Max Payne 3: The Australian Reviews

How ye goin' cobber? I reckon since the bloody yanks have their own collection of reviews, it's only fair dinkum that we do a wrap up of Australian reviews? You reckon?

Okay. Enough of that. Writing like an Aussie is exhausting. Point being every time we have a big release, I'm going to collect some of the Australian reviews for you guys to check out. We're going to kick things off with Max Payne 3!

If you're a local Australian writer and want to feature in the Australian reviews, shoot me an email here.


If there’s one thing Rockstar has nailed with Max Payne 3, it’s tone. From the game’s outset the team nail the feel of a Max Payne experience, without ever once looking like they’re trying to recreate Remedy’s magic. In fact, like most Rockstar games, Max is an inbred evolution, if such an oxymoron could ever exist, but for this team, it probably should.

I say inbred because this feels like a Rockstar game. So if you’ve never played Max Payne before but have played the likes of Grand Theft Auto or Red Dead Redemption, you’re going to be right at home here. I also say evolution because Max Payne 3 takes all of what made the previous Max efforts so engaging, and contextualises them in a modern way, while maintaining a sense of action and narrative throwback I can only find evidenced in one other videogame: Mass Effect, with its dizzying lens-flare and unrelenting synth (of which Max also dabbles, successfully in).


It’s super-stylised – much of the design could have emanated from classic Brit mag The Face - combined with attention to detail that can stop you cold, awestruck; occasions usually rewarded with a swift bullet to your scone in what’s very much an on-your-toes cover shooter. Gung-ho = cactus. Also, duh, there’s ‘bullet time’ stuff (a registered trademark of Warner Bros!) which adds immeasurably to the wondrously, mindlessly excessive gruesomeness of it all.

Max could be Bruce Willis, or Jason Statham – even if looking more like Walter White as you progress. You’ll be enthralled, you’ll be frustrated when you’re so caught up in the action you forget that you’re a bullet’s burp from death and have to do it again – and, often, again - but you’ll never nod off


Max Payne wasn't ever about making the player feel like an action hero. It was about taking the player on the downhill ride that was Max Payne's life, it was about reminding us that no matter how bad things got - they could always get worse. And it was about how Max Payne was a man who would always get back up - especially when he shouldn't. That's actually a pretty good formula for an action hero - but prior to this game the closest we ever got previously was with slow-mo diving.

Max Payne 3 makes you feel like the man with a very particular set of skills. With a good story, jaw-dropping action and fantastic graphics, it's a must-experience game. It's an homage to some fantastic movies, it's a step forward for Rockstar games and it's a satisfying continuation of the Max Payne saga.

Xbox World

Max Payne 3 is extremely polished. It's easy to say that it's a great looking game, but the graphics are a real stand out and it's amazing to me that the 360 is still able to pump out games that look this good. The combination of extremely detailed levels, amazing looking backgrounds and skyboxes through to excellently animated bad guys all add up to make the game one super slick looking shooter. Rockstar's Euphoria engine handles the animation system and as you're blowing away bad guy after bad guy you'll see them react to the bullet impacts realistically. They'll also interact with the environment – while alive and looking for cover, as well as when you've put a 9mm round through their eye from 100 metres away and watching their corpse tumble off a rooftop into the alleyways of a Favela. But make no mistake, while the game has the looks, if you were forced to analyse and explain it down to its most basic form, it would be described as an ‘awesome looking shooting gallery' as the progression is linear and your next single objective is always dictated.


    No Mark Serrels review?

      I've sort of decided that I don't want to do local Kotaku reviews for a bunch of reasons. But if you guys are really desperate for them, I'll grudgingly reconsider!

        If it's your personal point of view than that would be cool, and probably provide more insight than just the obligatory middle of the road reviews on other sites. How can your own opinion be wrong?

          Zuh muh buh obligatory middle of the road reviews wuh

          Here's my guess, Roh. @Mark - feel free to tell me im stupid if i'm being stupid.

          To game industry outsiders, getting paid to review and play video games sounds like a great thing, but after a while, it becomes grating. When something you love doing (ie playing video games) becomes work to be done, you start to get the feeling there's no escape (to rest from work I played video games, and now video games ARE work!). For this reason, even reviewers with a great love of video games tend to abstain from reviewing some titles, usually the ones that they are particularly excited for, so they can actually play the game for enjoyment rather than work. I think this is what is happening here. Mark is not reviewing this game because he wants to actually play the game, not work. I respect that, and so should you.

            You're def on the right track!

            Here are my reasons!


            I respect that, I'm not sure why you would think that I didn't. I was only saying that it would cool if it was more of an opinion piece, rather than a review, a personal assessment of a game, regardless of whether it was played for work or fun. I'm not saying that he HAS to do it, I'm not storming the gates of Kotaku AU with torches ablaze demanding he do something that he doesn't want to do or be lynched, I was merely saying that I would be interested in what he thinks of it.

            In response to my 'middle of the road reviews' comment I was referring to what I see as 'safe' articles that I seem to encounter everywhere around the net, where the writer doesn't take a stance either way and just sort of lists things that are in the game. I respect and like Kotaku's new system of YES or NO, as it has more of an opinion, more personal truth to it than other number/letter grade systems. I'm much more interested in an informed person's personal view of a game than a sterile checklist of features and an arbitrary number ranking.

              Yeah, I got a little preachy towards the end. The 'so should you' at the end was meant to be a more general 'you' than meaning just you, Roe, and I can definitely see how it could have been understood otherwise.

        Review is such a dirty word, let's call them 'Post Release Biopsy's'

        Personally it doesn't bother me that you don't do local reviews. But I'm curious - what are your reasons?

          Oh, that's right. I recall that article.

        I'd be pretty keen to see the Serrels review. Especially for Max Payne. Considering the amount of coverage you've been giving the game, it would be nice to hear what you actually think of it. I mean it is all well and good pushing the PR for the game which definitely deserves the coverage it has been given, but a bit of personal input would be good.

        Is this not why we read Kotaku after all?

          Wow... That sounds douchey...

          Just to clear things up... I massively respect everything you've written about not wanting to review it... I just think with Max Payne coming back out of the blue, perhaps it would be cool if Mark did too? Plus I'm genuinely interested to know what you actually think of it...
          No holds barred.

    You missed Shiggy's review.

    Also: Is it fine to just jump in to the franchise at MP3? Is there an ongoing story that I NEED to know, or will I just be able to shooty-shooty pew pew my way through guys with the only motivation I need being that they're shooting at me?

      No, this is my first max Payne and I am enjoying it a lot

    I like this new feature-thing. Kudos!

    "Max Payne 3 makes you feel like the man with a very particular set of skills."


      Boy... are you gonna LOVE Dustforce. The set of skills there is VERY particular.

      Except Max is more beardy than Neeson. Therefore he is better.

        I'm so going to squint my eyes and pretend I'm playing the Taken game.

          Don't. This game is far and away better than Taken.

          I would play the shit out of a game based on Taken. It took three days for my erection to go down.



      I completely agree. 42/5 Shiggys is entirely appropriate, and I add a further 29.3 Crackers.

    "How ye going cobber"?

    Sounds like that quote came from a medieval Mick Dundee.

    "That not be a pike digger - THIS be a pike!"

    "Max could be Bruce Willis, or Jason Statham – even if looking more like Walter White as you progress. "

    lol exactly what I thought tha new Max looked like. How cool would a Breaking Bad game be?

    Mark, that first paragraph made me CRINGE, like that Australian episode of the Simpsons did
    Well played

    I had a go last night & loving it so far:)

    So how many Cold Tinnies out of 10 did it score?

    so as a person who has never played Max Payne before is it worth a shot? i got some free time coming up and considering a new game, although i am still playing some of my old ones and waiting desperately for dawnguard.
    i gather its a linear storyline but what is the game world like?

      Mate this is definitely worth picking up and playing... And depending how much spare time you have I would definitely delve into the first 2 games too (although this really isn't essential). Max Payne isn't just a game, it's a story.

      That said, it's still an incredible game. Even if you don't have the the time to play the first 2, you will definitely appreciate it this time round.

        how long is the previous games? i have my winter break coming up for uni although i do have test work to do. not sure i will have time for 3 games. i could go read up on the story though. i know a little but not that much

        so is it based on the same engine as RDR and GTAIV? i gather its not open world

    It's a bit of both. Open linear in a way I guess; lots of space to do things different ways from different angles etc, but with one end point?

    It's similar to the RDR engine, gameplay and cover (and AI) are so much better though, and pretty incomparable. It's a 'play it to see for yourself' kind of thing.

    Game of the year so far in my opinion, I'd definitely recommend to give it a go - even if you need to read up the storys from the other games first.

    Ant censorship in the Australian Release?

    Because I know this game can be exceptionally violent.

      I don't believe so, no. I'm onto the 3rd act of 3, and final kills in my version of the game seem just as brutal as what I saw in that video. It's actually pretty surprising that it got through unscathed, IMHO.

    I want to have Max's babies after playing that... Damn, what a fine game!

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now