An exploration of addiction in gaming, whether as a mechanical device or something more.
“Looking for a fix, man?” asked the unscrupulous dealer who met The Courier at the gates of Freeside. “I got what you need.”
RPS Feature Lost Weekends
[Scene: a darkened alleyway. MAX PAYNE struggles to stand, clearly dazed and more-than-slightly drunk.] Ugh, what happened? How did it get his bad? One moment, I was riding high in Brazil and taking the nearest highway exit onto easy street. And the next…? My sales had gone south, and I’d swerved into the seedy gutter of an industry where three million shipped units is barely even good for a pack of cigarettes and a cheap bottle of booze. And now I’m practically bleeding DLC, digging my way out of one grave and right into another. Hah, I guess the joke’s on me – like a seagull with two fully cooked turkeys for wings flying against the crashing waves of inevitability. You know what I mean?
Apparently, the ability to slow the passage of time – perhaps mankind’s most potent enemy of all – wasn’t enough for some Max Payne 3 players. They needed more an edge. An upper hand. A fool-proof means of killing you and your fun. So, of course, they added the requisite loadout of cheats and hacks to their arsenals, and now honest players are getting quite Mad Max over Max Payne. Happily, however, Rockstar has proposed a rather unique solution.
RPS Feature Bar Fly
Max Payne 3 is coming to PC today! (Jim’s review should turn up next week.) If your consolebox-owning friends are incredibly dedicated to taunting you, they may have already beaten it somewhere in the realm of 22.4 times by now – assuming they’re playing in shifts. But I don’t imagine the image they have irreparably seared into their retinas looks anywhere near this nice. Rockstar’s assembled a new trailer “entirely from in-game PC footage,” and it does, in fact, look fairly snazzy. Admittedly, it’s nothing mind-blowing, and the trailer itself is oddly stilted and awkward given Rockstar’s usual eye for style, but still: good game, better on PC. All is right in the world.
RPS Feature C**ematic
‘Cinematic’ should rightfully be a dirty word when discussing games and yet Max Payne 3’s marketing wears it proudly, like a sweat-stained vest or an inappropriately jaunty tie. A cutscene is cinematic, every detail and angle just so, no room for accident or deviation, but to aspire to a ‘cinematic’ experience during play is to ignore so much of what makes experiences within a game unique to the form. We run, gun and react in worlds that rely, for the enjoyment they bring, on the accidental and the curious as much as they require adherence to a plan. Here’s to the unexpected, the unplanned and the unforgettable.
Maybe the launch trailer arrived before the game because Max Payne 3, like it’s titular bearded/cleanshaven renegade cop/angry vest, is currently diving toward its release date in slow motion. It really wants to be on your hard drive, honest it does, but it wants to arrive in style and preferably while shooting sixteen guns simultaneously into every other game you have installed in order to make room for itself. Whatever the case, the video should be filed under ‘portentous’ and ‘containing admirable discussions of the nature of healing and time’.
To support the much-hyped launch of Max Payne 3, and attendant multiplayer facets, the clever bees of Rockstar have reworked their Social Club functionality, overhauling the whole thing for Max players. They report that their new outing will include “custom personal Social Club user profiles, an all-new Friends system with public and direct messaging, the ability to link in and login with your Facebook and Twitter accounts, Newswire activity and reply notifications.” And other stuff too, including the ability to be able to register your Max Payne 3 clan, should you wish to do such a thing. Rather more immediate gratification can be found in the free Marvel-produced comic, which details more backstory, and allows me to post amusing out-of-context leader images.
Yes, there are multiple implications in that headline. You may read into them how ever you please. See, if you take a moment to consider the current state of your life and the world around you, you’ll probably come to a shocking realization: Max Payne 3’s gun-calloused caress has yet to gleefully clasp hands with your itchy trigger finger. You are painfully aware of your Payne-less-ness. And yet, Rockstar’s already seen fit to announce multiplayer DLC. For basically the entire year. Beginning with the Local Justice map pack in June, bullet-time (and, you know, bullets) will fly with seven packs in possibly less than as many months.
Normally, those of us imbued with the strange power to manipulate RPS’ frontpage into whatever form we see fit (usually PC gaming articles, but sometimes, a giraffe!) don’t go all starry-eyed over system requirements. Nowadays, all the nitty gritty bits and bobs generally add up to “Yes, it will run decently on a mid-range PC or better; no, it will not run on a toaster, abacus, or cloud that looks like a PC if you squint.” Max Payne 3, however, is kind of a special exception, seeing as it’s demanding a 35GB space on your hard drive. I’ve met MMOs that made less of a craterous impact on my hard drive. But, to take the edge off that slow-mo download, here’s a possibly even slower-mo trailer. Damn it, Max, how can I stay mad at that ruggedly handsome, perma-grimacing face?