Max Payne 3

#1
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It's nice to be seeing new continents in games, even if all you is riddle them with bullets and scatter around dead bodies
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It's just two kids playing football in a favela, but the animation is astonishing. In fact, the level of detail in the game is exceptional; it might be easier to do in a linear shooter, but it still stands out as the finest world-building I've seen in a very long time
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Given that I'm rapidly prepending 'old' to my grumpy b#stard personality, it's kind of nice to have a game hero who IS a grumpy old b#stard.
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The game intersperses the action in Sao Paulo with flashbacks to New Jersey. Despite the furore when the setting change was announced, I'd have to say the former is more distinctive than the latter.
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People were pissed off that Rockstar added in a cover mechanic to the game, and it does change the dynamic a lot - I spend more time using bullet time to pop out and headshot, than to dive across the room. That said, it was the right design decision (plus you can turn it off in Arcade Mode) - it'd feel odd not to have it in a modern game, plus it turns the shootdodge into more of a 'tool' to be deployed sensibly, than just spamming jumps around
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Lasers = annoying cunts.
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Whee! bangbangbang!
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There are rail-shooting bits added in for variety but, although they tend to look good, they're a bit s### compared to the regular gunplay. Possibly because a mouse makes this sort of thing a bit too easy?
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They do a really good job updating the character appearance as time progresses (or flashes back) in the game. It makes it a hell of a lot more immersive, especially as it's choreographed (rather than, say, games where you can choose to turn up for a dramatic cutscene in your underwear and a lego-man helmet. MP3 generally has cinematic aspirations - it doesn't always hit them, but it does a much better job than most other that I've played and the voice acting in particular stands out as being really well done. Albiet there's no doubt the game peaks at the end, when cutscenes get progressively less frequent (or at least it feels that way).
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The start of the favela sections is basically a long Call of Duty style walking cinematic, but it's pretty effective. I guess it helps that we're not oversaturated - yet - with this sort of thing in the movies. Play the same trick set in Manhattan, and people would fall asleep. The bar-fight that comes at the end of this bit, though, marked the start of where the game began getting really good (for me, at least). Perhaps it the the Bald of Angry.
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....although this bit annoyed the tits off of me
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Detail! NB: I have this with every except AA on full, so it looks pretty damn good despite the console origins.
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I have just shot this man in the head.
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Back in NJ. I'm not sure I've seen many games with flashback sections like this one. It works quite well IMO, just as a break of scenery.
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This section, for me, was one of the finest gaming experiences I've had in years. And it's pretty much down to the soundtrack, which is generally awesome but exceptionally so here.
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Whee! Funny thing is, I never really noticed the strange TV-style filter effect when I took this.
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"I needed a real drink to cope with the electronic music and the robotic people."
Incidentally, look at the level of detail on the crowds movements as the gunfight kicks off. It's stuff like this that marks out games now from those a few years ago; that sort of incidental effect would be simply too expensive to put in. Of course, the next generation (however you define that) will need to make the reactions of NPCs intelligent rather than scripted (but would we even notice? I'm, after all, just assuming these guys are scripted to escape the carnage that way... I never actually noticed, what with the gunfire).

Re: Max Payne 3

#4
I think the webpage-comprising-the-actual-distance-to-the-moon beats it.

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How does the gameplay and level design compare to The Fall of Max Payne? I only ask because going from 1 to 2 I noticed the gameplay got better and everything else got worse.
"Ignorance is the greatest weapon of tyranny, and old wounds open all too easily."

Re: Max Payne 3

#5
I think the webpage-comprising-the-actual-distance-to-the-moon beats it.

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How does the gameplay and level design compare to The Fall of Max Payne? I only ask because going from 1 to 2 I noticed the gameplay got better and everything else got worse.
I've not played the second, and not the first for a very long time. In general, it's quite a bit slower (ironically, reflecting the change in the character).

It's tricky, because the cover mechanic mixes it up a bit. I think it's still possible to rely on the shootdodge, but I was just as happy playing from cover and only using the dive to move from cover to cover when I was being flanked (whilst taking off a few heads in the process, natch); one other big change is that when you land, you have to press another button to get back up. That makes a big difference, as you can lie on the floor and pop off a few heads (or just get annoyed at the extra step). But the one thing is, if you went back to MP1 gameplay it'd feel out-of-date IMO.

The level design is pretty good; the last two levels are pretty spectacular in particular, and it does a good amount of work setting itself in believable locations (it may be strictly linear, but there are still places that are clearly put in the level design for the purposes of believable architecture, even when they don't have a gameplay purpose). But a lot of it comes from the sheer level of detail in there, both graphically and in terms of the cinematic stuff they want/expect you to do - it's an unabashedly 'cinematic' linear game, and you really need to get into the storyline to enjoy it properly (which, I'd say, is light years ahead of MP1 in terms of quality, even if it loses the cheesy constipated face fun aspects). If you don't connect with the main character(s), then it'd grate a bit; there's not that much variety you can put in these types of game.

I paid fifteen quid (US$22) approx for it, played about 10 hours, I'd say it's easily worth it.
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