start it up.
Right from the start the game looks like classic Rockstar. (yes, that’s a good thing) I am immediately immersed into a rich narrative involving Max, a former cop who is in Brazil doing private security work. I’ll admit the long cutscene sometimes feel like they slow down the pace of the game, but the writing and the cleverly disguised loading screens are worth it.
The action is mostly 3rd person shooting with a standard cover system. I recommend turning on individual reticules for each weapon as it certainly helped me with aiming. There is also a soft or hard lock aiming system for enemies, or you can free aim. I am currently using hard lock but I’ve been told the free aim is more challenge, and fun.
Max Payne 3 is hard. You will die A LOT. The beauty of the combat, though, is being able to find a rhythm between using the cover system, moving through space, and knowing when to activate bullet time to slow down the action and score crucial kills.
Since intitaling starting this blog post, I am now onto Disc 2 and really enjoying the game. The narrative keeps you intrigued while also keeping a nice pacing to the game. There are a variety of colorful locations, and Max’s one-liners are superbly written. Though the story-line may be a bit too “noir” for some people used to the previous installments in the series, I think the dark tone works perfectly.
Bottom Line: Give this game a try!