I'm going to just start with I've never played the previous titles, so I walked into this game not knowing much of what has happened, and as I've been told several times, don't even dare to bring the movie into the discussion. So here we go... You are Max Payne, you're sick of being pushed around, and you need an escape from your normal surroundings so after a run in with an old academy friend, and a little extra persuasion you decide to take a private security gig in Brazil. Your job is to protect a very high and influential family, which as the game progresses becomes one hell of a hard job to do. You're going to have to fight commandos, gangs, even police if you're going to make it through the game. There are plenty of areas to search to find pain killers (your only true friend), and of course golden gun parts which from my understanding will amp up the damage the gun can do when you pick it up during the game.
Graphically I liked the overall game. The scenery and the levels looked crisp, even though there were plenty of cookie cutter feeling to them. There's the quintessential back alley in New Jersey, the generic office spaces, and more. The one thing that did get to me was the weird intentional graphic glitches that through a couple of colors slightly out of focus. I had to stop a couple of times in fear that I might develop epilepsy. There's also the very unique way of emphasizing words in the cut scenes by plastering them visually on the screen. Not the whole dialog just specific word(s) in the sentence. There were a couple of clipping issues when it came to guns colliding with cover, and there were times during the cut scene where movement became pretty mechanical looking.
I did like the voice acting in the game. Max Payne was as gritty as I would have thought, and the Latino way of talking was a bit over the top, but fit with certain characters.
The controls were a bit harder to handle, there might have been, though not obvious at all, a way to switch quickly between guns, but the only way I could do it was either running out of bullets or holding down the shoulder button to bring up my selections. The rest of the controls were pretty smooth, there were a couple of times where I couldn't quite get the cover mechanic to work, or I somehow just started standing up from cover, but overall that mechanic and the rest worked just fine for the game.
I have to say that even though there were sections of this game that greatly frustrated me, the designers made it all better. You see if you die too many times at a specific point you start getting extra pain killers equipped to your character before you start the section again. The pain-killers can either be used to heal yourself (which is a bit odd, that would never work in real life, but hey that's just the power of video games, or perhaps this is just the good stuff that can magically heal bullet wounds that the FDA just hasn't licensed yet), or if you get hit with a kill shot you're thrusted into bullet time mode, this will be your chance to one shot the individual who tried to kill you, kill the right person and you're born again with just a little less damage than it would be if you were dead. There are a couple exceptions to the rule, but for the most part that's how you're given some extra chances and not automatically dropped back at the last check point. Now of course you can enter bullet time in other cases, by clicking the right analog stick. There is a meter that builds up over time and once you go into Bullet time it starts to decrease until it is all gone and you're no longer allowed into that mode for a while.
There are tons of guns to mess around with, though there are some restrictions to what you can carry. You can only carry two one handed guns at a time, and one two handed gun. So for example two pistols, and a rocket launcher. Not that I'm complaining, but it would have been fun to allow two two-handed weapons as well so that I could have the assault rifle, and the shotgun at the same time.
There's a ton of objects that will degrade or blow up with enough bullets being put through them, but the doors that aren't supposed to open will NEVER open, so even though you just blew up a ton of planks in a well made fence don't for a second think that a flimsy door will fall before your hellish rain of gun fire.
There are a lot of twists and turns in the game, there's also a fair amount of flashbacks to fill some of the holes, but at the end of the day the game does have a pretty satisfying finish, and there's a couple of twists that might not be so obvious until you're upon them, but they are still good for the type of story being told. All in all I don't think that this is a game that one should pick up if not a fan of Max Payne, I'm not a fan and it just sort of hooked me. With that being said I've got to give this game an 8.3 out of 10.