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May 22, 2013

Max Payne 3 Areas of Concern


Pain to the Max!

WARNING: This review features Mature Subject Matter.

PARENTAL GUIDANCE ADVISED.


Intro:

One of Max's many swigs.....


Max Payne is back for some more purple prose and painkiller pills! This time, he heads to San Paulo, Brazil, acting as a bodyguard for major corporation.

When the boss's trophy wife is kidnapped, Max Payne has to rescue her, setting into motion events which he never wanted to experience ever again in his life. Like, ever.

Oh, and by the way, he's an alcoholic. #SeriousStuff.

So, is this game filled up to the MAX with objectionable content, or is this review just going to be a PAIN?

Find out next, on KGR!

Areas of Concern:

Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

General Violence:

--Enemies can be shot: Blood sprays, staining the environment, splashing on their clothes, and at certain stages, we see the bullets traveling in slow-motion and impacting their bodies with graphic bullet wounds and blood spraying out in detail. You can also keep on shooting, with multiple bullet wounds and sprays of blood. Afterwards, a few of the enemies lie and clutch their wounds, groaning in pain.

You can also pistol whip enemies and shoot them at close range.

-You can shoot cars/explosive barrels, which explode, sending enemies flying and screams are heard. They can also be set on fire, and they flail around whilst screaming.

--We see a lot of environments stained with blood, and with blood-stained corpses lying around. In one sequence, we see a bunch of dead bodies with bloody bullet holes and blood everywhere as the camera focuses on the dead people.

-We see an operating theatre, with blood decorating the environment. 

Storyline Violence:

--We see a man injured by an explosion, with his body bloody and charred, his face half burnt away, the ragged flesh briefly seen, and he is missing one arm, the bloody stump being shown and blood on the environment around him. He struggles around for an extended period of time.

We later see a man shooting a grenade, and the aforementioned maiming taking place; his arm is seen flying off, but this is bloodless. Afterwards, we see him struggle around again, and then eventually collapse dead.

--A man is shot in the shoulder, and he falls over and clutches it. We see blood staining his arm and shirt. 

--A man interrogates a bleeding man, with cries of pain being heard.

--A man suicide bombs an apartment: We only see the explosion. Afterwards, we see a few bloody and charred corpses, with intestines and burnt faces being shown.

--A man with bloody burn marks all over his body cries out and shoots at your character. 

--A man with a dismembered leg crawls on the ground, groaning in pain. A man drags him out afterwards, and he lies on the ground and groans some more. 

--There are several sequences where innocent people are gunned down, with blood spurting.

--A man is lit on fire; he screams horribly for a few seconds, and we see his charred corpse afterwards. 

--Max hits a man in the throat with a machete, blood spraying out and he gurgles as he dies.

--A man blows up several vehicles with a grenade launcher, lots of explosions and wreckage being shown.

--A man stomps on another man's leg, and we briefly see a bloody piece of bone sticking out as he screams. 

--There are several sequences where explosions go off, destroying the environment, obliterating vehicles, and knocking people back. 

Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--We see VERY brief shots of sexual activity in a brothel/strip club, one with a man having sex with a woman but he is obscured by two onlookers, and another where a prostitute sits on top of a man. We then see a few women wearing nothing but g-strings and pasties dancing around poles, with the camera lingering a few times.

-A man later mentions that this place has the cheapest "P***y" in the world.  

"I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me." Psalms 101:3
--We see suggestive pictures of women in their underwear a few times during the game, decorating bars and on signs in the streets.

"But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Matthew 5:28
--A man says they should go see what's outside. Another man replies: "Well it's not going to be a warm cup of milk and a blowjob."

-A man says that he wouldn't know right from wrong "If one was poor and the other one was b***ing my sister."

-A man says he's been working as hard as "a w**re during Fleet week."

Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

Very Frequent Strong Language: Uses of C**t, F**k, S**t, W**re, P**sy, C**k, D**k, Pr**k, D**che, A*s, B**ls, B**ch, B**t**d, H**l, D**n, and F***ot.

Racial Slurs: N***er, and S**c.

--God and Jesus' names are used in vain.

Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy
--A man says: "I'm not taking anything from this guy God hasn't already!"

--A man sarcastically says that a stadium is a city's biggest place of worship.  

--A joking mention of the "Hari Krishnas". 

--List of Symbols:

-Pentagram. (Satanic Symbol.)

-Black and White Checkerboard floor. (Freemason Symbolism.)

-Cross. (Symbol of death.)

-Lightning bolt. (Lucifer falling from Heaven.) 
 

Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Ban-worthy

--A man swallows painkillers and drowns it down with whiskey. The man in question, Max Payne, is shown to be an alcoholic. There are quite a few scenes which show him drinking and stumbling around, obviously drunk.

-Max also uses painkillers as a means of restoring his "health". (Taking away damage caused by combat.)

--A few scenes with people smoking.

--A man is mentioned to be a "coke head", a man says that people try to forget about the lower class by using lines of "blow", and we see some drugs lying on a table. We later hear that some people are using drugs at a party.
 

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--A man vomits off-screen. 

Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

Pretty bad, to be honest, but not Abysmal due to the fact that Max somewhat tries to do the right thing and save people. On the flipside, he is shown to be vengeful and full of hatred. You can also shoot innocent non-storyline related characters without consequence, but the game never forces you to kill them.

Thoughts & Impressions:


Max Payne......what a story.

I mean that in a good way. The Max Payne series is known for it's noir-esque storytelling and very "flamboyant" monologue by the titular main character.

In this instalment, it's story doesn't quite match up to the standards of Max Payne 2, but it sure manages to keep you guessing.

And Max Payne is one of the best written characters in gaming. Normally a monologue would violate the sacred "Show, don't tell" rule, but here it makes him even more complex, with the internal speech not always matching up with his external actions.

It's a great example of people thinking one thing and acting another way.

The story delivers one gut punch after the other, and it's simple but ambiguous ending satisfies the character progression and the overall story.

Now.....in spite of my praise.......what about the content?

Eh.......   


While the morality is problematic, to say the least, it's only the scene in the brothel which really pushes it. Okay, and the language. That I will admit, is pushing it.

The cutscene in question is skippable, so that should make it okay?

Well, no.....the scene in question is actually plot centric, with the suggestive elements being focused on for.....no real reason, actually.

I know I gave Mass Effect 3 a Strong Caution (Mature Gamers Only), but the sexual scenes were optional. Here, it's part of the main story and you may miss a character introduction if you skip over it.

You won't be clueless, but you will be scratching your head quite a bit trying to figure out why Max is going after this guy, why he's suddenly shooting people right after the cutscene finishes.....and who that guy in the car is.....

Look, this game is made for mature audiences and I'm sure mature Christians can skip over the cutscene and still enjoy the game.

But that's just the thing....will you skip over it? Do you want to take a risk? You sure you can resist temptation? You really sure? Can you not watch it?

Red pill or blue pill?

Okay, I jest. I'm making it sound like resisting a hamburger or relapsing on alcohol or something.

However, my point stands. Can Christians play this game? Rather not....

Verdict: (N)

Not Recommended

For a Scene featuring Strong Sexual Material. And Very Strong Language, of course....


Outro:

Say my name.....

I realise that some people may be more extreme with this game and push for a "BAN, BAN, BAN!", but to be honest, other than the taking of Jesus' name in vain and the brothel scene, this game wasn't really that offensive to me for some reason.

I'm not really affected by violence that much, although I HAVE my limits. It's just that this game doesn't really go to extreme standards, like The Walking Dead TV show or Dead Space 2. (I don't recommend either for that exact reason.)

But in any case, I'll see you guys Friday with whatever article I manage to cook up then.

Until next time! 

Writer Bio:


Kyle van Rensburg is the Editor-in-Chief of Kyle's Christian Video Game Reviews. (KGR) He likes cookies.

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