Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3 Achievements

Payne In The Ass

Story Complete [HARDCORE]     

Hard, Old School and Hardcore paythroughs all must be done with [FREE AIM] on. If you change aim assist at any point during a playthrough you will NOT get the achievement.

This difficulty will be very hard for those not experienced with Max Payne titles, you will die very quickly and easily. It will only take a few shots for an enemy to kill you so you will need to constantly be in/behind cover.

Here are a few tips to help you in this playthrough:

  • Cover is very important this time round, if you run in guns blazing you will without a doubt be killed. You can take cover behind nearly anything so be sure to use and objects to your advantage.
  • Bullet time will come in handy, you will find yourself using it a lot more on this playthough than the others. Don't waste it if you have made your kill/s then tap  again to exit bullet time, its to valuable to waste and isn't as easy to get.
  • Headshots will be the quickest and most effective way to kill your enemies, especially when there are multiple enemies around headshots will be your key out of a sticky situation.
  • Take your time, if you rush in this game mode you will have no chance of finishing it. Don't aim to finish the level but aim to reach the next checkpoint.

Note: Remember, you must do all the playthroughs with [FREE AIM] on or the achievements will NOT unlock.

Rate this achievementAverage Rating (Based on 4 votes)
User Comments
Comment #1 by ian760
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 08:32:36 AM

Going To Be FUN

Comment #2 by JMNELSON
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 08:44:56 AM

Going to be awesome....

Comment #3 by Samigi
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 09:06:09 AM

Going to be a Payne In The Ass...

Comment #4 by AC Cloud Strife
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 09:22:07 AM

Hardcore and less GS than for Medium? Sweet! :D

Comment #5 by XxJoaoPauloBRxX
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 10:50:20 AM


Comment #6 by Hurricane Of 87
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 12:13:44 PM

Wonder if HARDCORE isn't necessarily harder than OLD SCHOOL, but it just has different parameters than a usual playthrough. (Ala Dead Space 2, Hard Core wasn't any more difficult than Zealot, but you could only save 3 times.)

Comment #7 by WartyHogger
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 02:25:28 PM

Psh, it's not about how many points less this is compared to an easier mode, it's about getting the game to 1000!(+ more if DLC, which will more than likely happen).

Comment #8 by Nevander
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 03:11:53 PM

This better allow saving and or checkpoints. I mean 3 is fine, just LET ME SAVE.

Comment #9 by KuShNsTieN
Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 05:03:39 PM

its probably worth 20G because you can get it with the Hardcore New York minute achievement.

Comment #10 by The Bum-Mobile
Sunday, April 29, 2012 @ 09:32:21 AM

I agree with #7, it's about completion, not gamerscore.

Comment #11 by mgorsi
Sunday, April 29, 2012 @ 01:56:28 PM

well, ppl who reported on this game during Pax East said this game was hard - as they died alot during diving, due to minimum cover. Hopefully it doesn't get frustrating!! overall a fun 1000g. reaching lvl 50 is usually over 24hrs of playtime.

Comment #12 by guy298
Monday, April 30, 2012 @ 07:03:50 AM

@8 The last two games let you save...

Comment #13 by clubsoda
Tuesday, May 15, 2012 @ 07:24:51 AM


Comment #14 by sty3ler06
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 @ 12:50:12 AM

I wonder if these are gonna be stackable :-S

Comment #15 by ProLez
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 @ 04:30:42 AM

Yes, they are stackable, thing just is you have to play hard to unlock next, then the next to unlock next, so its actually not haha

Comment #16 by The Barryman
Saturday, May 19, 2012 @ 05:09:46 AM

Sounds fun.

Comment #17 by CancerMerchant
Saturday, May 19, 2012 @ 08:36:55 PM

This will be a bitch

Comment #18 by KILLAH KRUNK
Sunday, May 20, 2012 @ 01:47:16 AM

Do you get the hardcore achievement if you beat old school or the other way areound or none

Comment #19 by J4MO187
Sunday, May 20, 2012 @ 01:04:48 PM

Nearly completed on medium xD

Join my crew people StokeOnTrentWarriors I will recruit anyone who plays max payne 3 often, and will be playing gta v often as soon as its out XD


Comment #20 by JackZulu
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 05:28:17 PM

Does anyone know if Hardcore/Old School definitely stacks? Because I have a theory if they don't. I could be completely wrong but it is possible that you need only play through 4 times. First off HARD. Second, OLD SCHOOL. Third New York Minute. Forth New York Minute on HARDCORE (combining the hardcore completion with the NYM hardcore completion). Theoretically it could work...but probably not.

Comment #21 by JackZulu
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 05:34:15 PM

Also, do we know for sure which is the hardest difficulty? Judging by the fact that OLD SCHOOL is listed last in the selection menu, I assume it's that but if you look at the images on the achievements, it makes it seem that HARDCORE is harder.

Comment #22 by SargeCQB
Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 09:58:37 PM

@#21 thats what im wondering, old school is proving to be a lot easier than i thought and people r telling me hardcore is insane, maybe im just smart when i play so not having last stand dosnt really matter to me but because the rules r different i think they stack up to hardcore and old school is separate, but i haven't finished old school yet so ill come back when im done!

Comment #23 by JackZulu
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 06:12:59 AM

@22 Ah so it's not just me! I've actually had to go and check my difficulty settings a few times because I keep thinking to myself...this seems way to easy. I'm sure that HARD was more challenging but I couldn't be sure as to whether it was actually harder and I just don't feel it because I've already completed it on hard and know my way around or if it is simply the 'no last stand' that makes it different.

Comment #24 by Milan Swagers
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 04:39:35 PM

I can confirm that it does NOT stack. I just completed 'Old School' difficulty and all I got was the 'Payne In The Ass' achievement.

Comment #25 by JackZulu
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 07:49:22 PM

@24 thanks for that. damn shame it doesn't.

Comment #26 by SargeCQB
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 @ 09:57:20 PM

omg, another playthrough, why would R* design achievements in a liniar game like this, ill admit the game is worth playing through again and going back for the level based achievements were fun, but im now looking at 3 more plays and im already done the grinds, and nym hardcore is at least one of those plays if not more, what the hell!

Comment #27 by JackZulu
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 @ 07:46:17 AM

i guess it's a way to make sure achievement whores like us keep the game and therefore get all of the DLC they plan on rolling out.

Comment #28 by ErvinC
Saturday, May 26, 2012 @ 03:20:20 PM

if you finish on hardcore will you get the other difficulty cheevos too?

Comment #29 by FSparacino4
Sunday, May 27, 2012 @ 10:27:32 PM

@28 Are you living in a cave or did you just not read the other comments before posting ? This was already answered and they DO NOT stack, which means 5 playthroughs if you want the full 1,000.

Comment #30 by DNett87
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 04:46:48 AM

I just completed the story on hardcore and got the payne in the ass and serious payne achievements. Sorry but #29 is incorrect they do stack or at least these two do. Old school difficulty is separate.

Comment #31 by JackZulu
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 09:25:41 AM

@30 That is impossible. HARD stacks to all those below it. OLD SCHOOL doesn't stack anything. It is possible HARDCORE would stacks with HARD but in order to unlock HARDCORE you have to complete the game on HARD. So there is no way you could have just completed it on HARDCORE and unlocked 'Serious Payne' because you get 'Serious Payne' for completing it on HARD.

Comment #32 by JackZulu
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 09:28:25 AM

The most annoying thing about the 5 playthroughs is that you can't skip all of the cutscenes. There is a fair amount of them you just have to let play.

Comment #33 by JackZulu
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 09:30:17 AM

Well, in Story Mode that is. Perhaps NYM is different.

Comment #34 by DNett87
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 04:53:55 PM

I beat the game on Medium and that unlocked the rest of the difficulties. Then I played through on Old School, then on Hardcore. Got the two for one.
Why would I lie?

Comment #35 by DNett87
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 04:57:11 PM

those dreaded cutscenes. Talk about payne in the ass :o)

Comment #36 by JackZulu
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 06:38:23 PM

@34 I don't think you're lying, I just figured you were mistaken because as far as I am aware, you unlock HC by completing the game on Hard. That is how it worked for me at least.

The unlocks should be as follows:

Finishing the Game on Any Difficulty

Unlock New York Minute mode in Arcade Mode

Finishing the Game on Medium:

Unlock Character Select Option in Arcade Mode

Finishing the Game on Hard:

Unlock Old School Difficulty
Unlock Hardcore Difficulty
Unlock Unlimited Painkillers Cheat

Finishing the Game on Old School:

Unlock Max Payne Advanced Character Model

Finishing the Game on Hardcore:

Unlock One Hit Kill Cheat

If you were able to unlock it through Medium then you got lucky cos that should mean one less playthrough for you. And yes, this achievemen

Comment #37 by DNett87
Monday, May 28, 2012 @ 08:24:14 PM


Comment #38 by Badgger
Saturday, June 02, 2012 @ 04:04:55 PM

@34 you're lying because to unlock Hardcore and Old School difficulties, you must complete the game on Hard difficulty first.

Comment #39 by xJuicey Mooseyx
Saturday, June 09, 2012 @ 02:56:41 PM

can you use unlimited painkillers and still get the achievement?

Comment #40 by Skweezle II
Thursday, June 14, 2012 @ 08:26:44 AM

No limit on painkillers.
A big tip someone else on these forums came up with so I cant take the credit but if you complete the game on OLD SCHOOL difficulty, as soon as the achievement pops up dashboard your game and restart it. Choose Story and continue, (you will start behind the plane), change the difficulty to Hardcore and blow up the plane you will get the Hardcore story achievement.
I don't know if this can be done for all the other difficulty levels because I only found out about it after completing them but it may be worth a try for any new players.

Comment #41 by crimeISking007
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 @ 11:15:13 AM

thanks @Skweezle II

playing through only 4 times for the 1000G :-)

Comment #42 by iperm
Wednesday, June 27, 2012 @ 04:19:42 PM

This is going to be so hard

Comment #43 by DA ADMAN 26
Thursday, June 28, 2012 @ 05:32:29 AM

@40 just attempted the switchdown from old school to hardcore and it did not pop :( the devs may have patched this in this weeks update, so be careful everyone

Comment #44 by SCEVEN
Friday, June 29, 2012 @ 04:02:02 AM

This game is absolutely amazing yet I think I have overplayed my welcome due to the achievements not being stacked. It was fun playing it on every difficulty but I was pretty bummed out upon completing it on the hardest difficulty only to find out that I had to beat it again. Truly a Payne in the Ass but well done Rockstar on keeping the replay value up.

Comment #45 by TERROR TAMMO
Sunday, July 08, 2012 @ 10:47:59 AM

just wandering ive been playing on normal for the first time, and im nearly at the end but here is the thing; im playing with soft lock aim mode will the achivement for normal mode pop for me or should i do evrything over again?

Comment #46 by Houmayd
Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 08:41:51 AM

the achivment will not pop up coz u need to play it on free aim.i completed it on hardcore that was pheww but i was lucky

Comment #47 by PsychoticMunkey
Thursday, August 30, 2012 @ 07:58:49 AM

I am playing through hardcore now, I started on medium because I was not that familiar with controls. It is a great game, but not looking forward towards 3 more play throughs since the cut scene's/loading takes forever.

Comment #48 by RebelRaider3
Sunday, September 02, 2012 @ 01:24:33 PM

Do you have to start a new game when you do it or can you just go to chapter select?

Comment #49 by MuppetStrangler
Friday, October 05, 2012 @ 05:56:18 AM

This one`s gonna be a beach

Comment #50 by AlphaBahamutUY
Tuesday, October 09, 2012 @ 06:38:15 AM

The airport chapter is impossible!!!

Comment #51 by HXP
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 @ 03:13:27 AM

Just wondering how HARDCORE MODE can be less harder than HARD Mode. ???

Comment #52 by Cr4zyFr0ggg
Friday, November 23, 2012 @ 08:25:34 AM

#48 did u try out chapter select? I'm doing it with chapter select, will tell it it's working as soon as i am done...

Comment #53 by uppyb0t
Sunday, January 20, 2013 @ 10:00:15 PM

Why did I go through so much anger for 20G? What a terribly glitchy and sluggish game. Controller smashing and Max Payne go hand in hand.

Comment #54 by BlackTiger
Thursday, March 28, 2013 @ 04:31:27 AM

Very hard to be taken :(

Comment #55 by Jmech4889
Sunday, August 11, 2013 @ 03:29:22 AM

Airport was difficult but for the most part Hardcore mode was kind of fun. 20G though is straight-up ridiculous.

Comment #56 by Matt25243
Tuesday, October 01, 2013 @ 09:36:44 PM

I want to 100% this game badly, but I just can't see doing this achievement for a measly 20G when dying restarts the level!

Comment #57 by Goatlips
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 @ 11:52:09 AM

NB: CHAPTER SELECT will not earn you this achievement or any other Story completion achievements!
Was is too hard to add that in the above guide? It's very important.

...Don't even bother with this. The game is very one-dimensional and linear.
Play it on Easy, don't even go for achievements, and move on to a better game.

Comment #58 by Goatlips
Sunday, February 15, 2015 @ 04:51:39 PM

...BTW - You can complete Story in all difficulties with auto aim on (although auto aim makes it harder to get headshots and, thus, possibly makes harder difficulties trickier) - you won't get the achievements but you will eventually unlock Hardcore. If you then complete Hardcore with free aim I think the previous difficulties will have their achievements popped - so they are stacked - judging from what others have said.
...But why would you bother? Move on.

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Game Info
Rockstar Games


US May 15, 2012
Europe May 18, 2012

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User Score is based on 528 user ratings.