I searched the cold confines of my soul in an attempt to fill up this blog post with something to write about everyone’s favorite anti-depressant addict. Much like a Mumbai policeman at a Juhu rave party, I ended up empty.
There isn’t much to say that hasn’t been said of one of the biggest releases of the year that isn’t called Diablo 3 or prefixed with the words “Call of Duty”. Max is witty and brooding as always, backed up by writing godly enough to make Sachin Tendulkar seem human. Trademark Rockstar production values are back as well.
It might not have the open world charm of Red Dead Redemption or GTA but the attention to detail is stunning as usual.Oh and there’s more than a hint of film noir. In fact it’s slathered in it, from the story telling to the moody music and the shifty environs.
Controlling Max is a sluggish affair but a few tweaks to the control sensitivity, and you won’t miss a beat since the last game in 2003. For a series that invented the oft-used and abused bullet time slash slo-mo move seen in a ton of other titles, it’s good to have it back in full force. So far so good right? Well, mostly.
You see, for all the awesomeness the developers have managed to pack there was one colossal loop hole that keeps nagging me long after I’ve put the game down. If you’re sensitive to spoilers, stop reading.
No seriously, stop.
You still here? Fine. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The last segment of the game takes place on an airstrip. To get there you have to hop on a train. Obviously with this being the near end of the game, you’ll find yourself outnumbered and outgunned by tons of armed baddies who are on another train on the side of yours, going in the same direction.
After you’re done offing most of them, you realise that your train is going to crash into a slab of steel. You promptly jump onto the other train, dispatching the few remaining cronies who were laughing at what seemed to be your apparent downfall.
Then you’re delivered to the airstrip, where, no surprise, there’s enough disposable soldiers for a huge disposable army. It’s at this point where the writers and designers took a magical leap of disbelief. You’re treated to a cut scene of Max Payne slinking off into a hangar like he was Solid Snake. Which he obviously isn’t else this would be called MGS5.
What’s amusing and yet, at the same time, vexing is that not a single bad guy, not a single hired gun would realise that a train just arrived with more corpses than people, carrying the one man single-handedly responsible for lowering the life expectancy of the average video game goon to almost single digits (preceded by a decimal point). It was a frustrating turn of events in ways more than one as it made no sense.
Did Max, after his years of alcohol and painkiller abuse master the art of invisibility? Or did his foes have a death wish? The possibilities are endless because the logic did not exist. Perhaps that was the wrong way of looking at things?
After all, this is a game about a down on his luck, mostly drunk, depressed ex-cop on a quest for redemption who has the ability to slow time down in a gunfight.
The fact is, logic cashed in its chips and left the table a long time ago. It doesn’t make Max Payne 3 any less of a game, it’s just that for a title so polished, some flaws that you’d gloss over if it was called “Angry Gringo Gun Battles 2012″, end up sticking out like a nun in a brothel.
Now that’s a title that Rockstar should have gone with for South American markets. Angry Gringo, not nun in a brothel. Or both. Maybe.