The Animated Agony Of Max Payne 3

The tie that blinds.

Good morning! I became sick and (didn’t) almost perish but now I’m back and, my, what tumultuous events I missed in my absence. When I saw the news that Max Payne 3 had been delayed I fell backwards out of my chair in slow motion, pumping round after round of screaming lead through my monitor in anguish and fury while simultaneously having and not having a beard. In the distinctly Woo-less land of drizzle and pies, that action looks a lot more like a gray-faced man going ‘tsk’ and running his hand down his face. Delay or not, the media barrage continues with a new video that highlights animation and targeting. The last one seemed to cover a bit of that as well but here’s more.

Voiceover man’s description of proceedings as “immersive and cinematic” is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m dog-tired of either being immersed or cinematised and it’s about time a game boldly provided both experiences simultaneously.

Ignore the sarcasm of a man still suffering from a slight imbalance of the humours for a moment though and hear this: I think it looks rather good. Despite my occasional lofty air of being above plain old man-shooting, me and Max used to kick about together. When I saw his new beard and a picture of him squatting behind a dumpster, I was worried he’d be skulking behind bookcases and kitchen units, covering himself in disgraceful modernity, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. He’s still a maniac.


Cover? Dual-wield in the face of it. Soar like an angry, fashion-despising eagle.



  1. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    It’s really one of those cases of wait and see. Then again, that’s what we’ve been doing, waiting and seeing. I’m not taken by their choice of advertising but I agree – it’s not looking bad, and I always enjoy seeing new takes on familiar characters. Have people stopped whining because it’s sunny and apparently noir can’t be that or something?

    • Khemm says:

      “It’s really one of those cases of wait and see”

      True. I like what I see a lot, but I still can’t get over Sao Paulo as a setting (not only because it’s sunny, it’s just it makes zero sense for Max to go to Brasil of all places, I can understand moving to a different city in the US, but…) and I want to know more details about the PC version – DRM, quality etc.
      I was very pleased with LA Noire PC – the DRM was non-intrusive and it runs great.

    • Inarborat says:

      Nope. People are still bitching because anything with a noir influence can only be set in NYC. Just forget about those 60+ years of film noir that say otherwise.

      I don’t know how you can say Max has no reason to move to Brasil when we don’t know how the story is going to unfold. Alcoholic still haunted by the deaths of his daughter, wife and Mona + “Hey, Max. Let’s go somewhere new and you’ll make a lot of dough” = enough reason.

  2. tsmike says:

    “Cinematic realism”.


    • Diogo Ribeiro says:


      It’s like “Cutting edge”, for instance. Good god. Are studios talking about games or fax paper? I’d love to actually know who falls for this kind of spiel. Are players being insulted or is there a large part of them that gobble this up? Are these just made to appeal to insecure shareholders? Really.

    • Orija says:

      And there’s ”visceral”

    • Diogo Ribeiro says:

      Yeah, can’t enjoy a game unless I’m surrounded by viscerae!

    • jezcentral says:


    • Loopy says:

      @Diogo “Are these just made to appeal to insecure shareholders? Really.”

      Nail > head I think. I don’t really think the average gamer who’s of the age to actually legally play this is going to be swayed that much by hyperbolic advertising.

  3. Tuco says:

    I love what they are doing with the tech and with the exceptionally uninspired setting of the original games.
    My main concerns at this point are about the quality of the PC port (I don’t want to be “that guy” but it’s Rockstar we are talking about) and the feeling with controls, as extreme fluidity, smoothness and accuracy were strong points in the previous titles.

  4. Tyrone Slothrop. says:

    I think the game looks stunning personally. It’s readily apparent, at least, to my eyes, that the game just has the best gunplay ever. Undoubtedly someone here will complain with insinuations that by virtue of the character being bald and in Brazil at times mean the game is fundamentally lesser for those reasons but I think that’s the height of absurdity.

    One of the reasons I continually replayed the second Payne (I wasn’t the biggest fan of the first yet consider the second to be a masterpiece in gaming), other than the story was just how compelling and enjoyable the gunplay was; the ballet of death featuring rag-dolling corpses, flying debris, havok-physics and modelled bullets was incredibly fun. This is just orders of magnitude above that.

    Will pre-order.

    • Prime says:

      I have to say I’m fairly impressed by this trailer, for many of the reasons you describe. Some of it looked very old-skool Max Payne, which is awesome, but now helped by the animation and design. Fabulous.

  5. Gap Gen says:

    We’re still going to have lots of obvious puns about large quantities of hurt, right? That’s got to be in the features list. Yeah.

  6. Cyrus says:

    Looks fairly appealing to me.
    Though I’ve been very skeptical thus far.

  7. UncleLou says:

    Rockstar is just so far ahead of anyone else when it comes to animation/physics with their Euphoria magic. Red Dead Redemption has spoiled me, and this just continues the trend. It looks incredible.

    Not so sure about the setting yet.

    • Zoomon says:

      Which is why LA Noire, a game published by R* (Team Bondi developed, clearly) stood out so clearly with it’s poor animation and gunplay.

      I know it was a detective game, but it also forced me into a gunfight or foot chase in nearly every investigation and t hey were incredibly poor.

    • N'Al says:

      @ UncleLou:

      For the most part I agree.

      However, I did find the way Euphoria was applied to the main player character was a bit fiddly. Just turning around on the spot or trying to climb a ladder was a bit arduous at times in RDR (and from what little I’ve played of GTA4 in that one too). Wasn’t a deal breaker, but a tad annoying nonetheless.

  8. GeoGonzo says:

    Yup, still looks fantastic. But I’m slightly worried about my PC being able to run this, and I’m precisely the kind of terrible person that ends up buying the console version only because it comes out two weeks sooner… PC Gods, give me strength!

  9. pischto says:

    So what platform should I get this on? Xbox or PC? I’m considering Xbox due to it being like all the other titles made for console.. But is the MP worthwhile? If so I might want to play with friends on PC.
    What do you guys think? My PC isn’t the best too..

    • Cyrus says:

      Is this heresy or what?

    • Kollega says:

      I would say get it on PC, if only because i can’t imagine headshots and thumbsticks working toghether too well. As for multiplayer, i don’t think anybody knows if it’s good yet.

  10. Optimaximal says:

    I looked along the barrel of my gun to see numerous enemies fall to the floor in crumpled heaps of bloody flesh, their expressionless faces confirming their position in life of identikit goons modelled by a third-party asset farm.

    I dived through the window for the umpteenth time, selecting my next deliverer of hot bullet death from my mind with an imaginary 4-pointed interface. The glass hit the floor in slow motion, each piece dynamically modelled by an unseen calculated algorithm.

    I was in a computer game…

  11. pischto says:

    Wait, I remember that voice of Max Payne.. Who’s the voice actor?

  12. Savage Henry says:

    Does anyone else think that the bald Max Payne model looks a bit too similar to Rab Florence? All that grubby vest needs is a Fray Bentos logo.

  13. Chizu says:

    It seems Max is yet another victim of modern pocket limitations.
    No more carrying every gun under the sun in that jacket.

    • GeoGonzo says:

      That’s one thing I personally won’t miss. I can understand people wanting choice, but being able to carry every weapon you find in a videogame seems to inevitably lead to one of these two paths:

      (A) Only ever using the “best” weapon if there’s plenty of ammo
      (B) Hoarding the best weapons and saving them for later, but…
      (b1)…you forget and never do.
      (b2)…you do and trivialize challenging encounters.

      Almost as importantly: It looks pretty freaking dumb when a character pulls out huge guns from an invisible backpack.

    • robjwells says:

      I think it’s quite clear now that he kept all his guns in his hair.

  14. cafe says:

    I just love how they are trying to sell you all that crap they invented to compensate for 10 year old hardware and a gamepad as new features for this game.

    “his upper body is facing the enemy”
    “he can carry 2 guns at the same time”

    8-O amazing!

    • liquidsoap89 says:

      That upper body description (actually, all the animation talk for that matter) made me incredibly interested to play this game and see how it all looks for myself.

  15. Drayk says:

    I am not as cynical or sarcastic as most of you about this one.
    I think it’s looking great and will still provide the kind of experience we had with episodes 1 and 2.
    I am really looking forward to see max back in action.

  16. asshibbitty says:

    There’s a distinct lack of crap flying everywhere. Remember Black? That game had enough crap for its entire generation.

    • skyturnedred says:

      Fear also had a lovely amount of debris flying around., which they somehow managed to mess up for the sequel.

    • Inglourious Badger says:

      Max Payne 2 was one of the first games in my memory to use the Havok physics engine, and then mostly use it for stuff falling over when things got shot/exploded rather than any ‘new style of gameplay’ aspirations. Wonderful

    • Neolithic says:

      Black was amazing. Shooting enemies and watching them have to jump over railings ftw.

  17. I_have_no_nose_but_I_must_sneeze says:

    Adam is becoming my favourite writer on a site already brimming with quality writing. Just look at that opening paragraph. Or the last line of the Dear Esther post above this. The Hive Mind made a wise choise assimilating his consciousness.

    On the subject of pain and gunshots, Max Payne 1 and 2 were like a drug to me. Especially the first one. I must have completed it at least ten times. There’s something about the way it was structured that left me exhilarated and satisfied by the end, even when I’d been through it before (insert obvious sex reference here). And I loved the surreal elements like Address Unknown and the dream sequences. That’s something I hope they include in this one too.

  18. Iskariot says:

    So far I like what I see in the vid. That is all I can say about it.
    I hope the levels are large and offer me a lot of choices to solve them.

  19. standardman says:

    That looks quite fun, my favourite bit is that I can lie on the floor as a middle aged bearded man while shooting people. I nap dangerously.

  20. Buemba says:

    Why do street artists in Sao Paulo feel the need to write the name of their city on so many walls?

  21. Kefren says:

    Lovely opening paragraph, Adam!

  22. TechGuyAndGamer says:

    He’s Back, and ready for more.