Saturday, 20 October 2012

Max Payne 3

I just finished Max Payne 3 on the PS3. This game can be very frustrating at times. There was a lot of swearing as I tried certain parts over and over again, but I have finally managed to get to the end! Of course I could have spared myself a bit of the trouble if I did not choose HARD (the highest difficulty existing before unlocking the next one) and FREE AIM (where you have no help aiming at all), so I guess I had myself to blame. Then again, now I have the trophy to show off that I completed it! Your experience might differ if you go with easier settings or play on the PC with a mouse.

Apart from the moments where I had to fight the urge to throw the controller and walk away, how was the actual game? Well, one good thing was that it had a fairly long story arc, if not too advanced. Mostly it revolved around Max being the target of a lot of angry people with guns, but on the whole it kept you interested enough to keep playing. There is plenty of brutal camera effects when firing away, and bullet-time that the Max Payne series is so well-known for is of course back. Basically, bullet-time is a way of slowing time down so that you get more time aiming, shooting and dodging. While doing this, the enemies' bullets slowly move towards you and around you.

There was some flashy transition effect that they kept using over and over again during cut scenes and parts of the game. They double the image or slightly shift the colours quickly back and forth. I do not know how to describe it exactly but it annoyed me every time. Someone decided that they wanted to do something unique, but it did not work for me.

The developers have been very sadistic quite often. For example, after letting you get used to frequent checkpoints, suddenly they might decide that now you have to go back and kill those 10 or 15 enemies again when you die. Also, this is especially irritating because the designers often put in one extra hidden enemy after you think you cleared the room. A tip is, if you clear a room and you have to walk towards some area where an enemy might hide, there will be one. If you are not prepared, he will one-shot you and the check point would have been just behind him. Just saying...

If you get killed while carrying pain-killers, instead one pain-killer will automatically be consumed and drop you into bullet-time. You have to kill the enemy that fired the last shot at you before the bullet-time ends to survive. This is a pretty cool feature, and it works well in some tricky situations. It does not come completely without problems though. Sometimes there is no way to hit the enemy that killed you because he managed to hit you through some weird angle where you cannot fire back. I have also encountered cases where I can actually see the enemy, but the game does not pick up that I am aiming at him during this mode so he is invincible. All in all it works pretty well as a game mechanic though.

So to sum it all up, a good game, fairly long, not revolutionizing, and very very frustrating at times!

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