Max Payne 3 is one of the best games of the year so far. That’s not an exaggeration, that’s a fact, and you can read our full review for proof.
Part of the reason we scored it so well is that along with an outstanding single-player campaign, the game featured an impressive and robust multiplayer mode that offered a great deal of progression options, multiple gameplay modes, and even had two fundamentally different ways of playing: soft lock and free aim.
Now after six weeks of Max Payne 3 running free in the wild, the first batch of DLC, “Local Justice,” has been released. The pack features three new maps and a handful of other goodies, all of which are a worthy addition to the game. They all offer something different in their design, which means as a whole they offer plenty to the already robust multiplayer. Read on for our impressions.
55th Battalion HQ
The 55th Battalion recreates the police precinct that is taken from one of the later levels, where Max is a bit more rampage-y. The level is designed with multiple sections, each with a different look and feel, and each suitable for a different class. Submachine guns and assault rifles will fare well here, but a good pair of handguns could devastate opponents.
The map is available for all game modes, and Payne Killer is going to be particularly annoying/awesome depending on your point of view (and whether or not you end up being Max/Passos). An open central area with multiple levels and the narrow hallways of the detention levels mean there is a bit of something for everyone, and more importantly, every game type. Most of the firefights will end up localized around a few areas that offer high ground though.
The best matches are those that have the maximum number of players. Small teams can get lost in the massive complex and spend minutes looking for others. The key to this map will be memorizing it, and quickly, otherwise you can expect to get killed from people with a better angle or enemies waiting around corners for you.
The Imperial Palace
Shaped like a crescent, there are multiple levels to the building, but controlling the top floor will be key since the holes in the floor give a good angle on unaware enemies running below you. A good defensive posture with teammates can ensure a few good kills, and the pool and outlying building can act as a bunker with an overwatch. A sniper or someone that prefers long range battles could get off a few good shots here, but they will need to switch to something more up-close-and-personal when they are swarmed—and they will be.
Payne Killer fans will love this map, and the more confined nature will make this area good for people that prefer faster paced games. While there is plenty of cover here, it won’t last you long, and you’ll need to keep moving if you want to survive.
Taken from the airport chapter, this map is not as big as 55th Battalion, but like its fellow DLC map, there are different sections to it that change the playstyle. The departure area is a wide open section with an upper level that gives a huge advantage in terms of seeing enemies, but the lack of cover acts as an equalizer. The other sections, including places like the bathroom and baggage area, are going to favor smaller weapons.
Payne Killer is actually a mixed blessing here. The smaller areas will favor Max/Passos, while the larger areas will give everyone else plenty of opportunity to fire at them from a distance. To hold the upper section of the boarding zone, teamwork will be key for victory as the entire area can be locked down with a concerted effort.
Deathmatch is also well suited for the environment. Trying to hold one area will be tough, but running through the central concourse will be suicidal. Of the three maps, this is the one that will create the most balance issues between ranged and CQC fans, but that isn’t a bad thing.
New Jersey Cemetery (older DLC)
This isn’t a “new” DLC map technically, but for many it will be the first chance they have had to try it out. Originally released as a pre-order bonus via GameStop, those with the Rockstar Pass will have the option to download it now, while others can purchase it ala cart.
The map is taken from one of the flashback chapters, and the setting is the cemetery where Max’s wife and child are buried. The area features multiple sections, but they all revolve around a circular central section with rings that expand outward from a fountain. Beyond the rings is also a street area, and the two are flanked by a graveyard that leads up to a chapel. The chapel and the street will see some action, but the majority of the action will happen in the rings.
The game is available for Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Payne Killer. The area, therefore, is relatively small—or at least it is small if you cut through the middle of it, which would be a Leroy Jenkins level of suicide. Stay low and move fast with powerful short range guns, and you can hold your own for awhile—right up until your opponents decide to flank you from either side. Holding the high ground can also give you a decent look down at the central ring and a clear advantage, but you’ll need someone to watch your back.
Light Fingers Item
M4 Assault Rifle
Sao Paulo Police Faction
Pre-Order Bonuses Now Available
Along with the “Local Justice” DLC, Rockstar has also begun to offer all of the pre-order bonuses that were only available to the people that purchased the game under very specific conditions. With the exception of the Cemetery Map, the other pieces of DLC (which can be downloaded as part of the Rockstar Pass or individually) are all interesting, but none give a huge advantage. The Cemetery Map, however, is well worth the purchase.
Silent Killer Loadout Pack
Pill Bottle Item
Deadly Force Burst
Classic Max Payne Character
If you are considering the Rockstar Pass, you can rest easy knowing that your money will be well spent. The three new maps—four if you count the Cemetery Map—are almost worth the $29.99 alone for those that have been fanatically playing Max Payne 3’s multiplayer and are desperate for new content. Not quite, but almost. And with more content coming in the following months, the price tag is justifiable. But considering the pack is only $5.99 for this week, and will jump up to only $7.99, the “Local Justice” DLC is a steal.