Max Payne 3 vs Diablo 3 – Which gets your $60?

Factor 3: What Kind Of Play Experience Do You Want?

Finally, to truly know which game is right for you, you’ll need to know what kind of gamer you are. Not in terms of genre preference and technical obsessiveness, but by taking a look deep into your soul. Because both games offer utterly distinct tests of character and skill that get to the heart of what it means to play, by oneself, or with a team.

Diablo 3 offers what we will henceforth call the Blizzard Experience2: (n) a consistent, masturbatory need to play, often at the expense of the rest of your life. What such a game lacks in an immersive story, it makes up for with a steady stream of compulsively awesome individual moments leading up to, shall we say, a big finish. And thanks to multiple classes, skills and powers, unique quests and naturally, expansions, every time you do it, you’ll feel and play differently and yet enjoy it just as much, perhaps even more than the first time. And no, this doesn’t remind you of anything else.

Every time you fire D3 up, if it’s anything like Starcraft, WoW or previous Diablo games, you’ll find that the only responsible way to play is to place strict, enforced limits on the amount of time you spend. Because otherwise, you’ll lose hours, days perhaps, not noticing as other obligations are jettisoned so that you can enjoy just… one… more… hour. You’ll feverishly stare at your computer screen, clicking and double clicking your mouse, searching for new, ever more interesting and strange things to occupy you. And whether you play solo, or as part of a group, you’ll experience the same need to just keep playing. And again, no, this doesn’t remind you of anything.

More seriously, Diablo 3 is going to deliver a solid single player game while also making good on the MMO experience Blizzard has long perfected. If it’s an experience you’re not up for, Diablo may not be the game for you, regardless of how much you’ll enjoy single player play – after all, would you pay full price for a car you’ll only half-drive? I thought not.

Max Payne 3, on the other hand, is going to be about channeling your inner alcohol-soaked revenge-fueled murder machine. Narrated by the gritty tones of James McCaffrey, you’ll be facing down aggressors with only rage, bullets and pills as your allies. That is a very good thing. See, in terms of straight bad-assness, it’s really hard to top Max Payne, on a personal and professional level. He’s the kind of man who loses his family and then murders most of New York’s organized criminal element. If fast-twitch gameplay with cinematic moments of mayhem is your style, hands-down, Max Payne will be the option that pumps your veins full of what you need.

There’s also the Rockstar experience to consider. Max Payne will undoubtedly remind players of Grand Theft Auto IV and the stellar Red Dead Redemption in its various ways, providing the emotional element you might find lacking as well as the vicious, gritty violence that’s hard to come by elsewhere. Plus: urban settings, gun play, and did we mention the slow-mo? Because there will be heaps of it. Heaps… oooooof… iiiit…

Finally, there’s Max Payne’s competitive multiplayer, which will scratch something of a more traditional itch than Diablo 3′s. You’ll be teaming up with others, forming clans, and spraying one another down with bullets. We’ll see for ourselves soon enough, but Rockstar’s descriptions so far make the gameplay sound perhaps brainier than your average Call of Duty romp, while hitting a lot of the same marks.


Clearly, you’ve got a big decision to make, and we trust you’ll make the right one. The plus side of this decision is that there’s not really a wrong answer: if you screw up and buy Diablo or Max Payne went you meant to buy Max Payne or Diablo, the worst thing that happens to you is you play a popular and highly anticipated title, with your friends, and probably enjoy it. And then you buy the game you meant to buy whenever you have the funds.

Still, as Gloria Foster once said to Neo: “Know thyself.” The best thing you can do is ignore peer pressure and choose the game that most appeals to you, no matter what your lame friends say or which Internet is mean to you for not liking Diablo.

Follow Ross on Twitter, and follow Phil Hornshaw, who co-wrote.

2) or, if you prefer, the Civilization Impulse.

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3 Comments on Max Payne 3 vs Diablo 3 – Which gets your $60?


On May 14, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Since I pre-ordered Diablo 3, Diablo 3 gets my vote.

Jeff Mills

On May 14, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Diablo 3 now then Max Payne 3 after my next paycheck


On May 15, 2012 at 10:58 am

I have zero interest in Diablo III and Max Payne 3 I plan to get on the PC so I have to wait 2 more weeks