Quick Attack: Max Payne 3

Quick Attacks are Vagary.TV’s way of giving you, the reader, a glimpse at a game we are playing. This could be a game we are reviewing in full or just something we picked up for a few days to kill some time but either way it will highlight thoughts and impressions from the first hour or two of gameplay. Opinions could change before our final though.

In this Quick Attack, we look at the first few hours of Max Payne 3 on Xbox 360.

  • Any fears that Rockstar was going to mess up the feel of Max Payne by moving it out of NewYork/New Jersey to Brazil can be laid to rest. From the get go this feels like a Max Payne game.
  • Max is older, grumpier, and more of a boozer and pill popper than ever before. Whereas Max was dealing with his grief, the new Max is completely broken, he has given up. No longer is he fueled by revenge; now he is fueled by liquor.
  • The game opens with Max working a security detail at a party and as is apt to happen in games such as this, things go south rather quickly. This opening level is basically the tutorial and I got to try out a lot of the gameplay mechanics.
  • When it works the game is like a Tony Scott movie brought to interactive life. Tons of style, great voice acting, solid writing.
  • While “bullet time” is still a major aspect of the game and a meter needs to be filled to access it. However “shoot dodging” can be activated at any time regardless of where the bullet time meter is at. Honestly, I do not know why one would ever wait around for the meter to fill when Max looks so much cooler diving around in slow motion and it can be done at will.
  • Max is still fairly fragile and is only able to take a few hits before he is at the brink of death. I often found myself distracted by the on screen action so much that I was losing track of my health. Fortunately, Rockstar must have realized this was going to happen as the game provides you with an opportunity to come back from the dead as long as a pill canister is in the inventory. This is accomplished by the game activating “bullet time”, if Max can dispatch one enemy then he will survive the encounter by using the pills automatically.
  • For the most part the shooting feels good. It is not the best shooter on the market but it is probably the best shooting Rockstar has done.
  • The game does not shy away from gore, in fact it glorifies it in a somewhat disturbing way. When Max clears a room the last enemy is treated with a close up of the bullet bearing down on him, during this time the player can press A and continue to shoot the enemy to a gory blood splattered end. It was cool the first time because it was different but it is really a lot of overkill, I mostly now just ignore it.
  • The checkpointing is pretty atrocious and the game can get in the habit of tossing tons of enemies at me with little chance of survival. I often found the game annoying me because of these aspects.

After the first couple levels it seems like Rockstar has done right by Max Payne but there is a lot of game left to go and a rather intriguing multiplayer suite to explore, so we’ll see how it ends up. Expect our full review sometime soon.


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Author: Chris Scott View all posts by
Chris is the Reviews Editor here at Vagary as well as the co-host of The Perfectly Sane Show and the Movie Dudes podcast.He is long time gamer and film fan that also happens to be full of opinions and a desire to share them with others, even if you don't want to hear them.
  • Napoleon1066

    I like it when it glorifies the last kill. Especially if you’ve been stuck in a area and died 4 or 5 times… blowing the hell out of that last guy is pretty satisfying.

  • How’s the cover system feel so far?

  • Chris Scott

    It is OK, serviceable but its Max Payne, Max doesn’t use cover he shoot dodges everywhere.