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Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven PS3 Review

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Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven

Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven

Image © Rockstar Games
While I loved "Max Payne 3" when it was first released and remembered it fondly enough to place it at #6 on my "Best of 2012" list, I'll admit that I hadn't jumped into its world of slo-mo shootouts and high-speed adrenalin in months. With games like "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" and other late-2012 entries stealing multiplayer thunder from Rockstar Games, I imagine most people have moved on from "Max Payne 3." Trying to entice gamers back for one more round of carnage, Rockstar released a final DLC pack last week under the banner, "Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven." The downloadable add-on includes four new modes, including the game's first attempt at co-op play, but no new maps. While a few of the modes offer a unique way to play, the lack of new environments in an era when regular releases of new map packs have become expected is disappointing.

Game Details

  • Publisher: Rockstar Games
  • Developer: Rockstar Studios
  • ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
  • Genre: Shooter Add-on
  • Pros: New Modes Offer Variety to Old Game
  • Cons: Lack of New Maps Make For Game That Already Feels Dated

The four new modes are mostly self-explanatory -- "Dead Men Walking," "Run & Stun," "Marked Man," and "Time Attack." The first of those, "Dead Man Walking," is the much-ballyhooed co-op mode, which basically just puts you and a partner on the same side against waves of enemies. The other three modes are familiar takes on common multiplayer concepts. Once again, it's nice to add some variety to a game that most people have shelved but one can't help shake the feeling that they're not getting enough new product by playing maps that were released months ago. One or two new maps would have made a world of difference.

Gameplay

Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven

Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven

Image © Rockstar Games

"Dead Men Walking" -- You and a buddy against wave after wave of enemies trying to kill you both. Like the Arcade portions of the game itself, points are earned by skillful kills and multipliers increase the longer you survive. Bullet Time and Shootdodge earn more points than blind firing and headshots do the same. There is a bit of strategy in flanking and protecting your partner but it's essentially a variation on Team Deathmatch, only your team only has two players. And the other team is growing.

"Run & Stun" -- This is the mode that still baffles me and I've tried to play it several times. It's kinda jokey, kinda original, but mostly not something I'll ever vote for when options come up after a round. One player takes on the role of Saci, Captain Baseball Bat Boy's nemesis. Saci has a Stun Gun, Flash Bangs, and super strength. He not only kills people, he adds them to his side and turns them into his minions. "Max Payne 3" doesn't really thrive as a game built on stunning or meleeing your enemy and so a mode built around those combat techniques is bound to be disappointing.

"Marked Man" -- Now we're talking. Maybe it's just because it's the mode that I won at most consistently but "Marked Man" is my favorite of the new modes. It's built around a familiar concept to "Max Payne 3" players -- the vendetta. Someone kills you and you mark them. Killing your marked man earns you five points, whereas a normal kill earns you one. It's that simple. It's not always the most complex concept but solid execution that can make a multiplayer mode memorable.

"Time Attack" -- Once again, pretty self-explanatory but kinda clever. My second favorite new mode rewards those who can kill multiple enemies quickly. Right after you kill an opponent, you get a multiplier that triggers higher points if you kill another opponent quickly. Wait a bit and the multiplier drops and so on and so on until you're back to "x1" as your multiplier.

Graphics & Sound

It is what it was when the game was first released as these modes offer nothing new in terms of graphics or sound. I really wish they did. "Max Payne 3" is such a vibrant, well-designed game that I wanted more. Call me greedy. I've been called worse.

Overall

Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven

Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven

Image © Rockstar Games
As much as I enjoy "Marked Man" and "Time Attack," my response to "Max Payne 3: Deathmatch Made in Heaven" was something akin to "That's it?" Fans of the game should download the add-on just for the two best new modes but I wish this wasn't the final word on a game that some players didn't think gave them enough in the first place. Maybe I'm spoiled by DLC-heavy titles like "Black Ops II" and "Borderlands 2" but I wanted "Max Payne 3" to deliver one last bang before it went into the bargain bin and this is more of a whimper.
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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