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== MAX PAYNE 3 ==
Max Payne 3 is a third person shooter game available on both the PS3 and Xbox 360 along with the PC. The game is the third installment in the franchise of the well renown Rockstar Games who both developed and published the game. Rockstar are most notable for their open world GTA and Red Dead games and its nice to see them go back on an older project and make a third in the series. I was a massive fan when Max Payne 1 and 2 were released back on the PS2 and as soon as I heard a third game was coming I immediately couldn't wait. I finally got my hands on the game just recently and was literally blown away by what the game has to offer and how much fun the game can be. Max Payne 3 on the Xbox 360 is actually two discs. On disc one you have the first part of the main game along with multiplayer and other bits and on disc two is part two of the story and other bits. So how does the game fair overall?
=== STORY ===
So Max is back after several years of having a so called quiet life. Hes looking considerably older than he looked in Max Payne 2 but don't let this fool you because Max has still got it! So obviously you play as the icon himself Max Payne and the game is mostly set in São Paulo with the odd flashbacks of Max in Hoboken, New Jersey where Max has become addicted to painkillers and alcohol. Max went to São Paulo after getting a job basically protecting a very wealthy family. Max saves Rodrigo and his wife Fabiana from being kidnapped but the kidnappers make a second attempt and take Fabiana from a local nightclub whilst Max was having a drink. Now Max has to set off, search, find and save Fabiana before its too late. Can you help Max in his adventure and put a stop to the group that is targeting the wealthy Branco family?
=== GAMEPLAY ===
Max Payne 3 plays a little like John Woo Stranglehold but is more detailed and updated tremendously. In Max Payne 3 there are a total of around 14 chapters and some chapters can take you up to an hour depending on how skilled you are and how tough the game setting is that you have it on. Each level is really well set out and beautifully designed to add variety in the gameplay and overall it works fantastically well. Max Payne isn't your average looking character who can only do his average daily thing, Max can actually do all kinds of skills at his age which most cannot at a younger age. Not only can Max take numerous bullets to the chest and so on but he can also slow down time which helps when taking on numerous enemies. Max also does dives which are very realistic in this game because if you dive whilst shooting and it looks as if you are going to hit the wall, chances are that you will and Max will make proper contact with it making him stumble, fall or even just look a complete tool so you have to bide your time and dive in the correct places because one mistake could cost Max his life.
There are two types of aiming which you can choose from at the start of the game but I recommend Free Aim because its basically do it yourself. The other option is Soft Aim which is a little easier with less rewards and basically with one press of a button the target locks onto a target automatically. Some of the better features for Max Payne 3 are the over the shoulder zoom aiming and cover mechanics and lucky you get to cover yourself but making sure you are actually covered is another matter because I have often thought I was covered but an arm, leg or even the tip of your head can be dangling out of cover and before you know it you're a dead man. Max Payne 3 also features the classic run and shoot action gameplay. Max Payne 3 also welcomes back bullet-time which lets you see your enemies up close as you are pounding away with a weapon but its not for the gamers who don't like blood because with bullet-time that is all you basically see is blood pouring out as you shoot every part of the human body possible.
Something new and impressive to the game is when Max is almost finished for but you have a painkiller then the game automatically takes you into last man standing mode in which it gives you around 10 seconds to finish off your opponent before you die. Not only does this look phenomenal its always a lot of fun to watch as you blow away someones face. In bullet-time and last man standing you can also slow bullets up so you can see them entering any body part of your enemy. Max can cover behind almost anything and he can also use melee attacks when close enough to an enemy and to be fair its very effective and can instantly kill your foes. You can also do a bit of climbing up objects with Max and also there are sequences in which involve watching a movie but shortly after will require you to be alert and do something such as a one shot kill in the head of your enemy. There are tons of weapons on the game which can be picked up from heavier weapons to duel weapons such as a pistol in one hand and a revolver in the other. There are tons of different duel guns available. However if you have a bigger gun such as a rifle or machine gun then change to duel-wield then Max will drop the heavier gun.
Now there is quite a difference in the online play and single player game. I was quite surprised that they had put multiplayer on disc one with half of the story when surely it would make more sense to put the story on disc one and multiplayer alone on disc two. However that doesn't take anything away from the game because not only is the story mode one of the best and most interesting story modes but the online play is also some of the best fun available in an Xbox game. There are numerous game modes available in multiplayer so there is definitely something for everyone with Deathmatch which is 8 players including yourself going up against each other for a certain amount of time, Team Deathmatch which is 4 vs 4, Gang Wars which is a series of 5 different games and by the end you could have lost 4 and still win overall as long as you have the better skilled players. There are more game modes as well which also include 8 vs 8 or 16 players killing each other.
Also online you can create your very own crew and take them online against other crews. You also don't play as Max in online modes but there are a decent amount of customization options for you to play with. You also rank up with EXP which leads to you unlocking more items, guns and much more. There really are endless possibilities in multiplayer mode and Max Payne 3 is definitely a game that can last a long time!
=== GRAPHICS ===
Okay so can the game get any better?? Damn right it can because the graphics to the game are superb and there is rarely a bodge up at all and if there is its barely noticeable. Max looks fantastic to some extent but he does seem a little old for what he does in the game but you have to give him credit. He looks the part for the first disc but by the second disc he does look a little weird with his shaven head but he still means business. Each chapter of the game is set in a different place and each place is really well detailed and looks outstanding and most places in the game are recognizable in multiplayer modes. Enemies look the part but best of all the graphics are phenomenal when you are right in the middle of all the action with blood splatters everywhere and so on. The graphics in multiplayer do look a little bit weaker overall but its still looks quite good.
=== SOUND EFFECTS ===
The sound effects are a real bonus to the game and definitely make the game more enjoyable. The game is basically told from start to finish by Max Payne when the movies are on or even when you're playing the game properly and to be fair it sounds and looks great and also works really well too. The music to the game is okay but nothing spectacular and barely noticeable in some places and the main reason for this is the full on sound effects when you are in the middle of a gun fight blasting your way through countless enemies because it certainly sounds fantastic overall. The sound effects do seem a little weaker in multiplayer but its still not too shabby overall.
=== DIFFICULTY & LONGEVITY ===
Max Payne 3 is actually a rather tricky game in places and quite a few times I have gotten frustrated at it but I do like a game that is challenging and this is exactly that. Story mode can be really hard on the harder settings but on normal its also a little tricky and can take a good few hours to get the hang of it and the controls. Online play varies in terms of difficulty and all depends on your rank and what the other online players are like as well. Arcade mode is also available to play but can be quite hard to get your name on the overall leaderboard but you can challenge friends and try and beat their scores. Overall its a game that needs time to adjust to but definitely worth it in the end.
Longevity wise is in my opinion reasonable. Plenty of chapters in story mode which have to be completed numerous times if you want achievements and other bits such as secret weapons that are scattered throughout the game. Also different missions take different amounts of time but overall I feel the story mode has enough to be classed as reasonable in terms of length. Multiplayer is fantastic in terms of length because its fun and because there are tons of different options and games available to play. Max Payne 3 is a game that will be around for a long time to come and its also very popular online. Overall the length of the main game is about 10=15 hours roughly but with multiplayer you are definitely looking at over 40+.
=== ACHIEVEMENTS ===
Something else I was very impressed with about Max Payne 3 is the fact its got some tricky achievements that could take quite some time to achieve and there are also a lot of variety in them as well. You don't get your typical ones for completing levels and there are only a few for doing certain chapters. Most include killing a total amount of enemies doing certain things such as killing so many whilst dangling from a chain and so on. So far there are a total of 46 achievements on Max Payne 3 but that is more likely to change when add-ons are released for the game. Overall there is a good mix of achievements but there are quite a few online ones as well which wont be everyone's cup of tea that's for sure.
=== PROS ===
*Tons of action all the way through the game.
*A fantastic and well played out story line and its very easy to follow as well.
*Bullet time is back and lots of fun especially with the other skills Max has.
*Fantastic single player mode and an even better set of multiplayer options available for the first time ever.
*Great graphics, mechanics and sound effects are thrilling to say the least!
=== CONS ===
*Might be way too much blood for some gamers!
*Possibly a few too many movies in story mode but there not usually on for long.
*Gameplay is repetitive in single player but it doesn't really get boring at all.
*Could be quite difficult for some gamers and does take time to get the hang of it.
*A little pricey maybe.
=== FINAL THOUGHT ===
So Max Payne 3 finally arrived and I have to say its blown me away and I do feel Rockstar have done themselves proud and I absolutely loved the single player mode as well as the tons of online features that are available. I was unsure at first about the game mainly because I thought the story would of been quite weak with Rockstar concentrating a lot on multiplayer but overall both are equally as impressive in respective ways.
I would definitely recommend the game because its fun, addictive and full of action and if you were a fan of the previous Max Payne games then this will not disappoint you. Also if you third person shooters then look no further because this has everything from action, leveling up, customization and more. A very solid and well designed game that many will adore. The game manual is also quite good and offers all relevant information. Max Payne 3 has an age rating of 18+ which is definitely right with the tons of blood, violence and very strong language throughout.
So I bought the game a couple of days after release day from my local Asda store and it cost me £34.97 which is quite good considering how new the game is and most new games are usually selling for £40 and I do think its value for money with everything the game has to offer. Most places online such as Amazon and eBay sell the game for around the same price but Gamestation have it for a little dearer.
Overall Max Payne 3 is definitely one of my best games this year and its definitely going to be hard to beat. I would give the game an incredible 9/10 rating!
Review also on Ciao under the username: MrBrightside1987!