Max Payne 3 PC Review
Peter Donnell / 344 days ago
This week I’ve been taking many a slow motion dive through Rockstar Studios latest bullet riddled adventure Max Payne 3. With Rockstar having taken over the show for Max Payne 3 from the hands of the series previous developers Remedy Entertainment and also calling on the aid of Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto write Dan Houser to script the main story, instead of previous writer Sam Lake. With such a big departure from the original team is this game still a true Max Payne game, or have they taken their own talents and turned them towards this much loved franchice? well that’s what I aim to find out.
Rockstar have already got a solid reputation for them selves, one that leaves me with little doubt that if anyone can make a compelling action game with a solid and entertaining story, it would be them. With so many award winning and multi million selling games already under their belt they have proven them selves to be one of the worlds leading developers time and time again as far as gameplay, graphics and many innovations are concerned, so lets start with one of the biggest selling points of Max Payne 3 PC edition, it’s graphics.
Unlike a lot of titles that find their way across the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC, Max Payne 3 is not a port, something the developers are keen to point out, no doubt due to the extra work they’ve put into this edition from day one. Rather than port the game over with some new textures and a higher resolution, Max Payne 3 PC has been built independently along side the console versions to cater for not only the needs of PC gamers, but to also fully utilise the full potential of modern PC hardware and the benefits that can bring to any modern game.
This isn’t to say the console versions of Max Payne 3 looks rubbish, far from it, its a stunning looking game full stop, but on even my modest gaming rig this game looks quite simply jaw dropping, taking full advantage of the usual improvements such as high resolution support, various forms of anti-aliasing techniques, higher resolution textures and full DirectX 11 support, but then going that little bit further with Nvidia Surround at 5760 x 1080 on a single GPU, 3D vision, Tessellation, FXAA, and the ability to tweak every aspect to your needs to make sure you get the best or even just the most compatible configuration for your rig, a lot of information you might think, but not as big as the 13 page document detailing the complexities of the graphics engine they sent me, that’s for sure.
So Rockstar clearly mean business, since graphics are a big selling point for PC gaming, it’s safe to say without any doubt that this game doesn’t disappoint in the visual department, good for them to know that they haven’t wasted all that effort adding so much polish to the game then.
With all this attention going to how the game looks, does it have any style? short answer, yes! and plenty of it. The thing I was most concerned about was that the game would have lost some of the things that made Max Payne what it is, especially with new writers and developers behind the scenes.
But for fans of the original games in the series I’m sure you won’t be disappointed, with a slick inner monologue narration, comic book style presentation and a self loathing attitude Max is as gritty and bad ass as he ever was.
I don’t want to spoil any story elements for the game, and while the story is surprisingly quite good, littered with a few well acted and realised characters to keep you entertained along the way, I don’t really care for it, which is nothing against the story, but my main interest in Max Payne is Bullet Time, leaping through the air sideways, guns blazing and generally looking kick ass, with the usual cover systems we’ve all come to expect being in place, it’s all about getting from A to B and leaving nothing but dead bad guys in your path, which is fortunately just as much fun now as it was years ago in the original Max Payne.
Rockstar have given us more than just a great campaign too, with plenty of re-play options available for those who want to crank up the difficulty to the games “more than sensible” Old School difficulty, Arcade Mode, where you can play the game mission by mission for high scores, which is way more fun than it sounds, and of course the games online multiplayer.
Online multiplayer was well laid out, match making was swift and with plenty of game types on offer there was plenty to do, catering for both free aim and soft lock control systems in two separate playlists, giving keyboard and mouse / game pad players an equal chance when it comes to competitive gaming.
Online play comes with a full compliment of customisation options, experience grinding, achievements, weapon load outs and everything else we’ve come to expect from a modern online shooter setup, all aspects have been well covered by Rockstar, if anything I’d say there is more gameplay to be had in the multiplayer than there was in the story mode.
At the start of this review I asked, is this still a true Max Payne game or have Rockstar turned it into something of their own, the answer is both, not only have Rockstar managed to add their own polish to the game, especially with the multiplayer aspects but they have managed to create a fantastic looking and playing modern game without damaging anything that made the original Max Payne games fun to play in the first place.
The game is setup to cater for everyone from your arcade style casual gamer with its accessible control options and difficulties yet still manages to satisfy gaming sadists who love to have everything on its hardest settings, meaning no one feels left out of the experience. The graphics are without a doubt award winning, giving you another way of justifying all the money you spent on a new graphics card as well as making it all seem worth it. People will no doubt be looking to Rockstar to keep the blood flowing in this franchise with future DLC updates and who knows, perhaps even a Max Payne 4 in the years to come. All this adds up to why I am awarding Max Payne 3 our gamers choice award, thank you Rockstar for bringing Max Payne back to our screens in style.