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Max Payne 3: an unnecessary epilogue

I remember loving this game when beating it on release, so I've decided to replay it recently and after finishing it for the second time my opinion about this game is mostly mixed or even negative at times

first i'll start with the gameplay, because it's the single best thing about this game, and I think MP3 still stands as one of the best third-person shooters ever made, when it comes to the shooting aspect of course

the controls are very responsive and fluid (which is sad that this didn't translate to GTAV and RDR2), the guns feel fantastic and all of the additions to Max's abilities are so well adjusted and thought out, combined with the physics engine and excessive gore – popping headshots from a distance and realizing that power fantasy of being John Wick has never been better

but I feel that all of this is buried because the flow of the gameplay is constantly interrupted by cutscenes, walking through a door, pressing a button, even the enemy encounters never come as a surprise because they are always shown with a cutscene

I understand the technical limitations of 7th-gen consoles, and that those cutscenes are actually loading screens in disguise – but the amount of them is ridiculous – it's especially an issue when you're playing on kb&m, and you constantly have to let your hands go to watch a 10 second cutscene of opening a door, and then go back to 2 minutes of gameplay before entering a next cutscene

I don't know if this was Rockstar just testing things for the release of GTAV, but it really ruins this game and rips out any replay value because of the tedium – especially when you compare it to previous games in the franchise, where you could blast through a level uninterrupted, and only when you specifically wanted to interact with something, then the comic style panels would play

another issue of mine is the story itself, which is absolutely dumb and feels like an insult to the previous games (especially MP2)

the reason Max moves to Brazil so heavily tacked on, with the flashback sequences being blalant example of fan service for people who wanted the noir style of previous games

you're telling me Max shoots one guy in a bar for no reason whatsoever and suddenly the entire city is after you – then moves to South America to protect a rich family, which likes to go to a party the next day after they have almost been kidnapped – then the stadium exchange fumbles in the most idiotic way possible (yeah let's meet with two people and a bag full of cash vs a whole gang in the middle of an empty stadium) – and then the game jumps around different locations all the time without cohesion

Max is unable to connect even the most obvious plot points, and gets himself in trouble in such ridiculous ways, like during the scene when he wants to save Marcelo and Fabianna from being held hostage, he just barges into a house full of people without a plan and gets them killed

this Da Silva guy shows up at the most convenient moments possible and drops a huge exposition bomb every time to explain the plot to the player and Max

the whole story just feels… so unnecessary? the ending of MP2 was great, and had a conclusion – Max has moved on and forgave himself for the death of his wife, but this game throws all of this out of the window for no reason

I wouldn't have had such an issue with the story if it didn't take itself so seriously, and because of this (and the constant cutscenes) all of the flaws are painfully noticable the second time you're playing the game

In conclusion I'd say the game was still enjoyable, because the gameplay didn't age at all, and it's still fantastic – but in order to enjoy this game you really need to turn your brain off and learn how to skip the cutscenes

It's good for a single playthrough but I don't think I will see myself coming back to this one – maybe for the arcade modes

What are your thoughts?


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