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I loved the first Max Payne, and I still appreciate Remedy's ambition today. It's a great game. That said, after playing it again recently, I realized that some of my fond memories of realistic physics and ultra-lifelike characters might have been contaminated with just a teensy drop of nostalgia since 2001. If you're bothered by the "new" Max Payne of Max Payne 3, with his varying amounts of hair on varying bits of his head, the series' original cast is at least a reminder of how much 11 years of technological progress can do for a guy's looks. The video above is my tribute to the smirking Max Payne who once was (who certainly looks good for the time), as remembered by the new, not-smirking-quite-as-much Max Payne.
What does Max do when he's not being tortured by horrible memories of his past? He eats BREAKFAST. And goes to the PARK. And DIVES AT STUFF. A LOT. This terrific fan-video does a great job of copying Max Payne 3's cinematic style, with some wonderful bits of black comedy thrown into the mix. If you could ever take a man named Max Payne seriously before, you never will again. And that's not the only cool gaming thing you'll find on this guy's gaming channel, though the other one we particularly liked is a bit more consoley. Consider it banished until after the jump!
Time hasn’t been kind to Mr Max Payne. His first game – a thirdperson shooter filled with noir and comic book obsessions, told with illustrated panels and gloriously overwrought metaphors – killed his wife and child. His second sent an assassin after him and, after Max had softened her heart and fallen in love with her, killed her too. But new developers Rockstar have saved the biggest body blow for the third game, and it’s literal: Max has got fat. Gone is the ex-cop’s sleek figure, as thin as a stiletto drawn from the heart of a terrible noir metaphor. In its place is a definite paunch.
We just watched a bullet slowly bore through a man's skull. It left a big empty chunk in both the entry and exit wounds. It was simultaneously the most revolting and amazing thing we've seen in a long while.
This article originally appeared in PC Gamer UK 233. Mull this over: it’s been eight years since we last saw Max rip a raw, bloody wound through the New York criminal underbelly. Eight years. That is old (staff writer Rich was 17 when Max Payne 2 came out). But no one has managed to take his place. Kane & Lynch tried, and they’re still trying, but for grumpy, hyperviolent third-person action, we really need some more Max. Despite a new haircut and the sunnier setting of Sao Paulo, as I’m shown the new game in Rockstar’s offices it’s clear they’re sticking to the well-worn path that Max sourly trod before. In fact, we’re in New York. Brazil does feature a lot, but this wouldn’t be the same game without a dingy, Big Apple corridor to tear up.
We haven't heard anything about Max Payne 3 for almost two years, now Rockstar games have posted two new images of the hardboiled hero on their Twitter account with a simple message: "he's coming." You'll find the new pictures below.
Rockstar Games have released their first patch for old man shooter Max Payne 3. Compatibility issues, crashes and mouse sensitivity and acceleration have all been fixed, and there are more patches in the pipeline. It also locks the game's aspect ratio, so if you were wondering why Max was looking a little portly it might have been because the game thought you were playing on a 14" CRT monitor. Rockstar also say that they're aware of "a few outstanding issues including multiplayer cheaters and hackers", but that these will be fixed in a forthcoming patch. They aren't just any issues, they're outstanding issues. See below for a complete list of the most recent fixes.
The latest Max Payne 3 screenshots give us our first look at the new multiplayer mode, as season favourites MaxPayneDev3, 4 and 5 take on blue team underdogs MaxPayneDev7, 8 and 9. It's weird to see nametags floating over people's heads in a Max Payne game, but it looks as though we'll be able to dive through things and over things with the same dexterity as Payne himself in multiplayer The closest comparison I can think to how the whole thing might work is John Woo's Stranglehold, and that was completely bonkers. You could swing from chandeliers and run up and down dinosaur spines in slow motion shooting each other. Max Payne 3 is likely to take a much more serious tone judging from the screenshots below.
Being able to dive around like a loon firing automatic weapons is brilliant, but both Max Payne and Max Payne 2 failed to sensibly figure out what happens when the player dives head first into an adjacent wall. The previous "solution" was to have Max's forehead phase slightly into the concrete while his entire body hung horizontal in midair for a moment. He'd then slide down to the floor and continue as normal. We'll have to wait and see what Rockstar do when Max Payne 3 comes out next year. It's clear from the latest screenshots that Max will be airborne quite a lot, hopefully for the majority of the game. See him diving, posing and exploding things in the four new screens below, spotted on the Max Payne 3 site.
Max Payne 3 is fully in keeping with its predecessors' noir sensibilities, promises Rockstar's VP of product development, Jeronimo Barrera, in an interview with GameSpot. "For us, noir is not about a place (and if it were, that place would surely be Los Angeles, not New York) but about a particular visual style and a kind of story and characterization telling that has a certain hard-boiled cynicism, plenty of twists, and a sense of decay and depravity." Fans of the series have been wary about the new Max Payne game ever learning that much of the game occurs in sunny, verdant South America rather than than the dark, nightmarish New York that defined Remedy's vision. Barrera, however, argues that it is the other iconic elements of the Max Payne series that made the first two games classics.
[bcvideo id="1158703869001"] Max is back. The debut trailer has landed, giving us a first look at moving pictures of Max Payne 3. That familiar cello riff sets the melancholy vibe quickly, and that's before Max starts narrating. He's older, balder and a bit flabbier than he once was, but his predicament is familiar. Another protection detail gone wrong, another excuse for a hard-boiled monologue, and another reason to let rip with the automatic weapons. We'll get to play through the next angst-ridden chapter in Max's sordid but awesome life when Max Payne 3 comes out in March.
Max Payne 3 developers and publishers Rockstar games have announced a competition to get your mug in the multiplayer portion of the upcoming game. From today until January 13 10 random people a week who use the #MaxPayne3 hashtag on Twitter will be selected to send a photo for Rockstar's consideration. Of these 10, the two least ugly people will get their faces in Max Payne 3. It’s a bit like that online dating site where only beautiful people are allowed access, only your chances of sleeping with a supermodel are greatly diminished. Unless they happen to play the game when it’s released in March and take a shine to your in-game noggin.
Cool guys don't look at explosions, or the pedestrians who happen to get caught up in them. "I'm a successful main character in a major action franchise. What of it?" says the expression on Max Payne's face. They were just going to their nearest internet cafe to look at screenshots of you, Max. They just wanted to see their favourite action hero not looking at explosions, now it is they who are not looking at explosions, because they are dead. YOU MONSTER. Still it's nice to see Payne's back in his leather trench coat, shirt and tie combo. That's Classic Max chic. He's joined by his two other styles, Grizzly Commander Riker chic and Breaking Bad chic, in the new screenshots below.
Max’s employer has his back against a wall. His wife has just been kidnapped and he’s gotta pay up soon. As he gesticulates at his hired muscle, the screen splits into panels and text is plastered across the action in homage to the series’ original graphic novel transitions.
"Where is Max Payne?" I wondered briefly somewhere in the midst of the E3 earlier this year. Everyone's favourite dual-wielding, slow motion grump skipped E3 and Gamescom this year. We assumed he was slumped in a corner somewhere, downing painkillers and polishing his guns, but these two new screens say otherwise. He been trapped in a corridor all this time. Okay, snipers are covering every inch of the walkway, but that's no excuse. In Max Payne's world there's no problem that can't be solved with a slow sideways dive and a hail of gunfire. See both screens below.
Rockstar are pretty proud of their animation tech, to the extent that they've hired a man to talk about it extensively over videos of Max Payne 3. He was chatting about similar things over the last trailer for Max Payne 3 as well. Perhaps they've just replaced Payne's internal monologue with an animation-obsessed new narrator. The Max Payne 3 release date was set for March, but it's dived slowly backwards through a plate of glass out of sheer force of habit, and will now be arriving on May 29 in the US and June 1 everywhere else.
Rockstar have announced that they're pushing back the release date for Max Payne 3 from March to May 29 in the US and June 1 internationally. "We do not take changes to our release schedule lightly," said Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick in a statement. "This short delay will ensure that Max Payne 3 delivers the highest quality, groundbreaking entertainment experience that is expected from our Company." Maybe Take-Two are taking the time to polish Max Payne 3's multiplayer mode, new territory for a series that's so far been entirely obsessed with the life and times of its gurning protagonist. The third Max Payne looks like it'll try to merge the shadowy film noir stylings of the first two games with the sun-baked slums of Brazil, and will be bringing some of Rockstar's impressive animation technology to Max's graceful dives. See some of that animation in action in this Max Payne 3 trailer. Check out our Max Payne 3 preview for more information on Max's latest adventure.
The PC version of Max Payne 3 "will feature gloriously increased resolution and graphical detail" according to the Rockstar site. I'll believe that when I see it! I thought, then spotted these new Max Payne 3 screenshots. You win this round, Rockstar. The added crispness of the PC shots brings a few new details to the fore, like the parrots on Payne's blazing Hawaiian shirt, and the bulging wrist-veins of a man who has taken too many painkillers during too many gunfights. See some Max having a lie down on the job, and more of Max Payne 3's sunny Brazilian favelas below. Don't forget to click to blow them up to maximum size. It's the only way to absorb those parrots in all their gaudy majesty.
Rockstar's Dan Houser has been shedding a little light on the creative proces behind the gruff, manly second sequel to Max Payne. Speaking to Gamasutra he rightly points out that the rose-tinted glasses often blur out older game’s deficits - a challenge that Rockstar faces with Max Payne’s legions of dedicated fans. “I think the challenge of nostalgia is a more profound one, because one thing about video games is your memory tends to remove the horrendous,” said Houser. “You want to appeal to the fans of the original and bring in a new audience.” When asked about Max Payne’s hair rotation (bald with beard), Houser commented that the issue was a contentious one. “We saw a lot of people questioning our parentage, and our right to be doing this and, you know, our right to even exist,” said Houser. “There is a lot of love for this property. The fact that there's a huge rabid fan base is something that is very much in our favor.” It sounds like Rockstar is taking Max Payne seriously, and has a huge amount of respect for the franchise. We’re so excited that the four months until its launch in March 2012 might as well be taking place in bullet time.
An new batch of Max Payne 3 shots have come crashing in through the window, shooting us in the face from point blank range with an uzi. "Why Max?!" we cried, "we always loved you, even when your face was stupid back in Max Payne 1!" Max doesn't care. He has too much gritty back story to care. He's the kind of guy who starts fires just so he can stand in front of them posing with his pistols and staring sideways into middle distance while someone carefully takes his picture, just like this...