This past weekend’s Subscriber Sunday, I had the opportunity to play Max Payne 3 which released on May 15th. I played through three chapters of the campaign and about 2 1/2 hours of the multiplayer in this 4-hour long stream. It seemed like a number of people in the stream were interested in how well the multiplayer played and if it was “worth purchasing,” so I just wanted to give a summary of how the game played in my eyes. Before I get to the summary, the video above is the entire stream with my staple Interactive Menu available at the start which allows you to jump to specific segments of the stream without having to watch portions that you may not enjoy.
If you go into Max Payne 3 with the intention of completing the campaign, then I think this is definitely a title you will want to purchase. My brief stint with the campaign left me wanting to play a lot more of it. The overall difficulty of the game was much harder than I initially envisioned, watching me die a few times will show that, but it was definitely fun. My biggest gripe with the campaign is just that the controls aren’t overly intuitive which was a major gripe for me during the multiplayer, aside from that I think everyone will really enjoy the campaign.
It is worth noting that I was playing in the “Free Aim” targeting playlist which essentially means I was playing with little-to-no auto-aim or “targeting assistance.” If you plan on buying this for the multiplayer, I think you should give this game a rent before going all-in on a purchase. It feels very Saint Row 2-ish so those that like that type of MP experience, Max Payne is right up your alley. The overall experience is something I would simply categorize as “okay.” Based on Rockstar’s other titles, there were certain control mechanics that I expected to feel awkward and frustrating which probably allowed me to play through and enjoy the experience a bit more than I should have.
I did not overly enjoy the general feel of aiming and the controller button layout. The aiming is something that probably would have improved the more I played the game and possibly if I was in the “Soft-Lock” playlist instead of Free Aim. There are basically three sensitivity settings that allow you to adjust how fast or slow the reticle moves across your screen and I didn’t fine tune it thoroughly before playing. Comments during the stream basically echoed my sentiments on the aiming and general “feel” of firing upon opponents which can only be summarized as awkward.
Button Layout (Camera Toggle)
The limitations of the button-layout on a controller were definitely apparent when I started into Multiplayer. The “Camera Toggle” function is assigned to “Left” and “Right” on the D-Pad were probably the single most frustrating thing about the game. I played on the default control settings, so maybe there is a another control scheme that feels a bit better, but to put this in perspective I’m going to reference Ghost Recon which also allows a camera toggle and Gears of War which does not. In my opinion Ghost Recon has the most intuitive camera toggle flip in any third person shooter — by simply clicking in an analog you can flip between between a right-hand camera or a left-hand camera. This is very important in third-person shooters because you and your opponents have different advantages/disadvantages based on camera orientation.
In Gears of War everyone is always on the right-hand camera (unless you perform a glitch) so in certain situations you will always be at a disadvantage when facing an opponent. In Max Payne 3 they have the camera toggle assigned to the D-Pad which is not a great spot to place it because the action requires you to take your thumb off of the left analog (default layout). I didn’t play long enough to see if there was a different layout that assigns the camera toggle to something else, but needless to say I didn’t enjoy it.
The gametypes seem pretty standard, the only one I did not play was the “Payne Killer” which someone described as a sort of Juggernaut gametype. The best way to describe Payne Killer is that everyone is trying to kill Max Payne and Raul Passos. I played through mostly Team Deathmatch and two games of Gang Wars which includes a number of different gametypes where two “gangs” duke it out until one wins 3 out of 5 of the gametypes. The gametypes in Gang Wars included a sort of Search and Destroy, Headquarters/Domination, Team Deathmatch, some type of collection mode and an Assassination gametype. There is also a kind of perk system and a fairly robust player customization available. Perhaps the coolest thing is has going for it is the ability to activate bullet time in MP which you can view by watching a few MP games in the video above.
Not much else on it. If it’s too long and you didn’t read. The short version:
Single Player: Awesome
You should probably rent it.
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