A Serious Video For Serious Max Payne 3

By Alec Meer on November 17th, 2011 at 4:46 pm.

The men were shot with practiced bravado

“Rockstar – forever counting down to the next trailer”, observes our Adam wryly. Indeed, this does appear to be their current MO – declaring a trailer’s arrival in advance, and hoping to cause internet frenzy during the wait. So, this one, which I believe is our first substantial look at the game in action, will unlock at 5pm UK time. I’ll leave it below for you – feel free to spend the next 15 minutes staring at a black box, or why not go and have a jog or plant a tree in the meantime? This four minutes of narrative video is, by the way, billed as “a first look at the targeting mechanics, movement and animation, enemy intelligence and other technical design innovations going into building an advanced, intense and immersive action-shooter with Max Payne 3.”

Hands up who’s hot for targeting mechanics?

Remember: the video won’t work until 5pm UK time.

(A few comments to follow once it’s live. I’ve seen it already, and confirm it’s very serious.)

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96 Comments »

  1. Echo Black says:

    Maaaax Payne. Dearest of all my friends.

  2. DickSocrates says:

    It better start with the cello. Although the memories that would bring back aren’t entirely pleasant, as the Max Payne games more closely resembled fevered nightmares than games.

  3. EC- says:

    I saw a movie once. It was called Max Payne. It wasn’t good.

  4. celozzip says:

    never played max payne. though i did get them for about £1 each on steam from the sale this year. don’t have time to play all these damn games.

    • Shooop says:

      At least play the first. It’s not too long and gives you the most important pieces of the series’ story.

    • Dreamhacker says:

      Max Payne 2 is pretty darn good too. Great physics, fun guns.

    • Gonefornow says:

      I’d say skip the first one and go for the sequel straight away.
      The gameplay is more refined and it has a lot of fun moments be it the television shows or just the constant banter of goons and coppers alike.
      It even has a “Previously on Max Payne” section revealing the story so far.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Nah, I’d say both. They flow on quite nicely and 2 will spoil 1.

      And, by the looks of it, never play 3, because by god is this trailer shite.

  5. DickSocrates says:

    More Rockstar pretending to have invented stuff that has existed for years already. They are the Apple of videogames The 360 prone shooting was in Max Payne 1. They are calling anything that’s better than the God awful combat controls from GTAIV an innovation.

    And no cello.

    • perrypanic says:

      I replayed last week and I’m pretty sure 360 prone shooting wasn’t in till Max Payne 2. Sorry to be Captain Pedantic

    • Echo Black says:

      If am almost sure that if you hold fire when you hit the ground you can keep shooting while prone in MP1. The animation is a bit dire (you turn around and Max spins as if using his own stomach as the axis) but I recall it being there.

    • perrypanic says:

      Must … resist … urge to check.

    • DrGonzo says:

      It is indeed in the first game. But doesn’t look or work very well until the second. So let’s agree that everyone is right! Apart from Rockstar of course.

      Although I would like to point out, I really doubt it’s Rockstar being arrogant. Just a crappy marketing campaign, that will have been designed and produced by someone else.

    • sneetch says:

      That’s odd, they didn’t claim to have invented it in the version of the video I saw. They said their animations allowed you to turn and shoot in any direction fluidly and realistically. They didn’t say “we invented this!” Maybe I missed it?

      If mentioning something is the same as claiming that you’ve invented it then apparently they’ve also claimed to have invented the concepts of shooting, targeting and physics.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Who cares whether they claim to have invented it or not—the fact that they’ve kept the FPS-in-3rd-person aiming is good, because it was a key part of what made the combat in MP so fluid (the other being the way bullet time recharged in MP2).

      If they get the combat right, they’re halfway there.

    • Dave Mongoose says:

      Why does he now seem to be able to leap about 6 feet in the air with his bullet dive?? The one at 0:19 looks weird, but the one at 1:28 is just ridiculous!

    • LionsPhil says:

      The aiming in this trailer is very blatanly being done badly via a controller. You can be optimistic that mouse-aiming will be unaffected, but by this point I believe that will require a rather chronic lack of pattern recognition.

      The viola wouldn’t fit, given that they’ve dropped the tight, noir styling for a grab-bag of current trends. Check out that World in Conflict/Battlefield 3 bad-TV filter! (They’ll throw it in anyway.)

  6. Phinor says:

    Marketing at it’s best, I guess. They are showing tech that every game has in some form but with a good voice over. But can’t blame them, at least the video has a lot of actual gameplay.

    Also this is the second Rockstar video in a row where full screen means black borders all around the picture. GTA 5 trailer was the same. Seems like a weird decision to implement full screen like that.

    • ulix says:

      Apart from other Rockstar Games, and the god awful Force Unleashed series, which game has a procedrual animation engine that is only barely as amazing as Euphoria (let alone a procedural animation engine at all)?

    • The Magic says:

      @Ulix

      Overgrowth’s Phoenix(?) engine is procedural. Which is cool since it’s all made by one guy.

    • siegarettes says:

      @ulix
      Backbreaker football (American Football that is) and its spin off used it pretty well. But otherwise I can’t tell you any others.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Bits and pieces. I do think Rockstar are probably out near the front here (Overgrowth is possibly better, which is insane for a small indie team), but for curiosity’s sake:
      Hitman 1 had procedural arms for 47 to pick things up from around him. Always confused me that that one went missing in the sequels.
      Half-Life 2 had at least semi-procedural legs; try placing smallish objects where civil protection stand during the early game and they’ll prop a foot up on it jauntily.

  7. Bantros says:

    The animation is pretty awesome, love Rockstar art style too

    • Ross Angus says:

      I agree: I think Ubisoft generally have the best character animation, but this looks to be at least that standard.

      One of The Great Unsolved Problems of games tech is that characters can’t touch each other, without clipping. Games like Mass Effect really need this tech. And I’m not just talking about the bedroom scenes.

    • DrGonzo says:

      RAGE is the only other game I know of that works as well as GTA in that regard.

    • pilouuuu says:

      Do developers care about the Hireztezxturez?? I think most games have low (console) quality textures and it’s the modders who really help in that.

      And I agree that good animations make a big, big difference!

  8. BenLeng says:

    Why is Walter White shooting all this guys? A Meth deal gone wrong?

  9. notjasonlee says:

    oh my fuck, this looks so good. the violence! the glorious violence!

  10. nblake42 says:

    I think I spotted the word “cinematic” being said at some point in this video…can anyone else confirm that?

    • perrypanic says:

      I think once, quietly, in a near whisper, they might have said it… maybe. They definitely weren’t putting it in every third sentence.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Cinematic, aka Call of Duty-atic :|

    • Kollega says:

      Except that with this fluid animation tech, every fight turns into eye-candy, so there may not even be need for heavily scripted set-pieces. “Cinematic” gameplay isn’t a bad thing per se, and this video looks like the good take on it.

    • perrypanic says:

      I agree that the combat looks stunning and I’m a sucker for a cinematic aesthetic. Really it’s only when the entire game is trying to be cinematic as if it’s the only thing that matters – that gets me peeved. It doesn’t look like that’s going to happen though so it’s smiles and lemonade all round :)

    • coldvvvave says:

      Max Payne 1-2 were marketed as cinematic games.

    • lijenstina says:

      Anyway It’s doublespeak.

    • Andrigaar says:

      I can neither confirm nor deny. But seeing the word typed out makes me want to vomit in my mouth a little for some reason.

  11. Magnetude says:

    Oh my, some of those killcams were a bit nice. Could do with less Serious Voice and more monologues and cello.

    • undu says:

      I really hope killcams can be disabled I hate them, so unnnecessary and take away from me the camera control.

    • Mana_Garmr says:

      They reminded me of the Todd Howard controlled and narrated preview plays of Fallout 3.

      He was showing off the VATS implementation and the slow-mo kill shots and saying how watching them “never gets old” and I was already hoping to be able to turn them off before the video was half over.

  12. Chizu says:

    Okay, I’m actually pretty excited for this game now :’(
    Regardless of the twaddle being spouted over the video. It looks pretty, and it still looks Max Payne-y.
    I loved the original games.

    Even though bullet time has been done to death now, it still looks pretty awesome :v
    Specially with those new shiny animations.

  13. g33kz0rd says:

    Finally game developers start to care about other things than “HIREZTEXTURES”, like animations.

    I think animations are highly important in the feeling of the game, it’s incredible what good animations can make, the realism that they provoke are stunishing.

    At least that was one of the things that mostly impressed me in Rage and make me enjoyed that much.

    ( sorry for my english )

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      I find Rage to be too inconsistent with the animations. When fighting enemies the animations are terrific, the way they fall dynamically without looking like they’re just playing a canned animation is awesome.

      But then there’s the characters in the towns, who all move like they WANT to be cartoon characters, but don’t want to put any effort in to actually moving.

  14. KingCathcart says:

    Huh?
    * sits up and starts paying attention to Max Payne 3 coverage*

  15. reggiep says:

    There are certainly mixed reactions towards this game. I think it looks quite fun. Also, I dig the pseudo-documentary style of these trailers that Rockstar started with Red Dead Redemption. It’s better than a dev diary and more informative than a traditional action trailer.

  16. maktacular says:

    *phone rings* Gravelly Max: “I’m in a computer game, the most horrible thing I could think of. Thank goodness somebody’s updated my animations and put me somewhere sunny.”

  17. Loopy says:

    This looks surprisingly good, but the jury is still out for me.

  18. Shooop says:

    Don’t really care for Rockstar hyping technology that’s already been in several games before this one like they just invented it.

    But oh such beautiful violence and animation. Welcome back Max.

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      I find that instead of thinking about it as “well other games already have this technology (not a lot though)”, I like to think “hey, at least it’s in this game, not enough games are using this tech. It’s awesome…”

      Puts it in a much better perspective.

  19. Player1 says:

    well, how could anybody say these animations aren’t fantastic? And the art direction… just great. Reminds me of Bourne and of Drive, probably the best movie of the past and current decade.

  20. Kollega says:

    I have to say, this looks fantastic. Procedural animation is right at it’s place in Max Payne with it’s bullet-time. I wonder how how head-shotting will work on consoles with their imprecise thumbsticks, but it should work fine on PC. I’ll be watching the coverage from now on. Ideally, i would prefer if the game was set in the forties’ Chicago and not today’s Brazil, but i guess that Brazil is fine too.

  21. blind_boy_grunt says:

    in my mind max payne 2 looks as good as this. It’s been a while since i’ve played.
    Am i the only one that is a little bit bothered by the “Hey look at this: we have a thousand ways to show you how you killed a human, the brain splodes all over! enemies try to shove their intestines back after you gutted them! With their last breaths they are crying for their wifes and children, and you can pick up their wallets after their death to see the photos and names of their loved ones!” Not bothered really, but it just seems kinda strange to celebrate it with graphics getting so good.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      No, Max Payne 2 looked better than this (in some respects, anyway)—this has weird shiny plastic everywhere.

    • Heisenberg says:

      that means its working.making you uncomfortable, i mean.

      just think if this is how most of the encounters will look, and those feelings are being provoked in you, you may start hating yourself and may even have an understanding of what it feels to take (many) lives.

      thats some hardcore immersion and empathy going on right there…..if it works.

      i cant wait to give this a go.
      go rockstar!

    • maktacular says:

      poor max. so many lives taken, so few facial expressions. but aye, i’m not 100% up for the whole “look how brutally you merked that prick, well played”

      but at the same time, i kinda am.

    • Neurook says:

      Heisenberg: Did you not play Kane & Lynch 2?
      Making the game too gritty can really backfire. That game just felt awful.
      Hyper-violence can be cool, but it needs to be stylized in some way. The noir aesthetic worked well for that in Max Payne 1 and 2, so I really hope Rockstar does not go with a more realistic bent like the aforementioned game.

  22. The Pink Ninja says:

    It is very pretty.

    I wait for the reviews before buying anything but colour me hopeful!

  23. Klarden says:

    Oh…my…god… Even the HUD is close to the original one (though, hourglass shaped bullets looked cooler). This is so incredible. Half of my worries just disappeared

  24. Post-Internet Syndrome says:

    The animation is completely bonkers awesome. The rest, well we shall se about the rest.

  25. diamondmx says:

    I just hope Rockstar make the PC version properly. This is not a console game.

  26. Synesthesia says:

    Yay for good animation. it is so far the only thing about skyrim i am hating. also typing while rendering with caps on is annoying and all my punctuation marks get weird>

  27. brulleks says:

    Woah! Hang on now! What is this? Unbridled internet optimism day?

    Not sure I can cope with all the positivity in these comments.

    Not that I’m disagreeing, mind you. This was the first marketing material I’ve seen for the game that has actually got the nostalgic juices pumping, but come on: surely there must be someone out there who can’t hold back their innate cynicism?

    • Dervish says:

      I’ll hate on something: the stupid blurring and flashing when you’re trying to shoot at things. Blurring in particular is something I’m so fucking sick of in games. Hopefully you can turn that shit off.

      But yes, the animations look nice.

    • davidek says:

      It will have horrible mouse acceleration, you can’t turn off. ;-)

  28. SAM-site says:

    I was just saying to myself earlier today how what I really needed was a non-stop cinematic action gaming experience.

  29. One Pigeon says:

    This looks excellent! I loved the first two games and this video has really started to get me excited about the next.
    Although one thing I did find frustrating was ARTIFICAL INTELLIGENCE being splashed across the screen, then seeing various animations of enemy characters walking in a line towards their foe. WWI Artificial intelligence?

    (obligatory moan over)

  30. Alexander Norris says:

    I don’t get people saying this isn’t Max Payne. That said, I mourn the lack of the comics cutscenes.

  31. Kadayi says:

    Max Payne, pretty spry for a bald fat white guy. Like a cross between Statham & Phil Mitchell.

    Nice animations though for sure.

  32. Casimir Effect says:

    I think this is the first shooter since FarCry 2 where the developer has talked about AI as something they’ve focussed on, and that makes me so very happy.

    What would make me happier is to hear there is no multiplayer in this game at all so we get a nice, full-length campaign lasting about 10 hours.

  33. wererogue says:

    It’s quite sad that “Max Payne game seems to actually play like Max Payne” is news.
    Looks bleeding great. Much impressed.

  34. wererogue says:

    It’s quite sad that “Max Payne game looks like it plays like Max Payne” is surprising news.
    Looks bleeding great. Much impressed.

  35. Catbus says:

    Looks pretty neat. They seem to have nailed the gunplay.

  36. pilouuuu says:

    Were you people complaining that MP 3 was not noir enough? Here we have Sao Paulo at night! Isn’t it quite noir? I’m really feeling the hype now. This is going to be amazing!

  37. Khemm says:

    Am I the only one who felt like this:
    - Old Max is shown, New York, snow etc – I’m like HELL YEAH! This is what I loved, bring it on!
    - New Max is shown, sunny weather, Sao Paulo – I’m like WTF IS THIS CRAP, I don’t get any MP vibes, the atmosphere isn’t there, why?!!…

  38. Thoric says:

    I’m impressed. This actually looks and plays like a Max Payne game, right down to the HUD.

    I expected they’d just rip everything distinct out of the franchise and label it “outdated” and “frustrating”, like the deal usually is with series revivals these days. But this looks pretty damn good.

  39. jonfitt says:

    You must now forever refer to Max Payne as noir-ish.

  40. Stinkfinger75 says:

    Here’s hoping the game is as innovative as that age gate.

  41. cafe says:

    Thousands of seemingly blending animations, ultra realistic physics, megatextures –

    AND IT’s ALL GOING TO SUCK BECAUSE IT’LL JUST BE ANOTHER CRAPPY CONSLOE PORT!

  42. archimandrite says:

    The voice-over makes it sound like a tech-conference promo aimed at investors, rather than a trailer aimed at gamers.

  43. Andrigaar says:

    Is this a tech demo or a bloody video game? I’m on the verge of vomiting a little in my mouth from hearing the word “cinematic” and seeing all these fancy kill cams that take too long and will yank you out of the action to sit and watch Rockstar jack off to how awesome their tech is. They weren’t that frequent in the first two, and most were importantly short.

    Still refuse to hold my breath, but I will gladly read reviews about how awesome the game acts in hopes there’s some gameplay underneath all the (admittedly VERY) fancy procedural camera work.

  44. namuol says:

    Looks like MP2 with annoying cutscenes and extra foliage. So I will still play it, but I’m willing to bet MP2 is the better game.

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