Counter That: Max Payne 3 Review

I know I’m late this week but there has to be a first for everything I guess. I do have to say I wish it was worth it, but it wasn’t. You see, I’m late this week, because I was waiting for Max Payne 3 to get patched up, so I could actually play it (more on that shortly). Then I had to wait for all 35GB of it to download (also more on that in a bit), then I had to play it. Twice! More on that after the jump.

So, Max Payne 3? I’ll say it now just, so the bar is set, it’s the buggiest, most poorly quality controlled, half-assed embarrassment I have ever had the misfortune of playing. Period! Let’s start off at the beginning of the story. I purchased Max 3 (the kids call it MP3, but I refuse to because an mp3 is a compressed audio file, not a game.) the week it was released. I’d heard beforehand that it was going to be 35GB in size (WTF!). This already had me wondering what the hell Rockstar were playing at. How can they make a game that’s 35GB in size? I’ve heard people say “It’s the textures and all the cool graphics!” I’ve played it on high, with all the DirectX 11 features turned on and set to high. It’s not the graphics and textures, trust me. But I guess it’s also just one of those things that you just have to “Mills Lane” and forget about. The next thing that got the alarm bells ringing was that when I actually ran the game, the best I could get out of it was a black screen; that’s it, that’s all it would do. A bit of research turned up a little tip bit of information. The game ran for people that had it installed to paths like “D:\Games\Steam….\maxpayne3”, but not for people that have installed it to “C:\program files\steam….\max payne 3”. Anyone see the difference there? Anyone? Go on! Take a guess! Oh alright, I tell you. The difference is spaces. Yeah, I know, right! Those morons at Rockstar Vancouver actually produced code AND THEN SOLD IT TO PEOPLE that wasn’t compliant with Microsoft programming for Windows standards…..

WHAT THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE PLAYING AT SELLING ME CRAP LIKE THIS?

 

I’m a programmer. I know how easy it is to allow the use of spaces in a path call. It’s literally a case of using either a “, a double “, a /, \ or a mixture of either slash and a space depending on the language and the IDE you’re using. However, the supposedly talented, creative, and skilled individuals at Rockstar Vancouver couldn’t figure it out pre-release day, and it then took them 2 further patches? That’s just plain taking the piss! Actually, no, it’s major incompetence of the highest levels. So now it’s 2 weeks after I bought the game, and I can finally play it (looooool! 2 weeks! Unbelievable, Rockstar!). So I start the game, sign up to Rockstar’s online DRM in disguise, Rockstar social, configured the game (which on my current system is like this: Graphics: “where’s the maximum setting”, controls: “put crouch to control and mouse to lowest”, sound: “where’s the 5.1 option?”), and started the story mode.

We are presented with Max (oh hai there old buddy). He’s standing on the patio of a penthouse suite looking out over a city. He’s talking about the people that surround him in his usual cynical, disaffected way sipping fine scotch. He does this for 10 minutes, well to be fair, it is the character setup for most of the characters in the game, and a bimbo gets abducted, but there are quicker ways of getting to the point. I do realise that the cut scenes are used to help obfuscate the load times but seriously? 10 minutes as soon as you start the game? This is completely ignoring the cut scene you get that’s about 5 minutes long that’s doing a story recap for the Max Payne newbs. But eventually the cut scene ends, and, to quote the great Mills Lane, I cry “Let’s get it on!”

The first thing I notice is that for all the CPU and GPU power it’s sucking it looks like crap. In fact, it looks almost exactly like the last GTA game I saw. Max moves like that douche in GTA as well. He has an almost drunken attitude to strafing/side stepping, and the mouse sensitivity settings are broken, because it’s still too sensitive even on the lowest setting. So we play for about an hour, and I’m progressing through the first vehicle based set piece (again seriously? This is Max Payne not Call of Duty. This shouldn’t be necessary), and I get to section where I’m being fired upon by 3 dudes with RPG 7’s. I kill the first 2, but the game won’t let me kill the third, and then a couple of seconds later I die. Rinse and repeat this about 15 times, and I’m wondering what the hell is wrong. Figuring it was a bug I start the campaign again (I’ve only lost an hour). The back story cut scene plays; I give it a minute and then discover I can’t skip it. Dismayed doesn’t really cover what I’m feeling at this point. So I sit back, think of how crappy England is, and wait. An hour later we are back to where we were, and the same thing is happening again. Hmmmm! I must be doing it wrong. So I point the cursor at stuff, and as I point my gun at the RPG, the little white dot that represents my crosshair changes to red, half a mag later, and we’re still alive. It would have been nice to have a hint, Rockstar. It’s appreciated when you point out new game mechanics the first time you use them. Just saying.

So I play the game all night. Ending up somewhere into chapter 10 and with it being 7am on a Sunday, I decide it’s time for some sleep. I exit out, accept the warning about unsaved progress (not that I A- had the option to save it or B- even had the ability to manually save it) and slink into my bed.

For the lolz

 

The next day I begrudgingly start up the game. I’d spent 9 hours the night before just trudging through a very wooden feeling, almost story-less, nonsensical mash up of bugs and glitches (and to think it was worse than this) only getting the occasional laugh from max’s unique outlook on life, and as the save state loads I see something disturbing. It says chapter 4, it loads chapter 4. WHAT THE F***?! So you’re telling me I spent 9 hours playing a game, and it only saved a third of that. At this point I’m done with this thing. The multiplayer can stay a mystery. It didn’t belong in a Max Payne game anyway (it’s only there so they can sell DLC).

So my conclusion is that this is the buggiest game I’ve ever played, taking the crown from Call of Duty: Black Ops. It’s so buggy, I not only will never find out how the story ends (that’s if there is one), but I also want my money back. Steam has refused to comply with this request (which, by the way Valve, is a breach of UK law), so we will leave it up to Rockstar… oh forget it! They actually released the game in an unplayable state; they obviously don’t give a damn. It’s just a shame that when Rockstar closed the Vancouver studio on the 10th of July, they didn’t just straight up fire those idiots. I wanted so much for this to be as enjoyable as the first 2, but I think all those GTA games have dulled some brains over at Rockstar. This has thusly caused their game designers to think nobody cares about quality and instead just buys a game so they can blow stuff up and play multiplayer. This is most certainly not worth paying for.

1 out of 5 stars, and it only gets that one star for being created.

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