After replaying Max Payne 1 and 2 for the third time first.
A few thoughts:
I literally got a chill during the opening when the cello started playing the Max Payne theme.
The design of the Max Payne character is perfect. He looks and acts exactly how you'd expect Max Payne to be 10 years down the road, given the events of the first two games. Also, whoever is saying that he's fat in this game, I'd love to see what you look like, especially if you're in your 30s or above. From comments folks were making about Max Payne being fat, I was expecting him to look like Artie Lange circa 1999.
The stylistic decision to go with the shifting images and colors, etc. was excellent. It very nicely conveys Max's messed-up, fractured state of mind.
The gameplay is exactly what you should expect if you imagine the gameplay of the first two games given a state-of-the-art contemporary, current-generation treatment. In fact, there are a crapload of pretty literal references to the gameplay of the previous games, including the parking garage, Max's apartment building, etc. The gameplay is excellent so far, it's varied, and I couldn't be having more fun. The story is also excellent so far, and the way it's seamlessly melded to the gameplay is beautiful.
It's impossible for me to comprehend folks complaining about this game who played and liked the first two Max Payne titles.
In my opinion--although not having finished the game and not having even looked at the multiplayer yet (I'm not a huge multiplayer fan; I always look at that more like extras on a DVD, which the majority of the time I don't even bother much with)--Rockstar did a perfect job on this game.
If I had to issue a criticism, it would be a very backhanded one: the Hoboken level is done so gorgeously--graphics-wise and everything, and it so much feels like the first two games but REAL instead of just being a videogame, that I sure wouldn't have complained had the whole game been set there.