Geek culture, baby. Love it.Fucked-up horror films, the coolest comics around, and 20-hour gaming marathons. In-Yo-Face!
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Impressions of Max Payne 3
by Max Ingram
I was hoping New Game Plus would extend my playtime with Dragon’s Dogma, but it really just ended up being a very brief diversion following the end credits. Oh well, the first playthrough was more than good enough to make me hungry for a sequel, so I’ll let ‘em slide on the substandard post-game content.
Unfortunately, nothing else of interest was out, and I needed something to fill the void left by Dragon’s Dogma, so I ended up paying full price for a game which, now, I’m not too keen on.
First, let me just establish that Max Payne is a beautiful game in terms of production values and graphics. The folks over at Rockstar really outdid themselves on this one. It has a very strongly flavored cinematic experience wedged in-between the protracted shooter elements, and tends to exhibit quality writing, even if the inner monologue of the main character is often a bit too reminiscent of a cliched private detective novel.
To be perfectly honest, I think a lot of people will love Max Payne 3. Like I said, for what it is, it’s a really well-made title. It just happens to not be my cup of tea. I like a little more variety in my games. Some exploration, maybe some puzzle-solving, a few disparate game styles mixed together. Anything to break the monotony, really. Because for me, Max Payne 3 is a very monotonous title. It’s just too heavily focused on that one, very specific, element of game play.
I also had a few pet peeves about Max Payne 3 that made the experience frustrating for me. For starters, there are huge loading times. And I’m talking about loading times that reminded me of playing PC games during the mid-nineties. I’m talking about having to sit there for over five minutes or more between levels, just waiting for the game to get itself in gear.
This was my experience on the PS3 version, so your mileage may vary. But PS3 has a mandatory full install for games, so I can only imagine it being worse on the Xbox 360.
That was huge for me, and very frustrating.
My other pet peeve is somewhat connected, and that has to do with the games attitude regarding collectibles. I played through the first four chapters, and most of the fifth, and each chapter contained a set of “Golden Gun” collectibles that needed to be found. These are essentially hidden gun pieces that - if you find all of them - grant you the ability to toggle infinite ammo with a particular firearm. So in other words, if you find all three pieces of the golden P92 pistol scattered around chapter one, you get the option for infinite ammo with the P92 pistol on subsequent runs through that chapter.
There are also a certain number of story-based clues hidden in each chapter, which also net you certain rewards once you’ve found and examined all of them.
When you also take into account that Max Payne’s ubiquitous pain killers, which are essentially the only health refills in the game, are practically hidden amid the clutter like collectibles themselves, it only makes the constant push/pull of the games need for exploration all the more frustrating.
So unfortunately, for me, Max Payne 3 is a bust. Great production values and great graphics, but ultimately a very frustrating and far too singularly focused shooter for my taste.