Max Payne 3 Single & Multiplayer Hands on Preview

On the 20th of April myself and a number of other web masters from the Rockstar community converged on N
ew York for an exclusive hands on with Max Payne 3. We were given the opportunity to play not only several levels from the single player campaign, but also got our hands on some multiplayer action. Click HERE to read my full impressions.

Rockstar have made great steps towards fine tuning and building on previous multiplayer outings to create what is by far the most exciting and dynamic multiplayer experience ever created in a Rockstar game easily challenging any current console title.
I must admit, as you may know, this site launched as a GTA fan site so Max Payne was a game I was familiar with but by no means an expert on, however within minutes of playing I was quite simply blown away. It is clear Rockstar are trying to redefine and break ground with Max Payne 3 yet still maintaining those elements and touches that made the first two games so popular. Action was fluid and polished and without going into too much detail it was one of the most immersive and compelling story lines I’ve played. I was speaking to a rep from Rockstar about the level of research that had gone into the game and was told that due to the style of the game Rockstar were able to become a lot more focused on their research to ensure every little detail that went into recreating the atmosphere of São Paulo was captured with great realism and accuracy.

One thing I’ve come to learn from years of playing Rockstar’s games is that they don’t just put features in for the heck of it. Bullet Time is a classic example of this, in other games bullet time could have very easily become a clunky gimmick to give the player a few seconds of “that was kind of impressive” before getting very old, very fast. However with Max Payne 3 this wasn’t the case. Like me you will have seen the videos regarding bullet time and having played some of the story through it struck me just how much it complimented the game play, yes obviously it looks cool but similar to Dead Eye in Red Dead it really enhanced the game in a way even I wasn’t expecting.

fansite web masters hard at work

One thing that struck me, and after talking to some of the other web masters was the learning curve involved. If you’re going into this game expecting to boss it straight away, think again! Speaking to one of the reps from Rockstar about the difficulty levels I was told it was a definite intention of theirs to challenge gamers. Unlike some titles I’veplayed in the past that you pick up and know if you stick it on easy you will breeze through with Max Payne 3 this isn’t the case. It wasn’t impossibly difficult but at times I did find myself getting a little frustrated but in the grand scheme of things I think this is something to be praised rather than criticized. There is a definite challenge here for gamers whether you’re a casual player or hardened veteran.

After playing through a few of the single player levels we were given the opportunity to play a couple of the multiplayer modes on offer in Max Payne 3. If you’re familiar with playing GTA IV & Red Dead Redemption online then the style will not be toomuch of a surprise to you, but that said Rockstar have made great steps towards fine tuning and building on previous multiplayer outings to create what is by far the most exciting multiplayer experience certainly in a Rockstar game if not in any current console title. This may sound like a very bold claim but, with a ton of options with regards to customization and game play it is one I’ve no hesitation in making and one which I’m sure you will agree with when you have the chance to play online in just a few short weeks.

For me what was most entertaining about playing the multiplayer modes was the change of atmosphere in the room. What had been quite a relaxed and friendly mood while playing single player changed very rapidly when we got stuck into some multiplayer. The game faces were definitely in full effect and kind words were swiftly substituted with battle cries.

So for my summary, first of all let me get the obvious out of the way. Die-hard Max Payne fans will not be disappointed with the third offering in the franchise and are sure to be pacing like mad in anticipation for the game. What I wanted to focus on more were those who, like myself were unsure on what to expect from the game. If you have never played a Max Payne title before I don’t feel you will find yourself too left out when tackling this story.

It is very difficult to summarise the game through comparisons, as it was so very different to other titles I have played before. The best way I can do it any sort of justice is to describe it simply as a great combination of a shooter/strategy/action title with a story that actually enhances your experience rather than just existing to give you something to watch as you rest your hands from hours of frantic button bashing and mindless shooting. So would I recommend the game? In a word yes. You may be sceptical of this endorsement given that you are reading this on a Rockstar specific fan site, all I can say in response to this is Max Payne 3 is a game which has to be played to be fully enjoyed and appreciated, so on May 15th (18th in Europe, Aus & Japan) go get a copy and find out for yourself.

I've tried to cram as much information as I can into this post, however if you do have any more questions about the game that you think I may be able to answer just drop a comment below or email nick@rockstarresource.com and if I can answer, I will get back to you asap.
You can also check out some of the opinions from the other fan site owners at the event:

I just want to end with a quick but very sincere thanks to everyone at Rockstar Games for giving me and the other web masters the chance to enjoy the game, it was great speaking to those involved with the game and hearing just how passionate they all are about what they do.