“Max Payne” 3

By Shamus Posted Monday May 3, 2010

Filed under: Rants 120 comments


This is Max Payne 3? This is bald musclebound redneck is supposed to be John Woo-inspired bullet-time specialist Max Payne?

A beefy slob in a dirty wifebeater, gunning down terrorists in a sun-drenched ghetto. Has anyone related with this project ever familiarized themselves with the concept of noir?

Hats? Ties? Jackets? Cities at night? Moody lighting? Mobsters? Down on his luck detective? Neon? A protagonist who is NOT a hulking badass? Snappy dialog with clever dames and world-weary cops? Does any of this sound familiar?

You don’t need all of these things to make a noir story. In fact, it’s common to change a couple on purpose. But if you drop all if them, then it sort of defeats the purpose of calling it “noir”. If I made a superhero movie about a guy who doesn’t have any powers, doesn’t dress up, and makes no effort to fight crime or be heroic, then I didn’t actually make a superhero movie, did I? I just made some other movie and then mis-categorized it. Even if it turns out to be a great movie, I shouldn’t call it Spider-Man 4.


It’s not like noir is this overcrowded genre where they needed to break away so they could stand out. They took a game which was thematically unique – the one active noir franchise – and made it into something else. Now it looks like Kane & Lynch, the poster child for bland and unlikeable.

The usual explanation when something like this happens (as with Xcom) is that they’re just harvesting the brand name to garner a few sales, but, it’s not like Max Payne is this obscure, struggling series that needed an overhaul to make it more “mainstream”. Metacritic scores:

Max Payne: 89
Max Payne 2: 86
Kane & Lynch: 65

Changing a unique series so that it can be more like other, less interesting, less successful titles makes no sense. Rockstar, I will be happy – delighted even – to eat these words if this game isn’t a soup of mindless battles, perfunctory boilerplate dialog, and sticky-cover based combat. But from where I sit you’re turning gold into lead.


From The Archives:

120 thoughts on ““Max Payne” 3

  1. Legal Tender says:

    What a bloody, stupid waste of an IP.

    Is there any hope that, as time goes by, more and more of business-types –whom I suppose are the ones pushing games in this sort of directions– will be growing up as gamers thus making it a bit more likely to reverse the current trend of IP murder-death-kill?

    Also, have you checked out UFO Alien Invasion? http://ufoai.sourceforge.net/

    I tried it over the weekend. The whole weekend. That comes out to about 48 hours. Minus a few hours worth of sleep here and there. Pretty good game, I’d say.

    1. silver Harloe says:

      Wow, it’s come a long way since I played it over a year ago. Great to see it still under development.

    2. Someone says:

      I should add that if you are going to try UFOAI get the latest 2.3 build.
      It seems perfectly stable and functioning, i havent seen any bugs in 3 days of play, and it only crashed once. Also, in “official” 2.2.1 the game just stops at some point, and in 2.3 you can finish the game.

  2. hevis says:

    I’m too afraid of what’s become of Max Payne. After all, Max Payne is one of the most succesful (if not THE most succesful) Finnish game series. Now, it just seems like one of n+1 similar generic shooters with no uniqueness at all. That guy doesn’t even look like Max!

    1. Rowan says:

      It’s not Max Payne. Remedy sold (was forced to sell?) all of the MP IP. The real successor to the Max Payne 1 and 2 is Alan Wake.

    2. Soylent Dave says:

      His face in the game artwork is a reworked version of the original Max Payne, hoboed up a bit.

      (not sure about in the game itself, as those pics are from behind)

      So I guess technically he does look like Max. It’s just that Max has let himself go a bit (after visiting the gym).

  3. Randy Johnson says:

    Wow, I can’t imagine what this game will have in common with Max Payne 1 and 2, but my money is on nothing.

  4. Hugo Sanchez says:

    I don’t know how i didn’t seem something about this sooner. I’m afraid they may have just ruined Max Payne. I’m not so against the X-com shooter.It doesn’t want to be the old games, it wants to be an FPS in the universe of the old games. That’s fine by me. I’m actually looking forward to it. However, Max Payne three changed everything, it already seems.

    (The Max Payne movie was garbage, too)

    Oh Woe is me.

    I just hope Thief 4 doesn’t get this kind of treatment.

    1. With 1337-speak in the title, it’s a fair bet that Thief 4 – or should I say “Thi4f”? – will get exactly this kind of treatment.

      1. Garden Ninja says:

        Maybe we should start calling it “Thiefourf”, just be annoy the publisher. Same for “Fthreear”.

        1. Stellar Duck says:

          Someone on The Escapist suggested, back when it was announced to call it Thi4fzorz. I kinda find that fitting.

        2. eri says:

          Somehow I don’t think they’ll give a shit, and in any case, they’ll probably refer to it a Thief 4 in all official PR documents/etc. anyway.

        3. Michael says:

          “Fthreear” sounds like something you’d say when trying to summon Cthulhu.

      2. Taellosse says:

        Wasn’t it mockery like that which prompted them to change the name of the upcoming Tron movie? When initially announced, after all, it was being called “Tr2n.” So there may still be some hope.

  5. RTBones says:

    Unbelievable. What is the logic of, essentially, changing the character of a series? The Max Payne series is Max Payne for a reason. The game may sell, but they will likely lose their already established audience.

    1. eri says:

      Frankly, I’m not sure Max Payne has a huge audience anymore. He’s a relic of a bygone time in PC gaming, and the second game in the series was met with poor sales when it came out. Rockstar likely want to avoid that issue with this game by giving it a drastic new look and feel. They’re responding to current market conditions while continuing Max’s story and (hopefully) maintaining brand loyalty in what fans still exist, not making a sequel to what was popular ten years ago.

      1. That is an excellent point.

  6. IncredibleGeek says:

    This IP is going down without its practiced bravado.

    There is no glory in this. We haven’t asked for this crap.

    Turn around, walk away, blow town. That would have been the smart thing to do. I guess they aren’t that smart.

    One thing you can count on: You push a fan too far, and sooner or later he’ll start pushing back.

    The IP is all dead. The final episode was a question mark to everything that had led to this point. I released my finger from the mouse button. And then it was all over. The storm seemed to lose its frenzy. The ragged clouds gave way to the stars above.

    “Max Payne, this is Deputy Chief Jim Bravura from the NYPD. We’ve got the building surrounded. Throw down your Mountain Dew and lie down with your hands behind your head!”

    A bit closer to heaven.

    1. Shamus says:

      Having just played the ENTIRE GAME yesterday, I can only approve of this comment.

      1. Peter H. Coffin says:

        That quickly, huh? That itself isn’t a ringing endorsement. It’s about the entire run-time of the whole Mass Effect series, when you were just showing us the good bits…

        1. neothoron says:

          You mean that they should have added an overwhelming inventory mini-game and a crapton of generic suburbs sequences to Max Payne?

          Or would you rather have had Mass Effect retain only the good bits and skip the padding?

        2. Daemian Lucifer says:

          Quantity doesn not equal quality.Portal can be beaten in about half an hour,yet it is a marvelous game.

        3. Shamus says:

          Sorry. I should have been more clear. I didn’t “play” through, I “sprinted” through. I was cheating my ass off and was invulnerable.

          I’m trying to write some MP styled comics and wanted to absorb the dialog and get it into my system in one big dose.

          Although, I remember MP was a bit controversial at the time because the game was “only” ten hours. At the time I thought it was really short. But it’s huge compared to a lot of action titles today, and it has a lot more story.

          1. Freykin says:

            It took me two four hour play sessions to go through Max Payne.

            I felt it was worth every penny.

        4. Ian says:


          I beat Max Payne on the day that it came out (this is how it went: I grabbed the demo, beat it, then ran to the store, bought the game, and beat that) and had one of the most fun and thrilling gaming sessions I’d ever experienced, next to the couple of hours that I spent on Portal.

          Just because a game is short doesn’t mean that it’s bad. In fact, I think some games should be kept short. Shooters, in particular, tend to get stale quickly regardless of how much story they cram into them. Max Payne was as long as it needed to be. It didn’t overstay its welcome yet didn’t leave me hungering for more.

    2. Drue says:

      This just made my day.

      edit: heh, ninja’d by shamus himself.

    3. eri says:

      I’m not going to lie, Max Payne has some pretty awful writing and kind of a ridiculous storyline, especially in the later stages of the game.

      But that part is pretty awesome.

  7. Eric says:

    Maybe they’re going for neo-noir?

    1. eri says:

      What about post-noir? We have to be post-noir before we can go neo-noir… uh, I think.

      1. Klay F. says:

        or how about…uh…not-noir?

        1. Garden Ninja says:

          Would that be blanc?

          1. swimon says:

            ooh that reminds me of this free adventure game I played as a kid (I think it was an ad for a chain of grocery stores of all things) called rue blanc. It was this great noir story that I remember really liking even though I’m remembering it not making much sense in the end. Ah nostalgia.

  8. StainlessSteelRat says:

    Being optimistic, I’m hoping we get a good game. Something different needed to be done with Max Payne otherwise it would just be the same old thing again. Those same action ideals in a new setting might just work. Fingers crossed.

    1. Eric says:

      I agree with you. The series definitely needs a change, hopefully this is for the the better.

    2. Galad says:

      The story evolved, it was not the “same old thing again”. The gameplay didn’t change much but it worked. My only gripe with it was that MP2 was too easy even on the highest difficulty.

      1. Eric says:

        I love story driven games, but the story in MP2, was “meh” to me. The gameplay didnn’t help either.

        1. eri says:

          Probably because it basically copied and pasted half of the locations and characters from the original game. And to be fair, the original Max Payne doesn’t have a great story to begin with. It’s moody and so melodramatic that it makes me choke up blood, but all of the conspiracy garbage gets more bloated than a cement-shoe-wearing drug pusher at the bottom of the Hudson.

          1. Daemian Lucifer says:

            The story itself is nothing special or new(even then it wasnt special or new).Its the way its told thats great.The references,the quirky dialogues and narration,the(dark)humour,the style,…

            1. Franz says:

              Though it may not be completely faithful to the original series, given who Max is, the fact that he now older and more “world weary” and the setting, Sao Paulo, I could definitely see them doing something at least semi-noir like Man on Fire did.

    3. krellen says:

      “The same old again” is why you make a sequel!

      If you want something new and different, you make a spin-off, not a sequel (and at a certain point, your spin-off ceases to have anything to do with the original and simply becomes a new franchise.)

      For crying out loud, why do we allow this “excuse” to ever fly? It’s gone on far too long.

      1. StainlessSteelRat says:

        Spin off? Sequel? I don’t care really, and I’m not sure many do. We all want a good game that harks back to Max Payne – well, those of us that liked the first two games. But it depends what made Max Payne for you. I’m not bothered if he has had a (severe) hair cut or changed his style in clothes. What I’m interested in is gameplay, and something that moves the gameplay on – time has passed after all.

        1. Eric says:

          That’s all I want as well. I could care less for the dressings it comes in.

        2. krellen says:

          What does “moves the gameplay on” even mean?

          This is why games suck. Because shooter fans will buy anything, and buy it in mass quantities. Therefore, shooters can all become the same, and non-shooters must become shooters.

          I hate you guys. Seriously.

          1. swimon says:

            If you want to change the gameplay, plot structure or some characters in some way for the sequel then go ahead. Those things should change, evolve and improve but you don’t change the theme! If you change the theme then what is the point of calling it a sequel? Why not just make a new franchise, keeping the franchise name is just false advertising.

            I can understand that some fallout fans didn’t like fallout 3 (I did but that’s besides the point) but at least it carried the same themes as fallout. This is like designing Mass Effect and calling it fallout. It doesn’t work!

            Now tbh I don’t really care about Max Payne I never played the games. What I’m angry about is this stupid notion in the game industry that all games be the same and all franchises must be exploited and drained of what makes them unique.

            1. eri says:

              Fallout 3 replaced a bleak, dangerous post-apocalyptic wasteland that meant death to all but the more careful of players, with a green-tinted funpark full of miniguns, giant mutants and the same four voice actors over and over… not to mention that the gameplay systems, mechanics, flow, balance, etc. were all totally changed to be about a thousand times more approachable and forgiving, while at the same time neutering all the good parts of the original series. I’m not sure the themes are really all that similar save for “shit got blowed up, son”.

              1. Andrew says:

                I’d like to chip in an agreement to Fallout 2 being much more challenging- at the age of 12, Fallout 2 was the only M-rated that I couldn’t actually beat. Combat? Easy. Looting and money-making? Not a problem. Putting my gun away in town? Ummm…. Carefully manipulating various individuals to accomplish my goal without going in with both barrels blazing? Completely lost. That game had elements that required considerable intelligence to grasp. Fallout 3, on the other hand, I’m confident my 12-year-old self could have beaten with little fuss.

              2. Thijs says:

                exactly the same difference between morrowind and oblivion, as I experienced them.

                1. eri says:

                  Morrowind, for all its gameplay flaws, is actually an extremely complex game. It doesn’t really hold your hand when it comes to telling you what to do, where to go, etc., and expects you to figure things out the same way you would in the real world: by asking questions, exploring, and experimenting.

                  Some of the quest chains, especially those revolving around the various houses and guilds, are so much more interesting than those in Oblivion because very often the quests will conflict with one another, sometimes even totally excluding you from certain options, or requiring you to lose favour with one group and appease another.

                  Now, see Oblivion, where it’s possible to become master of every single guild, saviour of every town, etc. In Morrowind I felt like a vagabond mercenary knight who gradually gained in renown through his deeds; not everyone liked me, and those who did usually liked me because I earned their trust. In Oblivion I feel like the entire game is constructed entirely around my enjoyment, like some sort of stupid fantasy theme park where The Player Character must be satisfied and entertained by every single NPC, enemy, location, etc.

                  Sorry, off topic, but yeah, I’ve been meaning to say that somewhere for a while now.

  9. Galad says:

    Please tell me it’s not confirmed that it’s a terrorist shoot out kind of plot? Please??

    I can get over his new look if the voice acting is on par with its previous heights. I can get over the shiny day type of environment if the story makes me at least vaguely relate it to the first two installments. In other words, even if some elements are bland, and unlikeable, if others retain the charm of the first two games, I’d be ok with it.

    But to be fair, where could one go after (I hope I’m not spoiling anyone with the following) .. “the mystery is solved, the guilty ones are dead, I had a dream that my wife was dead, but it was alright”. That was as good a story wrap-up as possible. At best you could call it a spin-off now, borrow the first two games’ charm and see what kind of story line you can think of. I see no charm in those screenshots.

    “The first few games/movies/books were awesome, but lately it’s just boring nonsense and crap” There must be a tvtropes article on this type of justified nostalgy/dismissal of the present…

    1. krellen says:

      They Changed It, Now It Sucks.

      Obligatory Warning: TVTROPES LINK! Do not click if you don’t have time to waste!

      It’s also possible that They Just Didn’t Care.

      1. eri says:

        Did I tell you lately that I love you? Because I do.

  10. Tobias says:

    I keep my fingers crossed. Because while everything we’ve seen from this game is a huge letdown, this is still Rockstar we’re talking about. I feel they’ve got something up their sleeves.

  11. Factoid says:

    I saw this a while back when they announced it. It had an even bigger WTF factor than the first stuff they released on Splinter Cell Conviction.

    Ubisoft eventually came to their senses and got rid of the emo hairdoo on Sam Fisher and didn’t turn the game into a brawler like they were going to.

    Doesn’t look like Rockstar had the same good sense, though. I feel safe saying I won’t buy this game.

    Oh…and Max Payne 2 has an 86 on metacritic? That game was hella terrible compared to the first one.

    1. eri says:

      I don’t know, I kinda got tired of all the scripted “oh no another grenade timed to explode as soon as I walk around the corner” and “enemies who have better reaction times than any human in the entire world” about 3 hours into the game. The story in Max Payne 2 isn’t quite as interesting (or stupid) but at least the gameplay doesn’t come out of the Do It Again, Stupid! school of design.

  12. Josh R says:

    I never finished the second Max Payne… The guy in the mascot outfit just kept dying so I left it for a bit, then my hard drive was formatted.
    Not sure I can work my way to that point for a while yet. Doubt I’ll even check out MP3

  13. krellen says:

    Well, at least we’ve got a common theme here. Once you get to 3, the rule is clearly you’ve got to completely divorce it from its predecessors. First Fallout, now Max Payne.

    Coming soon: Mass Effect 3, the railroad building game!

    (PS It’s true for movies, too. Spider-Man 3, for example.)

    1. Hugo Sanchez says:

      Hey now. I happen to be of the group who like Rail sims.

      OpenTTD is one of the best games I’ve ever played.

      I’d play the HELL out of Mass Effect 3: Space Trains!

      1. krellen says:

        I never said rail sims were bad. Just that they weren’t Mass Effect.

        1. Hugo Sanchez says:

          But what if they WERE?

  14. Wormy says:

    If the protagonist isn’t bald, scowling, and a tragic misapprehension of masculinity, it’s not an American game.

    1. eri says:

      Marcus Fenix-approved!

    2. Theo says:

      Oh no. Do I foresee a Seltzer-and-Friedberg take on video games called simply “American Game”? That is, a deconstruction of the genre that could ostensibly be enjoyable parody, but is instead all the worst parts amplified and become intolerable due to an insipid, shallow, smug “comedy” overlaying the entire product?

      I guess it’s got to get worse before it can get better.

      Wait, maybe I shouldn’t have posted this. There could be big money in the idea.

  15. Nathon says:

    The RSS feed (now with full articles) seems to be choking on images. It looks like the /twentysidedtale/ is getting left out of the href.

  16. Yar Kramer says:

    You know, I’m going to get a new computer soon(ish), and something tells me I’m still not going to get very many current-gen games. Have you heard that “Deus Ex” 3 is going to be made by people who openly say they hated the original’s stealth-elements and setting and whatnot?

    1. silver Harloe says:


      “Stealth in DX:HR is based on light and sound; shadows are no longer used as the primary stealth element – it will be line-of-sight and sound propagation. You can hide anywhere you see fit as long as you’re hidden by an obstacle and don’t produce too much noise.”

      I’m not defending it. I’m just saying it’s not as crazy different as this Max Payne thing – they still consider “not engaging in combat” an option like they did in DX1 (though I always ended up engaging in a lot of sniping combat in my playings of DX1 – at least after the first couple levels when reloads for the stun weapons stopped showing up enough)

      Though, I must say, I was disappointed to see so much brown in the screen shots.

      1. eri says:

        Really, that’s not much of a change. Stealth in Deus Ex is pretty dumb… stand in a shadow and you’re suddenly invisible to a terrorist sitting 15 feet away, even though you should be clear as day to them. Sound is also pretty important in the first one; you can even distract guards by throwing items around. That it depends more on cover really makes a lot more sense, even if it’s a bit of a step away from the whole Dark Engine style “you must be this dark to stay hidden” of stealth.

    2. Groboclown says:

      And my day was going so well. This is yet another reason why I’ve given up on Triple-A games.

      Deus Ex, Thief, Fallout, X-Com… What’s next, turning Little Big Adventure into a shooter?

  17. Roy says:

    That’s… ugly.
    I don’t even mind it when the protagonist of noir is hulking badass. Noir is actually rife with hulking badasses. It’s jut that they’re hulking badasses who wear disheveled suits that look like they’ve been slept in one too many times to ever get the wrinkles out, and who are smart enough to pretend to be anything but badass until it’s needed.

    Guys like Sam Spade and Parker weren’t exactly feather weights. Plenty of their problems got solved with a well placed fist.

    But this?
    This looks a lot more like some generic gangland warfare type game. Nothing about any of those pictures suggests “noir” in at all.

  18. Shinan says:

    I was discussing this with a friend of mine just now. Just now after reading this.

    And if the game is set in Sao Paulo which is rainforestplace. So I got to thinking. Change all these screenshots from bright sunlight to heavy thunderclouds and pouring rain.

    Suddenly it all seems a lot more appealing. Running around Brazil’s gangland in heavy rain. And as day turns to night with all the typical city lights.

    So perhaps in these screenshots they haven’t yet worked out the weather effects so only have the blue sky? Here’s to hoping, because the story premise isn’t truly horrible. (working as a security guy in Sao Paulo)

    1. StainlessSteelRat says:

      There’s a lot of different types of environment to play with potentially. Fingers crossed they use it to good effect.

    2. José_Carioca says:

      I live in Brazil and I can tell you that Sà£o Paulo is not near any forest. The picture you posted shows only a small park as there are very few trees there. Sà£o Paulo is also flat. This means that the favelas (slums) are not in hills like in the pictures. But you are correct about the nightlife. Sà£o Paulo has a certain noir aspect to it.

      The screenshots show a clear inspiration in my hometown, the crime-ridden Rio de Janeiro. It’s an amazing representation of it.

      EDIT: I’ve just read about the plot of the game in wikipedia and it indeed takes place in Sà£o Paulo. The developers problably tought that picking any city in Brazil and displaying stereotypical landscapes of the country would be cool. So much for authencity.

      1. wtrmute says:

        Yeah, I’m having a hard time thinking how one can do Film Noir in a favela, with a protagonist straight out of the famous Gracie Jujutsu Dojo. There’s plenty of corrupt cops, so that’s at least one of the bullet points, though.

        Maybe the producers saw Elite Squad and thought, “Hey, the protagonist wears black, is linked to law enforcement, and likes to engage in witty repartée. Do you know what that reminds me of? Max Payne!”

        Also, Sà£o Paulo was located in the middle of a rainforest, it just got cut down some 300 years ago. ;-P

      2. Shinan says:

        I was more thinking about the rain. I don’t think there’s any forest left in Sao Paulo but the climate should still mean lots of rainshowers at inopportune moments. (If I understand rainforest climate correctly it’s gigantic rainstorms followed by no sign whatsoever that it would be raining. So I fully expect lots of rain in Max Payne 3… When they get the weather effects right.)

  19. Andrew B says:

    OK, it looks terrible. Like a parody of what’s wrong with storylines in modern shooters. But if it was like the Shield in tone and content it would be awesome (and an interesting direction to take the franchise). Imagine getting to live a modern day LA Confidential, that would be great.

    Oh, and go watch The Spanish Prisoner. Great noir. Suits, ties, dames and dialogue out the wazoo. No neon though.

    1. eri says:

      What do you mean? Grizzled, white, all-American military-types come to teach those poor darkies how it’s done, by crushing it into their skulls with superior firepower… that’s what noir is all about!

  20. Nostromo says:

    Oh, I am not too worried, because this isn’t Max Payne.

    He just happens to have the same name, that’s all. Happens all the time.

    I mean, I know what Max looks like. I played him a crapload of times. The baldie in the wifebeater is just some Bruce Willis clone in some game I’ll never play anyway. No worries.

    1. Patrick says:

      Oh, Max Payne does look like Bruce Willis – twenty years ago, if he lost 15 pounds. The new guy looks like Bruce Willis today, after taking steroids.

  21. Vegedus says:

    Yeah, that… That can’t be Max Payne. Neither his body or facial structure looks anything like his. WTH?

    Still, the game is old enough that, even if it was quite successful originally, it can be considered obscure enough that it needs a make-over to be accessible to the FPS kiddies.

    1. Stellar Duck says:

      Honestly, he reminds me most of all of Sam Fisher in Splinter Cell Double Agent. I need not say that it’s not a good thing to be reminded of. I’ve bought DA on 3 different platforms (PS3, PS2 and PC) and it still is completely lack lustre.

    2. eri says:

      Well, honestly, aside from the hair colour and leather jacket, Max looks totally different between Max Payne 1 and 2, constipated facial expressions and age differences aside. The new version of Max actually looks somewhat like what I’d expecct Max Payne 2’s Max to, after 10 years of very hard living.

  22. Nyaz says:

    WHAT THE F… I have never really played a lot of Max Payne (though I know some of what it is, some of the setting, etc.) and this is absolutely NOTHING like it. They could’ve slapped on a completely different name, like “Manly McMan is angry and goes out for some food” and nobody would’ve suspected Max Payne was even remotely involved.

  23. Giga Man says:

    From the Wiki article on Max Payne:

    This is the first game in the series not to be developed by Finnish game developer Remedy Entertainment and not being written by series creator Sam Lake.
    Explains a lot, doesn’t it? But there’s more:

    “This is Max as we’ve never seen him before, a few years older, more world-weary and cynical than ever.”
    The man whose family was murdered and who was betrayed by everyone he’d ever trusted is now more world-weary and cynical. Maybe he lost the presidential election or something. It would explain why he grew the beard.

    1. krellen says:

      Oh, come now. My Governor looks good with a beard, even if he did grow it after losing the primary.

      1. DaveMc says:

        Good Lord, man! Get out of that state, immediately: it’s clearly been taken over by the Evil Universe governor!

    2. Sekundaari says:

      Sure does explain a lot.

      I bet he can’t even jump anymore, or run. Just walks, shoots and occasionally talks.

      I stumbled on a 2009 article on this change in the Escapist:

  24. Bryan says:

    This isn’t Max Payne as you know him, this is a “Crank” film steriotype slapped onto the character because someone saw the movie “Crank” and decided that Max Payne should look that way. (that’s what it looks like anyway)

    Well, I’m not buying the game, that’s for sure.

    EDIT: I just hope they don’t try to follow “Crank’s” plot, because that would really suck.

  25. Daemian Lucifer says:

    For me,the series ended with the second game.Apparently,Ive watched the movie,but I dont remember it at all.I even forgot it was made and remembered that it was when I did a bit of searching just now.

    1. UtopiaV1 says:

      Seconded. Although, I didn’t think the film was bad, it just wasn’t great, and it CERTAINLY wasn’t Max Payne. It should have been called ‘Apparently we can’t show people shooting up in mainstream films these days, so this terrifying drug will have to be taken orally’, or something resembling that. I mean, in the games, Valkyrie was supposed to be injected. Is it really nerdy that I’m picking on the film for that?

      Whatever. Max Payne finished well in the first game, the second one was fun but didn’t add anything to the storyline.

      1. eri says:

        No, it’s not strange, and while it might be nerdy, it’s not a bad thing. Gamers have every right to be pissed off that their medium is so poorly represented when brought into the world of film. While adaptations aren’t always perfect, what we’ve been given has largely been insulting to both us as intelligent human beings, and to games as a whole. It takes obsessive people like us to keep writers and the like in line… one of the reasons Fallout: New Vegas looks so much more promising than the original is because Obsidian actually have a thorough knowledge and respect of the series canon, for example.

        1. krellen says:

          Probably because the guys running the firm are the ones that created the original canon.

  26. WoodenTable says:

    I don’t even get how they can call him Max Payne. I’ve never played the games, but he certainly doesn’t look like the Max Payne from the screenshots I’ve seen over the years.

    Maybe a name change is in order? I think Chuck Redmeat would fit rather well.

    1. IncredibleGeek says:

      Crunch Buttsteak
      Buff Drinklots
      Big McLargehuge
      Thick McRunfast

      We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese.

    2. eri says:

      How about John Bauer? Jack McLean?

  27. Neil Polenske says:

    Okay the comparison to Kane and Lynch is more than a little unfair. For the most part the game was poorly reviewed because of it’s poor level design and being buggy as all hell, not because of it’s aesthetic choices.

    Even in this regard, I don’t see the resemblance. The pics shown look like they lifted that one level straight out of MW2. Kane and Lynch certainly weren’t what came to mind when I saw them.

    That said…yeah, this looks mad retarded. :P

  28. Jokerman says:

    Its made by Rockstar so i expect a game with solid gameplay and a good story..oh and better the 90% of the games coming out in the same year.

  29. Irridium says:

    Do publishers enjoy pissing on our classic memories?

    It may be a good game, but its not going to be a Max Payne game. Just like how Fallout 3 was great, but didn’t feel like a good Fallout game. And how Xcom won’t feel like an Xcom game…

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, becoming a business is the worst, and best thing to happen to gaming…

  30. Eric says:

    If they slapped a black and white filter over the game and added in hyperbolic narration, it could be an interesting take on the noir genre–a typical action-shooter through a noir lens, if you will.

    They probably won’t do that, though.

  31. Danath says:


    Really? It seems like they are trying to make Max Payne darker and ediger, and will quickly narm it up by taking it one step too far into pure cheese.

    I didn’t link TVtropes, someone else already did that.

    1. Veloxyll says:

      I noticed that people started using TVtropes language after someone linked it though.

      Also, that’s not darker, the sky is like a GIANT lightbulb

  32. Davie says:

    What is it these days with developers taking fan favorite IPs and completely turning them around and twisting them into something completely different? X-Com, Command and Conquer, Max Payne…next thing we know, Assassin’s Creed 3 will be an MMO.

  33. José_Carioca says:

    Wow, they did a great job capturing the ambient of my home town, Rio de Janeiro. The favelas and drug-dealers seem very authentic. I am really impressed. Disclaimer: I never played the Max Payne series, because, honestly, the name is pretty lame (Maximum Pain) and the cliché Mafia setting didn’t grab my attention long enough to overcome that. I might try this new one, depending on reviews.

  34. Amstrad says:

    I think part of the problem here may be that you’re identifying Max Payne purely with what was delivered in the first game, as well as over simplifying just what film-noir is.

    Max Payne is first off, MORE than just a film-noir shooter. It’s a hard boiled crime melodrama with ties to both John Woo and Frank Miller. Where it pulls in the film-noir angle is in the heavy use of voiceover narration, flashbacks, the gritty setting and the generally cynical fatalistic attitude.

    So where does that leave us with Max Payne 3 as we know it? Basing our opinion totally on the current crop of screenshots we clearly have a gritty setting(the sun makes the grit even easier to see!) But beyond that, it’s hard to determine anything without actually playing the game.

    I might also point out you’re doing a pretty good job of picking your screenshots.
    I mean, what about this baby?
    Screams noir to me.

    Ultimately the cynic in me wants to agree with you in believing that Rockstar is abandoning Max Payne’s noir elements in favor of a more generic shooter settings. But even if that is the case, what we’d have would still be Max Payne, just tuned more to the Woo end of the scale rather than the Miller. (I hope this works better for them then it did for Stranglehold)

  35. McNutcase says:

    Those screenshots do not make me optimistic. I bet they haven’t even bothered to animate the slides of the handguns (a tiny little detail that, by massive pause-key abuse, I spotted in the first Max Payne), never mind the breechblocks of the rifles (yes, in Max Payne 2, the AK-47’s bolt carrier actually cycled properly with each shot…).

    Oh, and the protagonist? Well done for finally finding the Metamucil, Max, but seriously, grow the hair back out and shave. And STOP TAKING STEROIDS. You looked so much more relateable when you were a kinda geeky guy in a leather jacket. Sort of like us geeky game-players, but an action hero.

    Oh well. I ignored Deus Ex 2 (in my world, cancelled after Warren Spector was tragically killed in that thing with the automatic seatbelt, the paperclips, and the strawberry yoghurt), I can ignore Max Payne 3, and be utterly astounded when a Max Payne 4 comes along that actually bears some resemblance to the first two…

  36. acronix says:

    I don´t see why you complain. I mean, sure, the whole setting and the enterity of the character was slaughtered in favor of making Max more action-moviey, but he has a Bald of Awesome!

  37. hey Shamus, here’s a fun experiment. Take some of those screenshots and replace the MAX PAYNE 3 logo with something ala this:

    ‘DIE HARD’EST (yeah lame pun I known)

    Kinda looks the role though doesn’t it? *laughs*

  38. Axle says:

    It’s like Quentin Tarantino doing Godfather 4.
    ou know there is a good chance it will be a good gangster movie, but it will definitely won’t be a “Godfather” movie.

    But we will just have to wait patiently and see how is it going to be…

  39. Pumpkinetics says:

    I think I have an explanation:

    They’re trying to turn Max Payne into Max Brenner: http://lemonlemonade.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/max_brenner.gif

    It would explain why everything’s a shade of chocolate brown.

    1. Axle says:

      Funny thing…
      I knew this guy in my army service (he was my drill instructor for a while) and he’s quite a psychopath. But more in a “yelling at rookies” way than “shooting bad guys” way…. (And he’s real name is Oded, by the way).

      Makes a great chocolate though….

  40. Zaxares says:


    I took one look at those screenshots and can barely look at them any longer. What the hell have they done to poor Max?? If that even IS Max. :(

    I’ll do my best to keep an open mind, but this whole thing is smacking of ‘too much GTA influence’.

  41. Shawn says:

    What the crap is this crap?

  42. randy says:

    Remedy went down (or is going down) the drain with Alan Wake, so I guess it’s only fitting that this travesty will destroy the Max Payne brand.

  43. Rutskarn says:

    I love how his beard is thick and overgrown, and yet his head is clearly fresh-shaven.

    1. Eric says:

      He’s a lumberjack pushed to far!

      1. Axle says:

        Are you sayin max payne is gay?

  44. Carra says:

    Yeah, I thought the same when I first saw these images a few months ago.

    Max Payne was a great game and probably the best Film Noir game I’ve ever played (although tbh, I can’t think of many others that I played).

  45. Danath says:

    Max Payne – As played by Zangief.

  46. NBSRDan says:

    Hardcore action seems like a more fitting genre for a guy whose name is a reference to his own brutality.

  47. SomeUnregPunk says:

    If this game isn't a soup of mindless battles, perfunctory boilerplate dialog, and sticky-cover based combat… I hope you do realize that we want to see you literally eat your words.

    A small dish of paper and salt.

  48. Max says:

    Actually, it doesn’t take a business type. I would dare say they don’t make much of a artistic decision at all. It is more likely a game designer forwarded this for approval for “staying in line” with the “reality of an ageing police officer”…

  49. Not Yet Measured says:

    They’re setting it up for the movie with John Travolta (see Pelham 123 and From Paris with Love).

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