Max Payne 3 detailed in latest Edge
posted on 04.03.11 at 12:16 PM EDT by (@salromano)

The latest issue of Edge Magazine has the full scoop on Max Payne 3, Rockstar Vancouver’s 2009-announced sequel that went silent that same year. While not in development at its original studio, Remedy Entertainment, Rockstar Vancouver assures fans that its “been involved with Max since the beginning” and that they’re not “picking up this franchise fresh”. Max Payne 3 is a continuation of the series, and Rockstar Vancouver has recruited help from its Toronto, London, and New England studios in creating it.

“We love Max and we want to continue to do right by him,” said Max Payne 3 Art Director Rob Nelson. “That’s the biggest challenge for us: the decisions we come to have to make sense for him.”

Max Payne 3 is set eight years after the events of Max Payne 2, where Payne is done working with the New York City Police Department has now found himself working for rich clients as a private security contractor in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Edge was shown a demo where the wife of Payne client Rodrigo Branco’s wife is kidnapped by the Commando Sombre street gang, and Payne must deliver the ransom to get her back. In the mission, Payne has a full head of hair. According to Nelson, the game is “always playing with time in the story,” going ‘backwards and forwards” using “aggressive editing”.

Payne meets with the gang in a football stadium to exchange the ransom for Rodrigo’s wife. Shots are fired and Payne is struck, which is when his health icon in the bottom right of the screen goes low and needs to be restored by popping pills.

The story of Max Payne 3 is told using the in-game engine, rather than the comic book frames of the previous entries. Nelson says they’re “integrating storytelling into the gameplay itself through the use of huundreds of customized animations for multiple characters and situations”. They’re also bringing back Max’s “classic narration,” which they believe “adds to the atmosphere of the game.” Rockstar’s goal in storytelling is for people to “move seamlessely from cutscene to gameplay without pauses in the flow or big breaks in the overall look and feel”.

Edge goes on to describe the mission shown to them. It features Max making his way through the stadium, through broadcast rooms and snipers. Max, himself, is equipped with a “high -powered rifle”. According to the mag, the game doesn’t feel like your “standard corridor shooter”; they describe each encounter as “specifically staged” and say they “work within the context of the environment and the story.”

“The action never really stops, it never lets you go,” said Nelson.

The action is “fast and brutal,” says the mag, filled with “glass smashes, blood spurts, [and] furniture collapses”. Bullet-cam, which follows gunshots to their targets, is back with higher meaning. It provides a “bloody full-stop to every encounter”. Shoot-dodge, which allows Payne to launch himself out of the line of gun fire, is also back. He can dive in any direction he desires and reacts to the environment once he lands, going as far as to “thrust out a hand or shoulder to absorb the impact”.

Max Payne 3‘s cover system is activated with the left trigger, which sticks Payne to a scenic object. The right trigger allows him to pop out and shoot. Payne can blind fire by releasing the left trigger, aiming with the right stick.

Like Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead RedemptionMax Payne 3 uses the NaturalMotion Euphoria physics engine. Rockstar is always “thinking about how we can push NaturualMotion in new directions”. In Max Payne 3, they’ve “put a lot of attention on AI reactions, making sure that the force of the bullet feels right”. Enemies will even duck for near-misses.

As for Payne’s arsenal, he’ll be wielding pistons, rifles, sub-machine guns, sniper rifles and more. A wheel-based selection system allows him to carry and select between three weapons at once. He can use two single-handed weapons to dual-wield. Edge notes an “almost sensual attention to detail” when Payne fires.

Max Payne was forced out of New York, which is how he ended up in Brazil. When we actually play the game, we’ll find out why. Payne will work with and protect more than persons than just Rodrigo during the course of the game, putting personal relationships at its core.

Aside from story, Max Payne 3 will also feature an online multiplayer mode. The magazine doesn’t go into detail.

Still no release date. As an extra tidbit, James McCaffrey, the voice of Max Payne in the first two games, will return for Max Payne 3.

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  • rockman29

    “Max Payne 3‘s cover system…”

    Whyyyyyyy…? Max Payne never needed cover before…

    Just saying. Might still be an amazing game at the end of the day. Nice to see from the series again, last time we saw Max Payne 3 news was a while ago I’m sure.

    • Hypno Physics

      New generation man, New..Generation. Personally, I’m ok with a cover system being implemented, it won’t make it any less “Max Payne” that’s for sure.

      Keep the difficulty high, tha’s bout all I care about.

      • gold163

        There is nothing revolutionary about a cover system. It’s a FEATURE. It isn’t necessary; it’s just there for show. That’s all this generation is, all flash and no substance.

        You know what we used to do in games before cover systems? See yourself getting shot at? Move out of the way. Viola. The fact that these days I actually have to press a button in order to do that is ridiculous.

        • Hypno Physics

          Didn’t call it revolutionary, and yes, it is a Feature, a feature that Kill.Switch brought to our attention. I don’t think they omitted “Cover” from older games because of difficulty, just because….they didn’t think about it.

          Like I said though, as long as it’s still a difficult game, I’m all for it.

          Although, I can’t say I would be enthused about a rehash of a game that’s almost 10 years old, some changes are welcomed, some are forceful, some are just stupid, in this case, it sounds very welcomed….but, thats a personal opinion, we may agree to disagree, sir.

          • gold163

            The idea that it’s acceptable that “new generation” games come with cover systems at all is ludicrous. Kill.Switch didn’t bring cover to anybody’s attention because nobody played that damn game. Gears of War brought cover to everybody’s attention; it wasn’t until that game that suddenly every third person shooter just HAD TO HAVE IT or it didn’t make sense from a design standpoint. It’s a trope now, and it’s entirely unnecessary. The problem is that developers these days don’t seem to care about what is and what isn’t necessary from the view of the overall gameplay experience, they just add in anything that looks cool and that they’ve seen to work in a previous popular game. You can take the majority of games in a genre these days and compare them side to side, and it wouldn’t be surprising if most normal people got them confused with each other. If you can’t tell the difference between Modern Warfare and Homefront at first glance, I don’t blame you. And that’s the problem with games these days; that something like a cover system is a feature, and not seen as something that’s necessary or makes sense within the scope of the game.

            It’s probably true that they omitted “cover” from older games because they didn’t think about it. But the reason why they didn’t think about it was because they didn’t need to, because it didn’t make sense to include some extraneous feature in a game that didn’t need it. Nowadays you just throw everything in a particular archetype together and pray that people will grab it off shelves for sixty bucks. Just take a bunch of tropes and mash them together and BAM, you have a game of “this generation.”

            That’s the irony here; that you’re saying you wouldn’t be excited if Max Payne 3 was a “rehash of a game that’s almost 10 years old,” but it’s perfectly acceptable for people to get excited about games that are rehashes of other games that are much younger than that.

            If you think that it’s okay for them to just throw out sequels as long as they’re difficult, then that begs the question, “why did it have to be Max Payne?” Why couldn’t they just make a new IP? Well the answer to that is probably because you’ve played Max Payne, and you know you like Max Payne, so “as long as Max Payne 3 is difficult,” people will throw cash at it.

            • KingKelloggTheWaffleHaggler

              Killswitch did though,even if it wasnt played much

              • gold163

                Excuse me? It’s not as if Kill.Switch was the first game to feature a cover system. It’s just that games like Gears took the implementation and popularized it. It’s contradictory to say that Kill.Switch “brought to attention” if it also “wasn’t played much.” And a “feature” that you see in just about every game of its type these days no longer qualifies as a “feature.” It’s a trope, and one that I’m sick of.

                • Hypno Physics

                  Well, that was a bit long winded, and this is def going somewhere else..

                  In any case, I’m not a fan of the FPS shooter genre ( don’t know if I said that in this post or another ) I’ve played a few and liked even less, and as for Kill.Switch…people can say “Nobody played it” all they want, but it’s weird how whenever Cover is mentioned, Kill.Switch is the SECOND game to be mentioned with Gears of War being the FIRST only because they say GoW took from Kill.Switch.

                  Now, as for the cover system and recent games, I wasn’t saying ALL games should have it, but, I can see if it’s a justifiable addition, sure the original games didn’t have it, but would it have made since if your char could hide behind something? Yes. Would I mind if Cover was omitted from the game altogether? Not at all. Why? because like you said, I’d just get out of the way of the damn bullets. BUUUUUT I am NOT going to sit here and bash Rockstar because they decided to add covering. Although, when I first heard about covering I was wondering “Covering AND bullettime? Seems like a bit much.” but, I got over it, why? because I like the first 2 games, and I’m pretty sure I’ll love this one the same.

                  This was one big ass rant, I forgot half of what I originally intended to say. -shrugs-

                  All in all; I will be playing it, Love it or Hate it, I will finish it, so, I dunno man, like I said, we can agree to disagree.

                  • gold163

                    The issue here isn’t ONLY that they added in a cover “feature.” But I can’t help but feel that the only reason why they are adding in these things is to appease the crowd that’s all too used to playing with cover systems and refuses to acknowledge games without them.

                    As for Kill.Switch being mentioned alongside Gears, I hardly ever find that to be the case. It’s true that Gears took from Kill.Switch; Cliff Blezinski admitted that this was the case and some people from the Kill.Switch team actually worked on Gears IIRC. But it’s not the kind of game that received any sort of widespread attention. Most people these days will only think of Gears when they think of cover systems, or they’ll think of a game with some analogue of that cover system. At the most, they might mention Rainbow Six Vegas or Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.

                    Saying that “I liked the first two Max Payne games, so I’ll like the third,” never made sense to me. The games aren’t even being developed by the same people. They’re completely different games. The only reason why they’re related is because Rockstar owns the rights, and they decided to see if they could make money off of anybody who still remembers the name. And obviously, it’s going to work, because people don’t care that it’s not a Max Payne-like game, just that it’s a Max Payne game in name. And that pisses me off.

                    • Hypno Physics

                      For love or hate, I shall play it. ^_^

  • Noctis
  • gold163

    They are throwing away everything that defined the original games in favor of turning Max Payne into something entirely different. Trying to turn it into a Rockstar-esque crime drama by ditching Remedy’s unique brand of storytelling and gameplay. No thanks, guys. I don’t care how good this game turns out to be; it’s just not going to be a Max Payne game.