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Max Payne 3 - Review

When had I ever needed to invite trouble in? It always found me, no matter where I hid.

As someone who has enjoyed the first two Max Payne games, it was only a matter of time for me to play the final game of the trilogy. Max Payne 3 is a different game in the series as it changed the gameplay in a few ways. Some of these changes are a bit questionable but this could be due to being made by Rockstar and not the original company Remedy Entertainment.

Pros and Cons


Good story with enjoyable moments to it

Very fun gameplay

Variety of fun weapons

Nice and detailed graphics


Max’s character felt a little off at times

The comic cutscene art style has been removed

Last Man Standing would put you in unwinnable situations

Sometimes the game would start you with a weapon you did not want at certain scenes

Laser sight weapons are impossible to use

Some bugs are present


Nine years after the events of the first game, Max Payne has retired from the NYPD, due to him helping out Mona Sax. He later moved away to New Jersey, where he decided to combine painkillers and alcohol, the perfect combo for your struggling needs. Max now works for the wealthy Branco family with his friend Rual Passos as a private security guard in the wonderful country known as Brazil. However, some people are after the Broncos fortune and it’s up to Max to solve this issue but more seems to be going on and something bigger is probably happening behind the scenes. Oh, and a few hours into the game Max decides to become Walter White so he can remove himself from alcohol.

The story for Max Payne 3 is good, it manages to be intense just like the previous two games and has some great action in it. I enjoyed it and was invested in how Max changed and evolved throughout the game, seeing his struggles and then overcoming them in his way.

Although I do have two issues with the story, the first one is the fact that Max’s character felt a little off at times. I know that he changed thanks to events in the second game but he had this air to him that made him special. Almost every line he said was like a quote in its own way but that is missing from this game. He does have a few one-liners that are good, but they don’t hit as hard as they did in the previous two games.

Another thing I also did not like is that the comic book art style that the cut scenes were known for is gone as well. This made the game unique in telling its story and seeing it gone in this game makes it feel different in a few ways.


The gameplay for Max Payne 3 takes a different approach than the previous two games. New to the series is a cover mechanic that you can use to hide from enemy fire. However, if you don't like the cover system the game has, you can avoid doing it, but you are in a way making the game harder for yourself. Because the game has this system built into it and it expects you to use it most of the time, although someone has probably beaten the game without even using it anything is possible.

Shooting itself has not changed and is still fun as always, the guns felt nice, and I had no issues with any of them. Bullet Time is also back and is still a useful feature to use to help you out with taking out enemies. Although new to the series with its bullet time, it is Last Man Standing, upon having his health drained, a bottle of Painkillers, and some ammo. Max will go into Bullet Time, even if the meter is empty, he must kill the enemy that shot him to exit out of it. Failure to do so will kill him and you then must go back to your last checkpoint.

There is also a Bullet Time mode called Environmental Bullet Time, where the game will be slowed down in certain events to take out enemies. They are kind of like quick-time events in a way because if you fail them, it is game over and you must do that event over again.

You can even find parts of a golden gun in the levels you play, these will be a skin for your weapon mostly. However, each golden gun part will only be in a certain level, so if you want that gold pistol skin, you have to find all the parts for it in that level, as they won’t be in any other one in the game.

The gameplay for Max Payne 3 is fun and remarkably interesting, it is my favorite thing about the game, however, I do have a few issues with the game that I need to address. There are times when Last Man Standing will put you in a situation where shooting the enemy is just not possible. This is due to the ragdoll physics in the game, so because of that, sometimes your gun won’t be in a position to kill the enemy. Because of this, I have had a few unfair deaths thanks to this feature.

There are also times during missions when the game will start you with a weapon you don’t want, I have an AK with me, so why start a gunfight with fifteen enemies with a pistol instead of an AK? It’s not a huge issue but something that still annoyed me, nonetheless. Speaking of weapons, they also made the whole weapon system off-putting in some ways, you can only carry a few weapons at a time, which is fine. However, dual wielding was something I never did because you would drop your heavy weapon upon doing so. You can duel wield a pistol and another small firearm like a submachine gun but that’s it.

Also, whatever you do, do not pick up a laser-sighted weapon or equip the laser sight part to it. It removes your crosshair, which is fine but when you fire your weapon, your laser goes up and down like a madman when you fire the weapon. So, the one thing that improves your aim, actually makes your aim worse. Whatever you do, avoid them at all costs and never touch them.

There is also an online multiplayer mode as well but it’s dead, however, there are some people who are looking to make some lobbies so there may be a spark in this game. So, if you want to play some Max Payne 3 multiplayer, then there may be some people who want to play the game.

Graphics and Performance

The graphics for Max Payne 3 are good, they have a different feel to them that makes them look updated but still retaining that nostalgic feeling of the first two games. I tested the game on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB, AMD Ryzen 5 1500X Quad-Core Processor 3.50, and 16 GB of RAM, I experienced no issues while I was playing. However, I did come across a bug where the map failed to load in one cut scene but that was it.

Final Verdict

Max Payne 3 is a solid entry for the series and one that I think fans can enjoy, although I would wait for a sale. The game is enjoyable for what it is but it’s only going to last for about 10 hours at the most. I can recommend purchasing the game at full price if you already are a fan of this series and you know that you will be able to get multiplayer matches going. If you are newer to the series, maybe wait for a sale on this one and check out the first two in the meantime.


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