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There are plenty of games which are celebrated for their gameplay but lack anything in way of story or character. Max Payne 3 is a different type of proposition. The gameplay is simple yet satisfying, but it's entirely in the service of a strongly-authored narrative. Players aren't at the liberty to roam, to explore, or to shake things up. Some might find this too controlling, but in return for your freedom, you're rewarded with a mature genre piece which is also a finely-realised character study. Action games continue to inch the dial towards 11, sometimes at the expense of their narrative integrity. Max Payne 3, however, has the conviction to reign in the action, imbue it with purpose - the spectacle still sparkles but it also makes sense.
A host of cinematic effects give the game a unique look and feel, without it ever feeling
Not the best looking game around but environments are impressively detailed and performances sensitively captured.
Stirring, evocative score by LA rock band Health highlights some exemplary voice work by James McCaffrey.
Simple yet fun and stylish, frequent interruption from cut scenes might spoil the experience for some.
Lasting Appeal (8.5/10)
The main story lasts no more than 12 hours, but the multiplayer is a genuine surprise and a lot fun.