Max Payne 3 - PC

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Requires: Mouse, Keyboard
Also for: PS3, Xbox 360
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Rockstar Vancouver Soft. Co.: Rockstar
Publishers: Rockstar (GB)
Released: 1 Jun 2012 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 18+, BBFC 18


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After having been involved in the development of the Max Payne franchise since the sequel, The Fall of Max Payne, it’s clear that Rockstar has an intimate understanding of the what makes the series great. So it’s no surprise to see that Max Payne 3 brings the same core run-and-gun action, whilst adding a contemporary edge that helps keep the experience fresh.

Things pick up eight years after the events of Max Payne 2, and our solemn hero is in bad shape. He’s still hurting over the past - leading to chronic depression, alcoholism and a rather messy apartment. An old acquaintance, Raul Passos, visits him to suggest that he leave the US and take up a job in executive security. And so Max travels to Brazil, where his job takes a decidedly bad turn and he gets in way over his head.

Rockstar is keen to show off a range of digital effects and unique presentation elements to try and convey the graphic novel style that has been integral to the Max Payne series. From the first scene to the last, Max will always be outnumbered in some ridiculous way, and enemy AI is clever enough to smoke you out of hiding places pretty quickly, so you’re pretty much left to your run-and-gun devices.

While Max is left to fend for himself, he does have one powerful weapon at his disposal, which happens to be the main selling point of Max Payne - bullet time. By engaging in combat, you can build up a meter in the corner of the screen which, when the Right Stick is clicked in, allows you to slow down everything around you and take out multiple enemies. Or make a hasty retreat. Whatever floats your boat.

The game also includes a Shoot Dodge system. Hitting the Right Bumper will have Max fling himself in whichever direction you’re holding, and automatically sinks the world around him in slow motion. Without the need for a charge meter, you can use this in times of great emergency - or if you really want to show off.

Max Payne 3 is an action experience that really brings out the John Woo in you.