I was not instantly hating on MP3
when I heard the change of setting and story. I decided to give it an honest chance. I was not only disappointed, I was insulted. I played halfway through it (specifically up to the level where Max starts getting shot up by street gangs) and couldn't take it anymore. This game is a shining example of They Changed It, Now It Sucks
, and also sucks for entirely unrelated reasons.
Max can only carry three weapons at a time, two pistols and a two-handed gun, and in an annoying glitch trying to switch to the latter often causes you to drop it. Cover is a part of the game and never seems to work right, and slows things down. The game is punishingly difficult even on Medium difficulty, stingy with painkillers and ammo thus forcing you to fight five enemies or more with less than half HP and barely enough ammo to do a full reload of your gun.
Quicksaves are gone in favor of checkpoints, forcing you to fight the same gun battles over and over and over even if you got past them already and are having trouble in the section after. As if the developers knew their game was too difficult, after reloading enough times they toss you painkillers and extra ammo to make things easier.
The graphic novel style cutscenes are gone, replaced with normal cutscenes that occasionally freeze-frame and flash words someone just said on the screen. Max is variably drunk, hungover, or detoxing, and thus the developers constantly add blur effects and fuzziness to the game. It's annoying and distracting. Instead of dark and gritty New York, Brazil is garish and ugly.
The characters are cardboard cliches, like these guys were auditioning for Jersey Shore. Max is disgusted by how they act and doesn't care about them, and I concur.
The game basically ignores the first two. Max doesn't even mention Mona Sax or Alfred Woden, or anyone else. It just fast forwards a decade where Max is retired and decides to move to Brazil and be a bodyguard for no reason. What, a mob boss put a hit on him? Back in the day Max would storm his mansion and shoot him in the head.
It's obvious the developers just did not care. If this was not called Max Payne and didn't have James McCaffrey doing voice work, it would be unrecognizable as a Max Payne game. And in the end it still is. It is slow-moving, overly difficult, ugly to look at, and simply not fun to play.