Max Payne 3: Baldy’s Death Gallery

(All the images in this post click through to the full size version.)
Mr Payne is older, twelve years older, and living in Brazil. He’s no longer a cop with nothing to lose, and instead is a bodyguard for a wealthy Sao Paulo family. Rockstar have sent over a bunch of images of the new game, showing our favourite emotionally-tortured slow-mo diving dude in the process of dealing with Brazil’s unpleasantly-armed urban underworld. The game is being developed with the RAGE engine which powered GTA4, although with some modifications, including “brand-new particle physics technology to deliver spectacular, highly advanced close-quarters combat” and “an intelligent cover system”. Rockstar also report that “Bullet-Time, an addiction to painkillers, mature themes and Max’s ever-present internal monologue” will all be present in the new game. So that’s good.


  1. cHeal says:

    Looks like a Sam Fisher game.

  2. Jim Rossignol says:

    This year is Old Men In Games year.

  3. a rob amongst many says:

    Good to see that a bullet in the head is a treatable condition these days.

  4. Count Zero says:

    So this has almost nothing to do with the previous games then..

  5. Count Zero says:

    Yep, nothing to do with the previous games whatsoever; nothing at all…

  6. Leman says:

    Yay another bald grizzled character to add to the roster!

    I bet the cover system recharges bullet time as well as your health.

  7. derFeef says:

    Byebye film noir game – hello generic shootergame.

  8. Schmung says:

    It’s like a bleached out bloom-tastic rendition of the later sections of Man on Fire – with old Max replacing Denzel and his vastly oversized shirts.

    The other ones were jolly fun, I just wish they’d pulled down the bloom slider a little as the over-exposed whiteout looks really detracts from the grit and grime in the scenes textures. Oh well.

  9. rocketman71 says:

    So, what pile of shit will this come with?. Rockstar Games Social Club?, SecuROM (that’s a given), Games for Windows Live?, PunkBuster?. What more useless drivel will they find this time to leave running on our computers, even after uninstalling the game?

    Also, the first two Max Paynes ran really well with mid level hardware. If this is using GTA4’s badly optimized engine, I don’t have much hope for this.

    And yes, it looks like a bastard cross between Far Cry and Splinter Cell. Why call it Max Payne 3 at all? (yeah, yeah, I know!)

  10. MeestaNob! says:

    Question: Who is Max Payne when he’s not a burnt out cop with nothing to lose?
    Answer: Nobody.

    Chest high walls, waves of foreign people to blast instead of locals, and a stick-on beard.

    Thanks a lot Rockstar.

    In before the anti-AIM stuff: The above may seem irrational, but people would be outraged if they made an Indiana Jones sequel a dialogue based drama about an unsuccessful accountant struggling to deal with his daughters life threatening bone disorder, and they’d be thoroughly ticked off if FASA made a new MechWarrior sim only to tell people that the Timberwolf could only settle it’s differences with words and herbal tea.

    DAMMIT. Indy uses folk to help him steal ancient stuff, 60 tonne robots shoot each other for no fucking reason, AND MAX PAYNE BROODS UNDER COVER OF SNOW ILLUMINATED BY GUN FIRE.

    THERE IS NO OTHER GODDAMN OPTION. Gears of Grand Theft Arulco*: Bearded-time City.

    *I betting they’ll be mercenaries at some point. There always is.

  11. Anton says:

    Nice triceps!

  12. DarthInsinuate says:

    I don’t think the so-totally-not Max Payneness doesn’t bother me. I think the franchise had run it’s legs; something completely different is a good move.

    It would have been nice to have given it a new title though. “Tropic Junkie: Totally Not Max Payne”, or something, maybe.

    He appears to be dual wielding an uzi and a pistol, and (possibly in a cut-scene) a shotgun and a pistol. Mental dual wield combinations, woot!

  13. Heliocentric says:

    I’ll hold my opinion about the tone until i’ve seen more. But i’m worried so far. You played boiling point? That man had something to lose, it made his conflict meaningful. Max’s anger has been resolved. He slayed his dragon, what can a sequel really do to his personal journey?

  14. Waste_Manager says:

    I hate it. Loved Max Payne 1 and 2, they we’re gritty film noir graphic novelesque goodness set in a corrupt city. This looks like generic fest.

    Plus, Bullet Time is no good if there isn’t a black coat billowing behind you as you dive around.

    So far: Fail.

  15. Acosta says:

    No NY
    No Noir
    No Remedy
    No point
    No Max Payne 3

    This is getting silly, I don’t care if the game is awesome, but the lack of respect from developer to take name games and do whatever they want with them is getting silly.

  16. Demikaze says:

    It is far far too early to start judging the game, obviously, but the two things that strike me most are firstly, he doesn’t appear to look anything like Max Payne in the first two games – not even if Payne got plump and fat. And secondly, I don’t like the goons wearing facemasks. I like to see the faces of my assailants.

  17. Demikaze says:

    But I do love the Euphoria engine – it’s the sole reason GTAIV was gripping for me.

  18. Jim Rossignol says:

    I don’t care if the game is awesome

    Surely that’s all that matters, ultimately. Getting upset about altering franchise templates is one thing, saying that keeping things “in the tradition of” is more important than good games being produced is a little silly.

  19. Schmung says:

    Crikey. That’s all rather negative considering we know almost nothing at all about the game. Why can’t some sort of cover mechanics and slow mo diving co-exist? Why does the shift in setting preclude the game from being dark and gritty in tone? I admit the screenshots are pretty underwhelming – mainly due to the eye searing over-use of bloom, but I’m not going to write off the game entirely due a few bland screenies. I don’t why shifting the setting and moving Maxs story into a new locale and period of his life is a bad thing.

    What would you rather? Some horrible retconned thing where you play Maxs (previously unmentioned) brother in snowy Boston/Chicago so you can keep the setting and tying it together with some tawdry half arsed nonsense flashback thing?

    Why, oh why are people so utterly horrified with even the slightest change? I can understand if they’d changed it into a bloody RTS or driving sim, but from what they’re saying it’s still very much a game about shooting people in the face in slow-motion with an absurdly overdone and dark storyline, so what’s the major issue here? Yes, of course it could be completely crap and generic, but labelling it as such when literally all you have to go on is a three line summary of the game and a few screens seems like being negative and contrary just for the sake of it.

  20. Rinox says:

    @ Jim

    You’re absolutely right, of course. But wouldn’t you agree that a good game really doesn’t need the MP franchise to sell and can be a success on its own merit? It’s not even that I mind it not being like the first 2 MP games. It’s that the story was, well, done.

  21. Sunjammer says:

    Jim, Max Payne was never a shining light of amazingly innovative gameplay. In retrospect, what it stands out in memory for is the way it tells its story, and the characters in it. A game can be a buggy, ugly mess and still be remembered fondly for what it did with what it had. The definition of a “good game” is completely subjective.

    I’m not convinced Rockstar have the writing chops to match what Remedy did, or even if so, i’m not sure a Brazilian favela is the right place to stage a film noir drama.

    The thing is, this game can be AWESOME and we’ll still be stuck with a game that has effectively murdered the film noir sensibilities of the past two, and that, no matter which way you choose to spin it, it a stone cold shame.

  22. Alec Meer says:

    I can’t believe it’s not about shooting criminals in slow-motion anymore.

    Oh, wait.

  23. Metal_Circus says:

    “This is getting silly, I don’t care if the game is awesome,”

    No, THAT’S silly.

    It -could- still be good. But I don’t know now. I’m reserving judgement on this one.

  24. Quinnbeast says:

    Gruff woe-is-me voice-over *check*
    Dual Berretas *check*
    Slow-mo shotgun cartridge ejection *check*

    Sounds like Max Payne to me, albeit ‘Max Payne on Vacation’. But rather than get all upset, and slate the change of setting when all I’ve seen is a handful of random screenies and some token dev. chat… I think I’ll just wait for the game to come out instead.


  25. harvb says:

    I really hope Rockstar sort their poop out before this comes out. (Sorry for the GTA4 whinge, it’s over.)

    Looking forward to it, I’ve always been a fan of what’s his name in those games. Hark at me sounding professional.

    But seriously, let’s hope it’s groovy and we’ll all be happy and playing it and killing people in their faces, but slowly. Looking good.

  26. DiGi says:

    How Sam Fisher meet Resident Evil 5…

    No snow…? No Max Payne :-(

  27. Ben Abraham says:

    In that first picture he looks like Father Grigori from Half-Life 2.

  28. jon_hill987 says:

    Being unlike Max Payne does not make it a bad game. But they should have called it something else. Also, why the hell is a cover system seemingly a necessity theses days? Is it because console players don’t know how to hide round corners and duck behind stuff without pressing a button to do it automatically?

  29. Demikaze says:

    @Ben Abraham

    Now there’s an idea for an expansion:

    Half-Life: Original Sin

  30. VelvetFistIronGlove says:

    Being awesome is all that matters to make it an awesome game if it had new characters and a new story. Keeping the tradition of Max Payne 1 & 2 matters enormously when calling it Max Payne 3.

  31. Ado says:

    It’s just so damn bright!!

    I’m sorry, but a Max Payne game is all about a dark NYC in the rainy season. I can’t see the point in changing a franchise so much and keeping the same name.

    No wait, I guess it’s to do with the BToC (Big Truck of Cash) effect. For further a further example of this see Far Cry 2 (highly over-rated IMHO, but guys do like burning things).

    If you want to do something like this just change the name. Using the same game mechanics does not make a game part of a franchise, it’s all the story and asthetic that does that.

    Please devs, come up with new IP rather than just respining old ones.

  32. Muzman says:

    Sunjammer says:
    …Max Payne was never a shining light of amazingly innovative gameplay. In retrospect, what it stands out in memory for is the way it tells its story, and the characters in it.

    Heh. The way I remember it it’s the complete opposite. “What’s that annoying game with the tightrope sequences and the tedius film-noir-parody pastiche? Oh the one with cool sideways diving business.”
    Still, it is different now. So I get the general point.
    Now it should be narrated in sweaty Southern Gothic style with Viggo Mortenson reading Cormack McCarthy-esque prose.
    (Look at him though. What they hell has he been doing all these years? He might have lost his wife and his love and everything else but Male Pattern Baldness was the last straw. No point being metrosexual now. He sold off his jacket and pomade collection and got a job on the next itinerant fishing trawler heading south)

  33. John McNeally says:

    Just another AMERICAN VIEW of the world…

    First it was the Russians, then the crazy Europeans, for some time the Asians and now the South Americans? (of course no africans cos otherwise the “african americans” would go berserk)

    Why not showing the fucking wackos from usa?
    I just hate this shit…

  34. Schaulustiger says:

    Might become a good game, although it looks like Rockstar are taking the generic approach. At least I found nothing so far that hasn’t been done in other shooters.

    What really disappoints me, though, is the absolute lack of anything that made Max Payne one of my favorite shooter games. I mean, when you – deliberately – decide to use an existing franchise, you look at what made the series so special. And the image of Max – broken and alone – in a city surrounded by a swirling maelstrom of snow is what comes to my mind first. And now I see screenshots of some random fat dude in an HDR-pumped Santo Isabel.

    I’m so underwhelmed.

  35. Bongo says:

    I feel… sad, when I look at these pictures. I rarely judge games by the screen shots alone, but oh boy, what about the noir setting?! And what the hell has happened to Payne? Did he become a biker between the second game and this?

  36. Tworak says:

    Looks absolutely terrible. Extreme shittyness.

    RIP Max Payne.

  37. Bhazor says:

    My feelings?
    I fucking hate cover systems and regenerating health (as in no health bar, regenerating shields or partial crit regeneration like in MP1&2 are fine). Those came very close to ruining Brothers in Arms Hells Highway and just make the whole game feel clunky to me. As if I’m a magnetic action figure.

    Also this looks as far removed from the original as if City Of God 2 was to be set in Skegness.

  38. Freudian Trip says:

    Wow, people on the intrnet are angry. Thanks for opening my eyes RPS.

    You’ve seen a couple of pictures. Calm the fuck down. This isn’t the “death of narrative gameplay” to re-mix a Kermode quote.

  39. dartt says:

    Yeah, and didn’t you just hate it when they tool Half Life in to the country-side? I mean Half Life is all about City 17. No wait, I mean: Didn’t you hate it when they took Half Life out of Black Mesa? What were they thinking? Half Life is all about laboratories.

    And now this? How dare they attempt noir in a South American setting; who do they think they are? Leonardo Padura Fuentes? Everyone knows you can’t portray sex, violence and crime without sentimentality south of +30°!

  40. The Pink Ninja says:

    While the change of setting doesn’t exactly fill me with hope, I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt and wait until PCG actually review the finished thing.

    I wish I could say I trust the developers but, you know,


  41. cullnean says:

    i remember….

    when RPS was based on disscussion and not the home of angry internet men going mental over a handful of screenshots.

  42. autogunner says:

    nah sorry jim i disagree with the whole ‘if its a good game then who cares’ arguement. I like my characters and the way the franchise develops them, to the point where even if the game is a tad shakey, i want to find out how the they are doing. splinter cell double agent is a good example, a pretty rough around the edges release and some bold but essentially dumb features were saved by sam fisher.

    that said I will reserve judgement until i have played the game

  43. Ashurbanipal says:

    It looks all right.

  44. JKjoker says:

    i don’t have anything about cover systems but i wish they would stop jumping into the bandwagon for once and have a little originality, all games are starting to look the same, its like every game aspires to become “the one true clone… to rule them all”

    and why did “darker and grittier” suddenly become “balder, fatter and dirtier” ?, splinter cell 5 is going with the same and ill be surprised if metal gear 5 doesnt end with Raiden taking off his wig, i can understand an attempt at refreshing a character but everyone is doing it, wth?!?

  45. El_MUERkO says:

    “No Noir”

    Why, cause of a dozen screenshots showing a bright day?

    People crying about the lack of something they appear to know fuck all about :sigh:

  46. Howard says:

    Well, to throw my 2cents in: I thought Max Payne 1 was utter tosh and while Max Payne 2 had a superb storyline I thought most of the actual gameplay and design was staggeringly boring and repetitive. Therefore decrying a sequel because the setting and direction has changed seems a little churlish to me.
    That said, I *will* decry this game for MANY other reasons:
    1) People are HAPPY that they are using the engine from GTA IV? Either you people had supercomputers beyond the dreams of man or you have standards so low I have no interest in your opinion. That game, from a visual perspective, was a total farce. Hugely ugly at any playable framefrate and plagued with performance drops that actually brought it to a halt in any kind of fight scene. This alone will put me off buying it.
    2) For all that I don’t mind a change of scenery this XBOX 360, bloomtastic, could-be-any-game-out-there rendering style makes me puke
    3) Continuing No.2, this is clearly going to be a console game so, assuming a PC version actually gets delivered, it will be a port and will suffer all the usual hand-bittingly annoying nonsense that comes with.
    4) DRM. If DRM were custard this will be slashing around, knee deep in the stuff. There is no force on earth that could ever make me install their utterly ridiculous Rockstar Social Club, or whatever it was, ever again. What will make it particularly galling is that after Rockstar went to all that effort to make it uncrackable, lo and behold a crack was available 4 days after launch so, as usual, only the poor saps who bought the game were punished.

  47. Martin K says:

    I’m with ‘dartt’ on this one. Roll on more extensive coverage, dev-chatter and in-game footage, as I, for one, am looking forward to Max Payne 3.

  48. AlabasterSlim says:

    He looks more like Kane from Kane & Lynch than Max Payne.

    Game seems to be missing one critical thing: Max.

  49. Vandelay says:

    Wish I could be optimistic for this and stay clear from joining the ranks of angry Internet men, but there appears to be nothing to get excited about here besides the name.

    Hearing about the inclusion of a cover system is pretty much the last straw. I don’t particular have any issues with cover systems in general, but I really can’t see it fitting in with the Max Payne style of gameplay. Payne was always about constantly moving, diving around. This is probably why it found its natural home to be the PC, as it does seem to be one of the few third person games that can get mouse and keyboard controls right. A cover system (and regenerating health too) is just going to slow things down.

    Not only the gameplay, but the setting has been completely changed too. New York city was like another character in the original games. It represented the series all most as much as Max Payne’s long jacket (also gone.) Instead we are given a very sunny Brazil. It would be like a new series of Firefly not set on board Serenity, or a new Batman film that has no mention of Gotham City.

    I see no reason for this to be called Max Payne, besides the obvious.

  50. Okami says:

    @cullnean: Aye, those sure were the days, old fella. Now if only those pesky kids would get of my lawn. Lawks!