Max Payne 3 (XBOX 360), Review

Max is depressed, angry, an addict, but the game is still fun to play.

The third in the series, this newest game takes us back into the life and times of Max Payne, following him through a series of unfortunate events that make us wonder who is scripting his life and how badly they dislike Max. For those of you who don’t know the basics of the Max Payne, here’s what you need to know: In previous games, he lost his wife and daughter, found a numbing agent in liquor and pills and was pretty much messed up in many ways. In this way, the character is annoyingly depressed, quite angry at life and very human.


Max is no longer a cop, and his foray into retirement has him stumbling into working as Private Security for a family named Branco in South America. This leads to the next in a series of bad things that pushes our reluctant hero to try to protect and save others, as well as try to stay alive. With a few flashbacks to help us understand why Max left New Jersey, how he became Private Security and how he became friends with his current partner, the story is rich and an action hero extravaganza.


Ad – content continues below

The first few Chapters, as the game is gone through and narrated much like a detective novel, are a bit story heavy, giving you plenty of chance to gather background information. This does lead to a couple of instances of at least a minute or two of sitting there watching and having little or no control over anything, not even the camera. If it were up to me, I probably would have added the camera control, even if limited, to have the player able to do something while the story unfolds. That being said, once the first couple of chapters are gotten through, the action and the amount of control both increase to nice, heavy levels. The bullet-time system is as sharp as ever.There are a few weapons to choose from, though nothing you can really keep or customize.

There are a few instances where there is a cut sequence when something happens and then suddenly you’ve lost your gun (possibly dropped in the sequence). The only thing that annoyed me is there were many times where a mini-movie sequence changed the weapon selected, switching you back to the handgun as a default. This became extra annoying when I was holding a handgun with no ammunition and was otherwise armed to the teeth and there were at least three sequences messing me up. This was near the end, so thankfully I was already used to the change happening and kept an eye out.


The graphics are nice. Everything is crisp, the environment is detailed and there are literally tons of things you can break, shoot through, knock over, etc. Unless the glass happens to be bulletproof, you can break it or shoot through it. You can also shoot through planks of wood and certain other surfaces depending on your current weapon. The people were fairly detailed and the movie sequences even more so.


The vocal talent is as good as ever, and the weapons sounded weapon-like, which is always good. The game also had lyrical music, not just music in the background, depending on the environment. There will be radios playing music, there is a chapter inside an airport that had a song I actually wondered enough about to want to look up and buy online and there’s even a DJ at a street party at one point. All in all, the music was good (though I’m not a fan of a lot of rap or reggaeton, those who are will enjoy it) and the orchestral music behind the scenes was excellent at keeping the tone.  When it comes to the subtitles (which I guess fall under sound), I did notice a couple of discrepancies. Some of the dialogue didn’t match the subtitles and I seem to recall a couple of typos. Nothing majorly wrong though.

Ad – content continues below


For me, I don’t know how often I would replay it, but only because I was dying a lot. I guess it depends on whether I’m looking to challenge myself on a higher difficulty or not. It didn’t help that the third-person forced view was a huge change from the first-person shooters I’ve been writing about all month, so I might just be wishing for the change-of-perspective button to switch back and forth (I personally love when games give us that option). I know that I’ll get in the mood to play the whole series through later on, though. For lovers of Max Payne in general, you’ll definitely want to replay it. My advice? Have a little talk with Max, see if he’ll switch to Coffee.


Story:  9/10

Gameplay:  8/10

Graphics:  8/10

Ad – content continues below

Sound:   9/10

Replayability:  7/10

Total Score:   8.2 / 10