The Max Payne 3 Tapes: How The Other Half LivesS

This is the third part of a series wherein I play Max Payne 3 and try really hard to come up with positive things to say about life. I usually just end up kind of depressed. You can read the first one here, and the second here. Spoilers for chapters 7-9 ahead.

Welcome to the favelas, Max, you big gringo.

I can tell that this is going to be a rough time for Max and I, because a.) Max tells me so and b.) There is Portuguese hip-hop playing. As dope as the track is, I’d like to see hip-hop used to convey something other than how Hood a place is. I want a hip-hop montage of kids doing calculus, or yuppies programming. That would be some genre-bending, forward-thinking stuff, Rockstar.

I try and ask Max what he thinks of the music, but he’s too busy making a dumb decision about trusting a kid to take us to where Fabiana is after barely looking at the picture we’ve shown him. I think he hates music anyway.

We come across a big street party. We are not welcome at the big street party. We are escorted out of the big street party. We are stripped of our weapons and kicked into a trash heap just outside of the big street party. Max muses about how being sober isn’t very different from being drunk at this point, seeing as he’s in the gutter and all. I tell him that it’s the wrong way to look at it, and that, as his sponsor, I’m going to insist that he stays positive. We end up at a strip club.

Remember how in the 80s and 90s, just about every action movie had a chase scene where the hero would just dive into a random establishment to evade his pursuers, and how it was almost always a strip club? I don’t really have a reason for bringing that up. Kind of like how the people in this strip club don’t have much of a reason to start shooting at Max. But they do anyway, and I guess it gives us something to do other than think about how weird and unnatural video game strip clubs are.

Shooting your way through the favelas is really hard, by the way. Sometimes the only way to figure out where anyone is at is to stand up and just invite them to shoot you. And they’re pretty good at not missing, so it’s kind of a terrible tactic, but whatever.

Oh, we should talk about weapons. You see, to my knowledge, this is the first level where there are sawed-off shotguns available to pick up. And man, there are A LOT of them. The hardest choice I’ve had in this game so far was weather or not to pick up two. But I also had an Uzi, and I really wanted to go for the Uzi+Sawed-off combo, so I could pretend I was a grizzled Antonio Banderas from Desperado. I love that movie.

Also, the collectible Golden Weapon pieces are REALLY HARD to find in this game. But I found my first complete set! Which was the sawed-off shotgun. It felt quite fitting. Max carrying a blinged-out gun and wearing that ridiculous shirt is kind of hilarious. But Max wouldn’t know what I meant by that. He doesn’t laugh. His last name is Payne.

Speaking of Max, I’m kind of starting to regret that we’re friends. He’s kind of lousy at looking out for other people, even the ones who pay him to look out for them. Fabiana gets shot, and Marcelo and Giovanna are captured as well. I’m giving this my all here, and Max is just phoning it in. What a jerk.

Max tries to distract me from being mad at him with another flashback, but I’m not really having it. I already know that he and Passos escape the Guido Dad Death Squad, presumably through Passos’ several connections in Queens and is that Vinnie Cognotti’s grave? Oh that’s cool.

Back in Sao Paolo, the cops have shown up. That sounds like a good thing on paper, but really the only reason this game introduces you to new people is so that they can shoot at you later. Also, they turn the place into a warzone, gunning down all the thugs with high-caliber weapons.

“These guys make the NYPD look like the Hare Krishnas,” Max says, which actually makes me laugh. Remember in Mad Men when Paul Kinsey joined the Hare Krishnas?

Max should hang out with those guys. It would probably do him some good. At the very least, he would have less people shooting at him. Of all the people who have shot at Max in this game (Which, I should mention, is already a number that is higher than the population of several New Jersey municipalities), the Scary Army Police SWAT Team Force are the hardest to kill. All that armor is a pain.

So after a some more bullet dancing, Max decides to follow the police back to a location where something that looks like a human trafficking deal goes down between the “cops” and the paramilitary goons who we dealt with at the Stadium. Also they have Giovanna and Marcelo, the latter of which is having big truck tires thrown over his head. Max wonders what they’re doing to him. He must have never watched The Shield, or else he would know what they were going to do. Which is light the tires, and by extension Marcelo, on fire. You guys should watch The Shield, by the way. It’s a great show.

Max is now two for three on the whole letting people die thing. You might not want to let him watch your dog if you ever go out of town. Just saying.