I’m still a little loopy from playing “Diablo III” for six hours, but I took a nap and got a little time in playing the second most anticipated title coming out today.
And honestly, it’s a little less stuck in the past than the first. But only a little.
From the first two hours, it’s not likely “Max Payne 3″ is going to win any Game of the Year awards, but it’s a lot of fun. The new cover mechanic is definitely useful and adds another strategy aspect, but this is still “Max Payne”; you’re still leaping in slow motion and shooting, and you do not have a bunch of convenient waist-high walls to hide behind to build your health back up. Eventually, you’re going to have to charge out from cover, and I suspect people who are getting their first time with Max will not take it well at first.
On the bright side, this is a very smooth and well-paced game: you go from cutscene straight into the action. It’s a welcome change of pace to see no loading screens, although it makes it hard to break off from play, or figure out where the checkpoints are.
Still, one thing that pops out about this game is that, well, all there is is the shooting. It’s incredibly refined, balanced, and challenging shooting, but it’s not very deep. You can poke around for clues and evidence, although the game will tell you to hurry up, but there isn’t much of those. Compare this to, say, “L.A. Noire”, which mixed gunplay and point-and-click adventure gaming, or “Red Dead Redemption”, which has essentially the same gunplay and mechanics, but a vast open world to explore and lots of ways to distract yourself, and this comes up short.
We’ll have a full review later this week. For now, if you wanted more Max, this’ll do you.