Max Payne 3
Release: Out now
Like all the bad things in my life, it started with the death of a woman. I couldn’t save her. I didn’t want to. Because she was just another bad Rockstar stereotype. Big on tits and small on IQ. And frankly, i didn’t give a single solitary shit about any of the characters in this game.
I lied to myself that it was over. I was still alive, my loved ones were still dead. Max Payne was still dead. Raped into the ground by Rockstar and their terrible writing, and terrible characterisation.
The trouble with wanting something is the fear of losing it, or never getting it. We wanted a follow up to Max Payne 2, and for our sins, we got one. Only it was developed by Rockstar, who wouldn’t know a good line of dialogue, or a well rounded likeable character if they were using one as a suppository.
So, Max Payne 3 then. It’s been almost ten years since MP2. In that time we’ve had Call of duty 1, 2, 3, 4, modern warfare 2, black ops, modern warfare 3, and soon, Black ops 2. We’ve had Grand theft auto 4, and both episodes from Liberty city, more annual FIFA updates then there are actual numbers, Uncharted 1, 2 & 3, and the entire Gears of War trilogy. And in all that time not a single update to Max Payne, until now. So it was of paramount importance to Rockstar, the new owners of the Max Payne license, that people burnt out on playing the 2 exisisting MP games for the last 9 years, not become fatigued with the world of Max Payne, and shake things up by completely removing almost everything that maxes Max Payne Max Payne.
Max Payne was a game as much about the character and story as it was about gameplay. It’s a credit to Remedy, the original developers, that MP2 still looks good today, plays great, and has an interesting, enjoyable, and well written noir pastiche storyline. Max Payne 2 was released in 2003, and it’s a credit to that game that something i played in my early 20’s which is mostly a blur of substance and self abuse that i can remember individual lines of dialogue, i can remember the names of even incidental characters, and the theme music to Dick Justice. Conversely, Max Payne 3, a game i finished maybe a month or two ago, may aswell have been one of those odd pre-sleep thoughts you get that flitters into your head and vanishes almost as soon as it arrives, like maybe you should shave the dog or try wearing slippers on your hands or something.
The characters in Max Payne 3 are all shit. I’ve seen episodes of Friends where the stars have to throw a house party and they have all these extras in the background who you’ve never seen in the show before, who were more fucking memorable than most of the people in MP3. Even Max Himself has been turned into a wholly unlike able douche-bag who spends the entire game bumbling his way from one fuck up to another like Benny Hill with a prescription drug addiction. The culmination of this shitty characterisation was for me, the moment when some dickhead Max is hired to protect gets set on fire. I think what rockstar were aiming for was a shocking moment to shot how desperate and brutal his captors were, that they would encase someone in a stack of tires and burn them alive, but how it came across to me instead was “oh thank christ, that stupid arsehole got burnt alive.” Maybe if he hadnt been a thundering cunthammer, i would’ve given a shit. Maybe if he’d had one single, solitary line of dialogue that didn’t make him out to be the worlds cuntiest prickmuncher i would’ve cared. But i didn’t. In fact a little part of me cheered and wished id been able to light the match myself. Again, not because i sympathised with Max’s enemies, which is probably what Rockstar were aiming for, (because the enemies are as nondescript and bland as in any other 3rd person shooting gallery nowadays), but just because it meant one less person to hate in this fucking game.
The story is as bad as anything Rockstar have written to date, which gives a sort of comforting consistency at least. Max is hired to protect some rich assholes in Brazil and blah blah fucking blah, some poor assholes try to kidnap the rich assholes and Max slowly turns into an asshole himself until the entire game is just trying to differentiate between different sets of assholes like the worlds first Proctology simulator. By the time you’ve bungled your way through the 15 or so chapters you wont give a fucking shit about what happens in the end. I cant even remember. Max murders 10,000 slum kids in Brazil and retires to a holdiay home in barbados, or some shit. Who gives a fuck. It sold by the truckload thanks to the R* logo, so who cares if they ruined a smart, witty and forward thinking shooter like MP2 by turning it into yet another murder the downtrodden of a foreign shithole 3rd person wankfest?
Fuck this game. Literally fuck it. Get a steak knife, carve a hole in the box, and ram your dick into it. For extra chuckles carve the hole around Max’s mouth and pretend you’re Sam Houser orally raping Max. It’s the only enjoyment you’ll get from it if you’re a fan of the original games.
The only recommendation i could possibly give MP3 is that it inspired me to go and replay MP2, and i was reminded that once upon a time, people could make 3rd person shooters that were actually smart, well written enjoyable games without the need to have every 2nd word be fuck, shit or cunt and not a single ethnic minority got killed.