Max Payne 3: What we want to see
18th Dec 2011 | 14:30
We're very excited for Max Payne 3. It's been eight years since we last dual-wielded Berettas and dived around, shooting mobsters in glorious slow-motion.
So it's good to know it's not too long until the release of Max Payne 3 now. We haven't actually seen a whole lot of gameplay yet though, so we're not sure of everything that will be in the game. However, we've jotted down a list of things we'd like to see in the sequel.
This is just what we want to see in the game, but what do YOU want to see in Max Payne 3?
Max's first two outings both featured an extremely dark and violent noir tale of loss and redemption. Max Payne 3 is set in sunny Brazil. Go figure.
We were just kidding with that last line, clearly it would be unfair (and a bit stupid given the developer) to write off Max Payne 3's plot just yet. Max Payne 3 will include levels based in New York for at least some portion of the game, so chances of a shower of doom and gloom are pretty high.
Max Payne 1 featured many themes and references to Norse mythology which gave the game a slight otherworldly feel, and was downright eerie at times. Max Payne 2 didn't feature such themes, but we'd like to see the supernatural tinge return to the story of Max Payne 3.
Much of the series' snappy writing is the work of Sam Lake, the writer of the first two games, who is currently at work on Alan Wake's American Nightmare instead of this. Rockstar has a tough act to follow. From what we've heard of Max's dialogue in the trailers so far, it's missing the flair, but we have faith in Rockstar and Remedy are apparently consultants on the game too.
For a game that aims to create the ultimate shooting experience, it would be a shame to only have a small selection of guns to choose from. The amount of weapons in Max Payne 1 and 2 was acceptable, but more of a variety wouldn't hurt for Max's third bullet-laden outing.
So far we've seen Max wielding a variety of handguns such as Glocks, a 1911, a Desert Eagle, a revolver, and his trusty Beretta, which is a more than the previous games, which only had two varieties of pistol. We'd like to see this selection of weaponry extend to rifles and shotguns too, and the good old Uzis should make a much welcome return.
Max Payne 3 multiplayer has already been confirmed, so really all we can hope for is that it's a great, meaningful addition and doesn't feel tacked on.
Max Payne 3 will allegedly bring narrative to the multiplayer side of things with its 'Gang Wars' game mode, which runs parallel to Max Payne's central timeline and tells the story of various gangs before and after their run-in with Payne. This mode sees players face off in objective based gameplay, but the objectives of the subsequent rounds are generated based on the outcome of the round before.
It does sound pretty interesting so far. From what we can tell the first round, for example, might see the two teams scrambling to grab the most land. The team who grabs the most land might then have to run around defusing bombs on their land in the next round. The players create the narrative just from winning and losing rounds. Max's narration and the motion comic cutscenes will carry over to the multiplayer too, which is intruiging.
Since there's competitive multiplayer, we wouldn't mind seeing some form of co-op missions as well. The last two Rockstar-developed titles had co-op, and we think it would be a fun addition to Max Payne 3. It lets the players who don't particularly enjoy competitive modes still team up with a buddy for some badass gunfights.
Really, all we're concerned about is whether the multiplayer is a worthy addition or not. If it works out well - great. We'll be happy to play it, and it will be a good way of extending the games lifetime. If it doesn't work out however, we'll be paying you a visit, Rockstar.
Max Payne 1 and 2 were moddable, and paved the way for some fantastic creations. In one of the more well-known add-ons, modders gave Max the ability to smack mobsters around with Kung-Fu. It was glorious.
Other total conversions created whole new stories and levels for gamers to play through. Countless Matrix mods were released which recreated the famous lobby shootout scene from the movie and let players re-enact it.
Another mod even had you play as Dinky the polar bear in a Christmas themed adventure as you killed evil elves, killer penguins and Santa himself. It had epic bullet-time snowball battles and weapons like the Turkey Blaster 6000, the Jingle Ball launcher and The Mincer (which fired mince pies). There was even a bonus snowboarding mode. We think we'll reinstall Max Payne and play that mod again this Christmas.
What's more, these amazing mods released up to seven years after the game first came out. Seven years! Mod support extends a games' life like you wouldn't believe, so Max Payne 3 would only benefit from the ability to create new additions to the game.
In fact, we think the original Max Payne game you get in the box is only half the experience. Rockstar would be mad to not let fans open up the game and have a fiddle, and it would be a huge letdown for all gamers in general.
The action of the Max Payne series has always taken inspiration from The Matrix and John Woo films, and when stuff goes boom in a John Woo film, stuff absolutely positively goes boom.
Superb particle effects have always played a key role in making the gunfights as cinematic as possible, so we want to be sure Max Payne 3 performs just as well. We want to see environments being absolutely annihilated by gunfire. We want bullets rip apart walls and desks and other objects in the levels with complete ferocity.
The guns should feel like absolute beasts. This is the key to separating by-the-numbers shooting we find in many games from the pinnacle of badassery we want Max Payne 3's gunplay to be.
It looks like the game is going some way to implement this. Destructible environments of some sort have been confirmed and the first 'Design & Technology' trailer showed several examples of windows shattering. That was about it though. We're sure there will be much more destruction in the final game, but we've yet to see it.
John Woo's own game, Stranglehold (which was heavily 'influenced' by Max Payne itself), had amazing destruction. Concrete pillars could be reduced to their bare metal framework; tables, doors and windows could be shredded under gun fire, and support beams could be shot out so debris and other environmental hazards would topple and crush enemies below. We'd like to see the same level of environmental obliteration appear in Max Payne 3.
The physics and animation looks spot on from what we've seen so far, and the aiming and controls look rock solid, so we're not too worried about these aspects. Still, if shootouts in Max Payne 3 live up to our expectations we'll be giddy with glee.