Max Payne 3

05 Jul 2012

I’m about halfway (maybe a bit more?) into Max Payne 3 and it’s undoubtedly an enjoyable game. It runs very well, feels like a great port on the PC, and all in all is an impressive effort to make a modern sequel by a different developer to one of my favourite games.

I’m not perfectly happy with it though and I’m not entirely certain why; the game just doesn’t seem to be hooking me. I’m playing on hard difficulty which might have been a small mistake because certain sections leave me struggling a bit. At least after a handful of retries on the same section the game gives a free painkiller, which is actually a pretty nice way to soften the difficulty of these sections.

I think I need to replay the first two games in the series. This will help me figure out if I’m just not interested in the slow-motion gunfight gameplay that Max Payne offers so well or if Max Payne 3 is missing something that the first two had, which it feels like. If it’s the latter, I can’t really hold it against the game; it’s still good on its own, it just doesn’t feel the same. If it’s the former, maybe I shouldn’t replay the originals - nostalgia is a comforting thing and perhaps it shouldn’t be spoiled.


Yesterday I attended my second gamejam, an eight hour event where teams form to work on small games together around some loose themes, which this time were Black & White, Rockets, and Masks.


It’s early to say this, and maybe a little crazy, but I can’t help but put Twenty, a simple game from Stephen French, in the same category as Tetris. Not just in the way it plays - though it shares that methodical feeling of clearing a space that transitions to crowded panic - but in how it takes just a single mechanic and a simple interface to create something truly elegant and timeless. Twenty deserves to be played for decades to come, just like Tetris.