Max Payne 3 turned out to be the game people wanted after they realized realistic gun violence needs a better soundtrack. I never was a Max Payne fan. I think this is a result of playing the PS2 games well after the Matrix hype died down. Shooting bullets at a slower rate of speed was cool. I mean “bullet time” became a known term because of Max Payne. What have you done for me lately Max Payne? Have you upheld all the current tropes in gaming? Yes, you have. This video game stars a white dude in a land of poor people of color. He shoots them and the developers made sure it felt mechanically great. This game is well liked in my friend group and I can see its charm, but outside of the dope soundtrack, Max Payne 3 a big budget fart of a game.
That’s right, I said fart, because why give a game flowery language and deep thought when this game, like many of it’s kind, doesn’t expect much of me? I aggressively hate Max Payne 3. I don’t even like using that word “hate.” It’s so final and doesn’t give much room of changing one’s mind in the future.
I really hate Max Payne 3. *deep breath*
I hate that the only time we’re allowed to get a character that isn’t in the best physical shape, aging, and has addiction issues tieing back to familial death is in this rigid, white guy veneer. Like, this is a bad game, duh. We get that, but even in a bad game like Max Payne 3, the developers at Rockstar saw it fit to still give the lead character marginal depth. This doesn’t happen with women and people of color in “good” games, much less these dime store novels masquerading as big budget epics.
Please. Please pull CJ from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas out as your counterpoint, so I can pull out my calendar to see how long ago that was.
Max Payne 3 was a game Rockstar poured millions of dollars into. This resulted in great reviews from and a healthy fandom being rebuilt. Much like Tomb Raider, Max Payne 3 made great strides in proving how “M for Mature” rated their game was. The graphic deaths, the weapon collectibles, the online modes [which have since been sunsetted], all contributed to it being branded a flop.
Making a big budget game in this day and age is incredibly risky -- especially if it’s a new IP. So I’m taken aback when I see the Tomb Raider’s and Max Payne’s of the world, sell millions of copies and still be considered financially unsuccessful. I say this as someone who knows what I don’t like about these games, but totally gets why a game ‘should’ sell millions. Audiences don’t demand a great deal from these franchises.
We might never see another Max Payne game. When I planned out how I was going to write about this, that previous sentence gave me a great deal of glee. But honestly, Max Payne 3 is so bad, I almost want a new Max Payne made as an apology for the mess I had to wade through.
Women are killed to progress the plot. People of color are massacred for the sake of Max Payne’s motivation. But hey, that soundtrack sure is dope right? The difficulty ramps up at illogical times, usually when you’re figuring out how wonky the cover system is. I could go on, but you get it at this point.
Stop making million dollar Max Payne games. They are a drain on every aspect of society. Thank you in advance Rockstar Games.