I'm the guy behind Max Payne's most minimalistic mod: Ammo. Also check out my other Max Payne mod in progress, the FPS Engine!

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Max Payne 3

Game review may contain spoilers

Time for an updated review.

It should be worth noting that I've played through all three games to the end now, the third one on the Hard setting.

Max Payne 3 as a game on its own is pretty good. Shootouts are good fun, in no small part thanks to the animation system, and weapons feel great. In this department, Max Payne 3 is near flawless. The four-weapon inventory system went opposite of the originals, but the way it was implemented felt appropriate (if limiting). Running around can get somewhat clumsy and awkward at times, though.

All the classic mechanics are back as well, meaning you can still use bullettime, slowmotion, and painkillers, all of which come with some new twists. However, even though they're present and you're free to use them, it feels like you're not encouraged to.

Bullettime still provides an edge, but it runs out very quickly and does not build back up nearly as fast. Shootdodges are cool as hell, but put you at such a great disadvantage when they're over that it's not worth it to use them if more than two enemies are still alive. To add to that, they will in some situations be executed in the wrong direction or, for example, after a second and a half has passed since pressing the key while getting up, at which point you may have already changed your mind. And, since Last Man Standing is a thing in this installment, painkillers go from healing items to counting as lives.

The game will also (sometimes frustratingly) frequently take away control from you for cutscenes which are in a lot of cases unnecessary, and lock doors behind you, such that backtracking is impossibilitated.

There are also some other questionable design choices, like the dreaded unskippable cutscenes, which usually consist of a 30 FPS video that scales badly to different display resolutions and which is supposed to disguise a loading screen, during which pressing Enter will flash a "STILL LOADING" message at the bottom right corner. However, loading a checkpoint directly through the main menu will see you ingame in no more than a few seconds at most on a powerful desktop rig. Which is a shame, as it shows that the game has very well optimized loading times, but doesn't let you enjoy them. This is one of the things keeping me from coming back to the game more often.

I liked the story, to an extent. On its own, it wasn't bad. As a Max Payne storyline, though, it was, for lack of a better term, a bizarre departure. Nothing of the Remedy-era Max Payne remains to be seen, voice actor aside. Max is turned into a drug addict and alcoholic whose vocabulary knows nothing more than generic observations, cheap comparisons and nonstop profanity which starts out jarring, ends up tiring, and for which there's really no good reason.

For comparison, here are two cutscene quotes. This first quote comes the last chapter of Max Payne 3:

"Smart move would have been sticking with Da Silva and going straight to the hangar, but when was I ever about smart moves. I'm a dumb move guy. “Hey Max, we'll drive onto the runway.” “No thanks, let me walk into the main entrance. I'll put a big ****-eating grin on my face and let these ******** take turns trying to kill me.” That's my style and it's too late in the day to hope for a change."

This second one is the ending to Max Payne 2's hardest difficulty setting:

"It was almost morning, waking up from the American Dream. We are willing to suffer, to die for the things we care about. For love, for the right choices. Because of her, I had solved the case. My case. All of it. Who I am. Is it worth it? Saying that it never is would be a lie. Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes, something good comes out of it. Something you know you wouldn't deserve in a million years. Something that gives you a reason to go on."

That's not to say there was zero percent "strong" or "improper" language in the second installment. But it was used as a resource for certain characters, not as a global crutch. It feels simply out of place that Max would start spouting every swear word in the book where the 'worst' you remember him saying previously is "bastard".

Graphic novels were essentially scrapped completely, which wouldn't have been a problem if their replacement had been something of equal or greater value. However, I feel the style they went for fell flat a lot of times while getting lost in the post process effects frenzy the others.

All in all, it wasn't a bad experience, but it felt like one that was constantly forcing itself to be a Max Payne game through classic mechanics and references to the first two titles while at the same time managing to go the absolute opposite direction through its design choices, direction, and over-the-top edgy writing.
The score stays at a 6 for me because the game's good, but a lot of potential was wasted, you're often reminded of certain flaws, and the game doesn't really feel like it deserves to be called a Max Payne game.


Payne Evolution

Mod review

Payne Effects 3

Mod review - 2 agree - 1 disagree

Realistic. Gruesome. Enhanced.
This mod makes the fire fights better. A LOT better.
Flying through the air and blasting a Winchester 1887 in a bad guy's face has never felt so satisfying.
With this one mod, you can keep the Max 2 story while taking enemies down like a boss.
There are hundreds of enhancements and features you can now pull out of your bottomless jacket: a throat cutting knife, a grenade launcher, several new weapons, an adrenaline syringe... There really is a lot to enjoy here. Highly recommended.
So what are you waiting for? Go download it already!


Max Payne

Game review - 1 agree

A classic, epic game. Great storyline, great graphics (for its time) great gameplay, great everything in general. Everything is still awesome even after all this time. I have it installed, and play it almost every day. Definitively a must have.


The Real World

Mod review

This mod is not just one of the those that call themselves matrix just because they have kung fu, this one truly lives up to the movie. The levels are made perfectly, with a great level of detail. The characters are very well modeled, looking almost, if not exactly, like their movie counterparts. The Kung Fu system is just great, including lots of different moves to kick your enemies' ***** with. The cutscenes. Even if none are included in the mod yet, just watch a video, they really look like the scenes from the original movies.
It takes the MAX-FX engine and uses it to make THE badassest game ever: The Real World. Hell, they even have their own custom launcher!
There's also the awesome little details: for example, the blur effect when the agents dodge. Maybe it's just me, but I didn't like the fact that this was missing from official Matrix games.
Keep it up! One of the best mods you'll get your hands on!

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