Developer: Rockstar Studios
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Release Date: March 2012
Pltform(s): PC, PS3, X360
Genre: Modern Shooter
It's been about six years since Max Payne appeared in video games; the last one being the successful sequel to the original, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Even so, the entire legacy of the series has rubbed off in many similar games such as Mafia and Stranglehold, who copied--almost shamelessly--some of the styles and features of what made the series great.
After all, Max Payne was all about the noir atmosphere, a setting that players have never witnessed before. Besides its great way of storytelling, Max Payne was also one of the first games to use the famous bullet time mechanic in which everything goes into slow motion, giving players ample time to dodge bullets. Without a doubt, it was a formula that gave Max Payne its identity in the video game world. Soon afterwards, Max Payne took a backseat. And with the lackluster reception the movie version had, the franchise’s future seemed grim.
Fortunately, fans of the franchise will once again enjoy this wonderful work. Rockstar, the company which distributed the second game of the franchise, recently announced the series’ return. This time, the hero does not live in New York, like in previous games; Payne now lives in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and will face himself due to his physical and psychological problems. Without further ado, I welcome you to the world of Max Payne 3.
So far, the plot details are relatively scarce. However, it can be said that Max was fired from the Police Department of New York and soon after, travels to the great Brazilian metropolis, where he lives for the next twelve years fighting his demons and addictions. No one knows the exact moment when Payne left for Brazil, but the country certainly has some surprises in store for the protagonist, who now works as a security officer for a local family. In this profession, Max ends up having to deal with various complicated situations that might deviate from the things fans were accustomed to in the previous Max Payne games. For starters, Max’s new look is different, now bald, beard, and scars all over his face (his famous trench coat is also notably missing). It appears that Payne also faces various addictions such as alcoholism and a strange obsession with painkillers, which have an important role in the game.
Moreover, the environment itself is also different. Rockstar mentioned that much of the game will take place in broad daylight, but didn’t rule out the possibility of Payne engaging in shootouts during the evening or rain. The characteristic climate noir, found in films like "The Maltese Falcon" and "Touch of Evil" may also return in the title, but nothing has been confirmed.
Another feature that is not present in the game is the voice of Payne. Actor James McCaffrey, the original voice of the protagonist in the first two games, will not be present in this version. Instead, we have a new voice actor that hasn’t been revealed yet. The reason for this change, according to Rockstar, is that Payne has grown a little older since the last game.
Besides treason and violence, other elements that consolidated the series will remain, and everything will be told stylistically in the city of São Paulo, which was exploited by developers to capture the location’s essence. The slums of the capital will be a great hiding place for his enemies, who have a chance to sprout from anywhere to try to end Payne’s life. It is noteworthy that this time, developer Remedy (who developed the first two Max Payne games) will not handle this new title. In its place is Rockstar Vancouver.
The new developer says fans need not despair, because Max Payne 3 will not derail its structural basis. There is, however, is a big challenge for the new developer: Revolutionizing the original gameplay mechanics. Well, it seems Rockstar Vancouver has the solution. Yes, the bullet time effect will also be present in this new game. However, the company promises to bring new possibilities - like mini games and interactions of context with the rest of the environment to utilize this iconic formula to original ways.
Max Payne 3 will run in the fabulous RAGE engine, the same one used for the legendary Grand Theft Auto IV. If nothing else, the technology called NaturalMotion Euphoria will also be part of the title. With this, enemies react realistically in relation to their shots, and the impact and interaction with objects promises to be incredible. To complement the feeling of gritty realism, Rockstar implemented a cover system for the game. Max can also grab enemies to use as a shield, and he can use the environment to his advantage by causing some kind of ruckus for diversion purposes.
Still, Max Payne 3 won't be an open world game. However, Max has the ability to climb walls and explore other areas to reveal new directions. Another novelty is the "camera on the bullet," chasing missiles to targets, stylish and promises to adhere to the game, and allows Max to save hostages, for example. If you enjoy this feature successfully, you will be rewarded with an adrenaline bonus.
Besides a lot of action, Rockstar still aims to present players with a game rich in details, promising to enhance the enjoyment factor. Plus, Max Payne 3 will support multiplayer, but nothing significant has been revealed so far. Here’s to hoping Rockstar succeeds in bringing forth a quality Max Payne title, but considering the publisher’s great track record, we can be sure it will be. Max Payne 3 will launch March 2012 on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC.
Marco Cecilio, NoobFeed