Max Payne 3 is Rockstar Games’ gem in 2012. We haven’t seen a Max Payne game since 2003, but as many had hoped, Rockstar Games revived the franchise and gave it a whole new breath of fresh air. Boasting a multiplayer experience for the first time in the series, many hoped it would be done right as there’s much potential to be had coming from a juggernaut developer like Rockstar. Did they live up to the hype and make a memorable multiplayer experience?
Above is a video that goes in depth about the menus, weapons and what you can expect on that front. This includes grinds, crews, create-a-class, bursts and playlists. I’ve spent a bulk of my time playing both Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch in both Free Aim and Soft Aim playlists and my first impressions of the game are not looking so great.
Sure, games may grow on you, but what a game brings to the table as a first impression is extremely important. You’ll notice at first that the game plays pretty much like GTA IV in terms of movement and the pace of the gameplay. A couple of annoyances that jumped out at me first was the control scheme and the chunkiness of it. For example, to throw a grenade, you need to hold down the Left Bumper (360) and the press the Right Bumper to toss the grenade. To swap shoulder views you need to press left or right on the d-pad, which means you need to take your finger off the left thumbstick, unless you’ve trained your fingers wisely over the years. Sprinting doesn’t seem worth it as you don’t run much faster than you walk, on top of the fact you need to press the sprint button again to stop sprinting if you haven’t already ran out of stamina.
The weapon and character customization and the grinds make the game fun to play, but the gameplay itself isn’t anything special. You’ll have people out-dueling you from long distances with dual wielding pistols, which occurred to me multiple times. The two-handed weapons seemed fairly balanced. I got to try out the AK-47, Mini 30 and FAL especially. The single handed weapons are what I have a major concern with. You can essentially run around a map with nothing but a pistol and wreak havoc. They are extremely overpowered, and when duel wielding with a M10 or another pistol, they become extremely deadly at short to medium distances.
Another decent strong point for the game are the maps. Although there aren’t many, the ones that are there are pretty good. This is also a downside because a smaller number of maps means you play the same ones over and over again. I probably played the office deathmatch map about 10 times alone. The game supports both 4v4 and 8v8 playlists so it’s built for all sorts of party types. I haven’t been able to test the Payne Killer or Gang Wars modes because not many people outside of reviewers are currently playing the game. Once those modes become populated, I will update my review with my impressions of them.
Overall, this multiplayer experience is forgettable. Clunky controls, slow gameplay and the fact that pistols/duel-wielded weapons reign supreme – I think this is a game you should pass on. It doesn’t do anything special that any other multiplayer title doesn’t do. It’s basically GTA IV multiplayer wrapped in a Max Payne 3 world, and with GTA IV being almost 4 years old, most of us want to see innovation. Wait this one out and purchase it when it becomes cheaper, or simply buy it because you’re a huge Max Payne/Rockstar fanatic.