Max Payne 3 (PC)
The path to playing Max Payne 3
I remember playing the very first Max Payne way back when I was a kid. The noir style and narration. The comic book type cut scenes. The bullet time action. It grabbed my imagination straight away. I played Max Payne again and again multiple times. I also remember these mods that were available (like this matrix mod) which made the game even more memorable on replay.
Max Payne 2 was also good. It was not as good as the first one, but still very good. It still had much of the same.
Rockstar took a while to make the 3rd one. By the time it came out, I had moved away from PC gaming. Consoles were too expensive and that was it for Max Payne in my life. The less about the movie, the better. I got back to gaming about 2 years ago, first with the PS4, and then adding Xbox One also to my living room. Sadly, Max Payne 3 was not available on either of them. Eventually I added a gaming PC to my living room, and immediately bought Max Payne 3 on Steam.
But, the steam version of Max Payne 3 has a lot of issues. I had to return that game as it simply wont run. Looked like this was a well known issue. Lot of other players seemed to have faced the same problem. Steam gave me a refund and I forgot about Max Payne 3 altogether.
Red Dead Redemption 2 and Rockstar PC Launcher
A year ago, Rockstar finally released RDR2. I grabbed it on PS4 and spent hours playing it. Playing as Arthur Morgan (and then as John Marston in the epilogue) was such a joy. Rockstar is the best.
Then, a few months ago, Rockstar announced that they will be releasing RDR2 on PC. I already have it and played it on PS4. I did not give much thought to it. But then, Rockstar launched their own launcher (looks like every game publisher has his own launcher these days) and were offering RDR2 pre-order on discounts. And, 2 games for free.
One of them is Max Payne 3!
So, I pre-ordered RDR2 at a discounted rate (I would not mind playing RDR2 again and the visual upgrade alone is worth it). Along with that, Rockstar threw in Max Payne 3 and LA Noire for free. All in all, it is a good deal.
Thoughts on Max Payne 3
I finished Max Payne 3 just now. The vibes are similar to Max Payne 2. Its not as good as Max Payne but its definitely better than Max Payne 2. A few things have been changed, and the changes are jarring.
For one thing, the comic book style cut scenes are gone. I really missed them. Second, the setting is no longer the dark, and moody New York. It’s bright and colorful Sao Paulo, Brazil. Max is also a lot older, balding and is not really in the greatest of shape. He has really let himself go.
It takes a bit of getting used to, but after a few chapters, the mind adjusts to the change of setting and appearance. Considering what Max Payne went through in the first two games, it seems like a natural evolution. His character traits have remained the same, and he sort of looks chilled out in the changed clothing. All in all, he is still a very likable protagonist.
This time around, the noir setup is all gone. The story is much closer to ‘man on fire’, the 1987 version. Max Payne is hired to protect some rich people and things go bad. The setting may be bright but the story is pretty dark, and shooting is extremely violent. The perfect place for someone like Max Payne to do his things.
The bullet time is definitely enhanced and smoother. The visuals, are amazing. The game came out in 2012, but it looks darn good, even today. If I am going to complain, I will say that the game is too long. I have finished a lot of campaigns in the last 2 years but this one seemed to drag at the end. The plot is resolved about 70 % into the game, but there are a lot of padding levels.
One thing to note about game difficulty. At hard/very hard setting, the gun battles become impossible at some points. Enemies end up killing you with one hit, the bullet time fills very slowly (or not at all) and you never get any grenades or pain killers. So, if you don’t want to get frustrated, don’t use that difficulty. I played about 80% of the game at the very hard setting but every now and then had to reduce difficulty to finish levels.
All in all, I am glad that this game was given for free as part of the RDR2 PC launch.