Revisiting Max Payne 3
GameOn Magazine|Issue 132 - October 2020
Dane went back to slow-mo.
Dane Townsend

Max Payne 3, like many pieces of art on the latter end of a trilogy, is a divisive game. Whilst well received by critics and third person shooter players as a whole, many long time fans of the series were unhappy with the new direction that Rockstar took the titular character. Some felt the story was off-kilter and overly depressive when compared to the original Max Payne and its slightly tongue in cheek but still incredibly competent storyline. Others were displeased with the added cover based mechanics and more sluggish gameplay.

I personally came into the series as a whole during the summer of 2019, playing them all within the span of a month. As a result, the first two Max Payne games were very fresh in my mind going into the third installment. In addition, the narrative and characters in the original duology had a lasting impact on me and even my own writing. Even before playing Max Payne 3, I’d have gone as far as to name Max Payne as one of the best shooters I’d gotten my hands on to boot.

Needless to say I had high expectations for the finale of Max’s journey. This time in the backdrop of urban Brazil, a heavy contrast to the Bogart flick inspired streets of New York seen in his roots. Despite the many, many changes made to the regular formula that I’d already been able to observe from videos and trailers, I wasn’t deterred. If Rockstar had tried to emulate Remedy’s unique writing style, I don’t imagine Max Payne 3 would have lived up to its legacy. Sam Lake is a very distinct writer, and Dan Houser of Rockstar is similar in this regard. It would have been a waste of the latter’s talents to try and wholesale copy what Remedy did with Max’s character in the first place, at least in my opinion.

So, I was expectant, but also open minded. Was I disappointed in the end? Did Rockstar manage to build upon the foundations Remedy built, or did they simply knock them down in favour of their own construction?

Well, from a gameplay standpoint, I was far from disappointed. Max’s first enemy encounter involves a band of kidnappers and an M9 Beretta, and it immediately struck me how punchy the weapons felt. A gripe I’d had with Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne was how comparatively weak the gunplay felt when put against the original’s fantastic ragdoll physics and crunchy gunshots. Max Payne 3, whilst shelving the ragdolling, instead turns to a simple but effective bullet trail and tiny hitmarker to let you know exactly when you’ve ended a bad guy’s life. This, combined with the loud and satisfying sounds erupting from your guns, makes for fluid but endlessly gratifying shootouts more reminiscent of Michael Mann’s body of work than Remedy’s John Woo influences. Different, but equally as thrilling.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM GAMEON MAGAZINEView All

Deathloop Review

Over the last decade, Arkane Studios has made quite the name for itself as a studio brimming with creative ideas and precise execution. Since the arrival of Dishonored it’s continued to nail brilliant, fresh ideas. Deathloop is its most ambitious, perplexing title yet.

6 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021

Back4 Blood Review

Shredding through hordes of the undead whilst The Hive blared out of the jukebox in the background, that’s when I knew I was sold on Back 4 Blood. There were plenty of valid concerns before the game's release, ranging from Turtle Rock’s failure with Evolve, to worries about the in-game card mechanic potentially being used as a bridge towards in-game purchases.

5 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021

Far Cry 6 Review

Three years on from the release of Far Cry 5, Ubisoft have once again blessed with their chaotic, open-world game where you overthrow a mean tyrannical leader. If you enjoy that, you’ll enjoy Far Cry 6.

5 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021

Aragami 2 Review

Like most people who were born in the 1980s, I have always been a big fan of ninjas. Running along rooftops and throwing shuriken at people just never looks uncool. There have been a number of third-person games where you play as a ninja over the years, including the original Aragami, which cast you as an undead assassin with shadow powers.

5 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Review

Come for the graphics, stay for the graphics, and if the graphics alone aren’t enough for you, then Kena: Bridge of Spirits isn’t for you. This is a decent first game from Ember Lab, a studio only previously known for its work in animation. However, it is clear to see why this game is only priced at £32.99 and wasn’t heavily marketed at all by Sony in the build up to release.

4 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021

Hot Wheels Unleashed Review

When you were a kid playing with Hot Wheels who didn’t picture racing the cars around your house? If you didn’t then you have no imagination. I’m just kidding, maybe I just had an over-active one.

5 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021

Halo Infinite Multiplayer Preview

The first weekend of the Halo Infinite techpreview has come to an end. Keeping in mind that what I played was not a final build with limited playtime, maps and modes, I was extremely impressed with what I played and put an embarrassing amount of hours into the game.

4 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021

Phantom Abyss Preview

It goes without saying that Devolver Digital has had a pretty good deal of success with Fall Guys. The unique “survival of the fittest'' gameplay style was something very new and it captured the hearts of millions when the indie publisher unleashed it on the world. Their upcoming release, Team WIBY’s debut title Phantom Abyss, has a lot of that same ethos, but played out in a very different way.

3 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021

Metro Exodus Diaries Part Five

Andrew meets the Tsar-Fish.

6 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021

World War Z: Aftermath Review

World War Z or WWZ from here on in, has received a healthy update in the form of the Aftermath expansion. Coming in a few flavours for PC; a full-fat £30.99 release for anyone who has yet to obtain the game, or a 15.99 expansion for existing owners of WWZ.

4 mins read
GameOn Magazine
Issue 145 - Nov 2021
RELATED STORIES

NO ESCAPE FOR EPSTEIN MADAM!

Former child slaves deliver their verdict: Maxwell's GUILTY!

3 mins read
Globe
November 29, 2021

MAXIMBET: BEYOND THE BET

More than a place to bet on sports, this brand is changing the game by treating members to epic experiences

2 mins read
Maxim
November - December 2021

We Wanted Flying Cars. Instead We Got Targeted Ads, More Surveillance, Insurrectionists, and Peter Thiel

An exclusive excerpt from The Contrarian, a new biography

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 20, 2021

WEIRD WEST

A new perspective on immersive sims

3 mins read
PC Gamer US Edition
November 2021

When Ghost Cities Come Alive

Built on a grand scale with thousands of apartments, new roads and subway lines, and Instagrammable architecture, China’s overnight cities have something else now: People

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 06, 2021

Relearn How to Look

Ten fall shows to train your eye.

5 mins read
New York magazine
August 30 - September 12, 2021

The VAUGHAN GREENHOUSE

Learn how one couple turned their grief into a new season of growth.

3 mins read
Cottages and Bungalows
October -November 2021

It's Only My Opinion

Daytime’s most outspoken columnist!

5 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
August 09, 2021

Wish You Were Here

If you’re looking for a fun summer getaway, these CBS stars know how to play.

1 min read
CBS Watch! Magazine
July/August 2021

General hospital

The Quartermaines reel as Austin introduces himself as Austin Gatlin-Holt, Jimmy Lee’s son and Edward’s grandson. Brook Lynn is particularly shaken, given that Austin delivered Louise. Valentin is pleased that he’ll remain at the helm of the company while the matter of Austin’s claim to ELQ shares gets sorted out. Later, at G.H., Monica chats up Austin, trying to determine if he’s on the up-and-up.

4 mins read
Soap Opera Digest
August 02, 2021