Seeing how your survival often depends on taking out multiple targets on the go, before time resumes its normal speed, it’s annoying that the game doesn’t make it clear when an enemy is down for the count. When you hit someone, they will drop to the ground, but the amount of bullets it takes to keep them there is unpredictable. You are likely to find yourself getting shot in the back now and then, because one of the guys you thought was dead – a reasonable assumption after emptying a clip on him – was actually just mildly inconvenienced.
Unfortunately the game is not without bugs and glitches. Some are hilarious one-offs, such as the time when Max, after landing on the floor on his back, started spinning around like a break-dancer on speed. (Other players have encountered the same glitch in different spots.) I also had a moment when, right after coming back to life, I was glitched to the wrong side of a wall and found myself at the end of a level, not able to proceed. There are a few recurring problems that are more annoying though. There is a targeting aid, that on the normal setting provides just about the right amount of guidance given the fast-paced shooting. But it did on occasion lock on an enemy that was out of range while there were other, more viable targets right in front of me. And most critical is a bug that started occurring in the last couple of chapters and raised the difficulty level from challenging to frustrating. Apparently at random, Max would seize up while in cover, able to reload his gun but unable to otherwise move, aim or shoot until someone came along to put a few bullets in him and trigger a ‘last man standing’ slow-motion shoot-out. (This mode itself also has a recurring bug: you sometimes will be looking at your assailant while your gun appears to be stuck in a different direction.) These bugs don’t spoil the experience ultimately, but they are surprising given how polished the game looks and sounds otherwise.
At one point, Max says: “Sometimes a complicated problem is best tackled with a simple solution.” His solution is always the same: shoot a whole bunch of bad guys. That is great fun for a while, but by the end of it, you’ll likely be craving something less restrictive and linear.