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Max Payne 3

Max Payne, the video game that revolutionized the shooting genre, is back this year with Max Payne 3, which catches up with the titular hero years later as he scrapes together a living as a hired gun in Brazil. The first Max Payne introduced a whole new dimension of drama and artistry to the third person shooting genre with its slow motion action and dark atmosphere.

The first game in the series not written by Sam Lake or set in New York City, Max Payne 3 veers a little farther from the neo-noir formula into more gritty, realistic territory. Where the first two games were eerie and dreamlike, Max Payne 3 is raw and very real.

Multiplayer is a big draw for the new game. More than just another PvP shooter, Max Payne 3's online mode has players picking up items that create some really fascinating effects. For instance, one power-up has the enemy team seeing one another with enemy skins. With friendly fire on, this is a sure fire way to wreak havoc and create paranoia in a server.

Sam Lake, who wrote the first two games, also starred as the lead character in the first game, lending his face to the character's model and playing him in the comic-book cutscenes that game offered. James McCaffrey, who voiced the character in the first game and voiced and modeled him in the second, is returning to the series for full motion-cap and voice acting work to the delight of many longtime series fans.

The graceful, balletic action of the first two games has been pushed strongly towards a more brutal and realistic approach this time and the story and setting have followed suit. Players will see Max Payne as less a broad tragic hero and more an individual, a human being who has suffered and survived the hardships of the first two games and has the scars to prove it.

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Rating: 4.6/5 (484 votes cast)
Max Payne 3, 4.6 out of 5 based on 484 ratings

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