Max Payne 3 Local Justice Map Pack (DLC) Review

Considering I wrote the review for Max Payne 3 for the PS3 not too long ago, it was only fitting I take a look at the most recent DLC for latest instalment in the Max Payne 3 franchise.  Luckily, I was fortunate enough to secure a “Max Payne 3 Rockstar Pass” which not only gives you access to all the current DLC available but also future ones as well.  So I have to admit it was nice to have access to all the pre-order and retailer exclusive DLC.  Yet for the purpose of this review I will focus my attention on the Local Justice DLC Pack for Max Payne 3.

Just so you know if you buy the Rockstar pass, you would get the newly released Local Justice Pack, the Cemetery Map, the Silent Killer Loadout Pack, the Gorilla Warfare Pack, the Classic Max Payne 1 Multiplayer Character, the Deadly Force Burst, and the Pill Bottle Item. In the next few months, Rockstar is reporting 4 more map packs, 1 mode pack and 1 co-op pack which is all included in the pass. The current and most significant DLC is the Local Justice Pack, which includes 3 new multiplayer maps found in the single player campaign, a M4 assault rifle with attachments, the Light Fingers Loadout item, the Sao Paulo police faction, and other achievements, trophies and social club accomplishments.

For those unfamiliar with the multiplayer format of Max Payne 3 or other shooters, a loadout is essentially how your weapons and equipment is laid out before you go kick some butt. Beginners or those who have yet to unlock additional features only get to choose a few simple loadouts with basic weapons and gear that lean towards how you play. For example, if you enjoy close quarters combat or don’t mind travelling a little slow, you may want to pick the loadout which features a shotgun and additional body armour; however, this will cost you in terms of how quick you can move about in the map. As you get better in the game, you gain access to additional loadouts and the ability to customize them, which provides a tactical advantage over your opponents such as being able to carry additional pills that restore health, additional abilities and more powerful and flexible weapons.

Players who purchase the DLC would therefore definitely gain an advantage over those who do not have access to these items. For example, the Pill Bottle item available as a DLC provides the player with increased capacity to carry painkillers that restore your health. The Light Fingers Loadout item gives players the ability to quickly loot a dead player’s items, which is handy in a frantic firefight. The Silent Killer Loadout provides the following: access to the powerful Light Anti-Tank Weapon, a Slippery Character Boost that helps them escape a firefight, and a Listening Device Item which amplifies the noise heard of incoming footsteps and thereby alerting players of incoming danger.

Despite these tactical advantages, I found the additional maps to be more attractive than the addition of the items.  The maps are nicely balanced and simply fun to play.  The first of the three maps I had a chance to check out was “Imperial Palace”.  This is small map which is great for all you run and gunners out there who love to run around with a shotgun.  It takes place in a rundown hotel and is a blast to play with a group of friends.  The second map is “Departure Lunge” which is a bigger map and is a map taken from one of the more memorable levels in the single player campaign.  The last of the three maps is 55th Battalion which is a massive map and is the only one that supports Gang Wars.  You can tell the developers put some thought into the layout of the maps as all have strategic points which can only maximize the kill factor between players such as setting up choke points, sniper spots and open and closed areas.  All in all, I was impressed and when you consider the price of these maps, they are fantastic bang for the buck.

As for the available character customizations of downloading the Sao Paulo police faction, I suppose it can be considered content that makes the customization and uniqueness more varied. However, the Sao Paulo avatars don’t look as impressive to me and rather look a little plain.

Now for me, DLC is only as good as the money you would pay for it. I am going to say that if you want to get the Rockstar Pass, which as mentioned gets you essentially every current and upcoming DLC, it will cost you $29.99 US on PSN which according to Rockstar is a savings of 35% compared to purchasing all the content individually.  Clearly you would have to be a hardcore Max Payne 3 fan who plays and loves the multiplayer aspect in order to even consider getting this pack. Thirty dollars is nearly the cost of an entire game and you don’t get any additional content at this point for the single player campaign, which would have been very cool. Instead, you get some maps, loadouts and items and abilities, which if you’re good enough, you won’t need the last three anyways. As for the avatars, the developers may have been better off originally giving players the option of truly customizing their online characters rather than essentially selling them new faces and uniforms.  So casual or fringe Max Payne 3 online gamers may only want to consider dropping the $5.99 for just the Local Justice DLC which is likely the more cost effective course of action.

Unless you are fan of the Max Payne 3 online multiplayer experience, then I would not recommend you purchase the 30 dollar Rockstar pass for Max Payne 3.  This is why the $5.99 price tag ($7.99 after July 9th) for the Local Justice DLC is perfect for those like myself who only jump online every so often.  Hardcore online Max Payne 3 fans however will not want to mess around.  So they should simply drop the 30 bucks for the Rockstar pass as there is a fair amount of online content to keep you playing online for months on end.

At the end of the day, Max Payne 3 online gamers should not hesitate to pick up the Local Justice DLC.  The additional three online maps, a new power-up item, and a new weapon for less than 8 bucks is simply a great deal even for those fringe online gamers.  While the lack of additional content for the single player portion of the game is a disappointment, all in all the Local Justice DLC is a solid buy and one that should be considered a no-brainer for anyone who heads online for some Max Payne 3 goodness.

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The Bad