Before I start, I need to let everyone know about a problem I had regarding MP3. It’s not a problem with the actual game, but rather a problem that caused me to only access some of the game’s content. Due to the high price of games, I often use Red Box to rent games instead of buying them. If you don’t know what Red Box is, it’s a rental service where you pay a few dollars a day to rent games or movies. Not knowing much about the Max Payne series, I figured renting it for a few days would suffice. However, I was unaware of the fact that it was a 2-disc game. I was playing through the single player when suddenly a message popped up that said “please insert disc 2.” I sat in my chair utterly confused, knowing that I was only given one disc. What I figured had happened was that Red Box was either cheap and only rented out the first disc, or someone stole the second disc. I was still able to play through a large portion of single player and all of multiplayer, but I figured I should let everyone know before they read the review, in case some of what I say is inaccurate.
As the story of Max Payne begins, we are introduced to Max, who is living in a dirty New Jersey apartment. I haven’t played the previous games, so I’m completely unaware of why he is in his current depressed and lonely state. He looks like a mess and seems to be using drugs and alcohol to forget his past. The game throws the player into Max’s past through a series of flashbacks, during which Max gives commentary (Max will even throw in a line such as “I needed to move quickly!” if the player takes too long or is standing around). He describes his past job, where a hired gun, protecting important individuals and families. In one case (The first mission), he has to protect a rich Brazilian family. They might have a lot of money, but the town they live in doesn’t. Most of the citizens are poor, and many are involved in gang activity. Max learns that there is a threat within the family’s house, and the family is in danger. Max must then take out these threats (gang members), and thus the gameplay begins. The player is immediately introduced to the signature feature of the Max Payne series: bullet time. Bullet time is a gameplay feature where the player slows down time in order to dodge incoming bullets, as well as shoot his enemies with more accuracy. I won’t give away too much more of the story, but it should seem obvious that something goes wrong with this family, which then causes Max to have to track down these bad guys in order to fix everything. Continue reading