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Max Payne

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Promoted Blog: How Max Payne saved me from myself


"All I ever did in life was sit in my room, alone, downing entire bottles of liquor on my own, for no other reason than because I didn't want to deal with my life."
Oct 16
// vApathyv
[In what may be the most personal c-blog I've ever read, vApathyv talks about how playing Max Payne 3 helped him realize he had a problem with alcohol abuse. Want to get featured on the front page? Get writing. -Spencer Hayes...
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Live-action Max Payne short goes slow-mo underwater


Aug 05
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The latest live-action short from the brilliant minds over at CorridorDigital takes us to the Max Payne universe to give us a glimpse at Max's poor, pathetic life. Not my favorite CorridorDigital short, but I love how the gu...
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Rockstar details new Max Payne 3 DLC schedule


Jul 31
// Jordan Devore
As disclosed in Take-Two Interactive's financial results for Q1 fiscal year 2013, 3 million copies of Max Payne 3 have been shipped to date. These are "lower-than-anticipated sales," according to Take-Two Chairman and CEO Str...
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Promoted blog: Growing old disgracefully


Jul 31
// Stephen Turner
[Dtoid Community Blogger Stevil takes comfort in the fact that some of his favorite videogame characters are growing old with him. Because he's old. And smelly. Want to see your own words appear on the front page? Go write so...
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Rockstar wants your face for Max Payne again


Jul 05
// Liam Fisher
Back in January, Rockstar Games gave Max Payne fans the chance to be forever immortalized in Max Payne 3's multiplayer. A cool idea, for sure, but apparently the contest was met with a good deal of success as they've ext...
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Amazon PC game sale discounts Max Payne 3, Spec Ops, more


Jul 02
// Jordan Devore
Ahead of the impending Steam summer sale, Amazon has gone ahead with a digital PC game sale of its own. The discounts will be happening throughout the rest of this month, so pace yourself. Highlights for the time being include Max Payne 3 ($29.99), Spec Ops: The Line ($24.99), Syndicate ($14.99), The Darkness II ($12.49), Crusader Kings II ($9.99), and a bunch more. I fear for my bank account.
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The DTOID Show: 2012 in Retrospecticus


Jul 01
// Tara Long
I know what you're thinking. "But Tara, the year's only half over!" Well yes, technically that's true, but it doesn't mean we can't stop and take a moment to gather our thoughts on this year's video game releases, does ...
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Live life the Max Payne way, plus box art go to war


Jun 28
// Tony Ponce
Take Max Payne out of his gritty film noir universe, plant him smack in the middle of sleepy suburbia, and just let him do his thing. Then on Thursdays, he and Frank Castle go bowling together. Sounds like your typical, All-...
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A quick glimpse of the Max Payne 3 Local Justice DLC


Jun 28
// Conrad Zimmerman
Rockstar has announced the impending arrival of the "Local Justice" downloadable expansion for Max Payne 3, coming to consoles on July 3 with a PC release of July 17. But why read when you can watch the pretty pictures go by...
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Issue 2 of the Max Payne comic now available for download


Jun 13
// Liam Fisher
Last month, Marvel and Rockstar released the first issue of their series of Max Payne digital comics in an attempt to fill in some fuzzy spots in the narrative. Issue #1, "After the Fall," took a peek at Max's troub...
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Rockstar puts cheating Max Payne 3 players in the corner


Jun 12
// Liam Fisher
I think we can all agree that cheaters are the absolute worst. Those self-important jerks who have nothing better to do but ruin the game for everyone else are a constant source of frustration for gamers and developers alike,...

Is Max Payne 3 worth the 29 GB download on PC?

Jun 01 // Allistair Pinsof
[embed]228483:43871:0[/embed]GraphicsMax Payne 3 is one of the best-looking games on consoles this year, so it’s no surprise that it looks stunning on PC. Turning up the DX11 options, like tessellation, and maxing out the anti-aliasing presents image quality unparalleled on the PC. It’s unfair to compare it to The Witcher 2 or Battlefield 3, as it doesn’t share the scope of those games, but everything from the detailed facial models, city backdrops, and textures make this game sing. There are a couple drawbacks, however. There are reports from several users on NeoGAF that enabling MSAA has brought about several graphical and mouse glitches in their game. That’s too bad, since it really brings out the color and crispness in the visuals. I haven’t faced any of these issues so far, but I played mostly with it off for the sake of a higher frame rate. As you can see in the graph below, MSAA deals a heavy blow to your processing power. There are a lot of cutscenes in Max Payne 3 that begin as pre-recorded video files. They are used to mask the loading of the next level, but, on the PC, they serve as a constant reminder of how awesome the game is on this platform. Like playing a PS3 HD remaster, these videos ironically look much worse than the actual gameplay due to all the visual perks you get on the PC. As soon as the game switches from movie to in-game, I think, “This is why I waited two extra weeks.” Seeing a club full of people dancing in front of flashing lights with their hair and detailed facial models rendered crisply and full of color makes that wait more than worth it. Here are some comparisons between the different graphical options: NoAA vs FXAA NoAA vs 4xMSAA FXAA vs 4xMSAA Controls While most will be coming to Max Payne 3 on PC for the visuals, I’m mainly interested in the controls. Max Payne 1 & 2 were far inferior on consoles because the games demanded accuracy you couldn’t get from a thumbstick. It saddens me to see Rockstar give PC the cold shoulder in Max Payne 3, as the game is clearly made with console controls in mind. Iron-sight aiming is one of the biggest changes in shooters since the release of Max Payne 2 in 2003. It shouldn’t surprise anyone then that Max Payne 3 embraces this -- though, it’s more of a slight zoom, as in Uncharted and Gears of War. Since you’ll need this to aim efficiently, your keyboard/mouse layout from past Max Payne games won’t work here. It doesn’t help that the default controls are awful. Using "G" to roll is just silly. The right-mouse button used to be dedicated to the Bullet Time ability, but now it must be remapped to something else. This makes everything out of whack, but you'll eventually find something that works for you in the options. The frustrating thing is that multiplayer and single-player in Max Payne 3 have different demands on the player; they each have their own ideal button layout. In multiplayer, you aren’t constantly using Bullet Time but will need to roll like crazy instead. It would have been great to have different layout options for both game types, instead I find myself either constantly re-adjusting or playing uncomfortably. You still have the Free Aim option, but you’re really missing the point of playing with a mouse if you do that. Even though playing with mouse/keyboard has its drawbacks, it’s still a pleasure to Bulletdodge into the air and pull off a series of headshots with the most accurate device in gaming. Online When you first start up Max Payne 3, you’ll need to log in to Rockstar Social Club. This is a quick, painless process. I didn’t even need to type in my multiplayer key, as the game automatically took it from my Steam account. Joining games is hit and miss. There have been a couple times where it took forever to match me, and sometimes I even had to exit the game through Window’s Task Manager because I got stuck in a lobby. There are also some long load times for levels online. It’s not game-breaking, but I hope Rockstar smooths things out in an upcoming patch. All in all, Max Payne 3 is exactly the experience I wanted on PC. I have some issues with the game, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. If you have the patience to spend an entire day downloading a game and want to play Max Payne 3, you won’t regret your efforts. After a long history of half-assed PC ports, Rockstar got things right this time. [Graph and comparison images courtesy of GeForce]
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It’s hard to see your favorite series on a different platform. I’ll always play Demon’s Souls and Final Fantasy games on my PlayStation 3, because anything else just feels wrong. The same is true of Max Pa...

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Just one more day until the Max Payne 3 PC launch


May 31
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Max Payne 3 is out tomorrow for the PC, and with the release comes the launch trailer showing off just how sexy the game looks on PC. This version, as any respectable PC release of a game should have, includes advanced graph...
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Max Payne 3: Three million shipped, PC version delayed


May 22
// Jordan Devore
Max Payne 3 has done quite well for itself in terms of critical reception, and, according to Take-Two Interactive, 3 million units of the currently available Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions have been shipped. Not a bad la...
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Live show: Bearded retribution with Phil in Max Payne 3


May 17
// Bill Zoeker
It's time for another Phil-In Show, today on Dtoid TV. The temporarily beardless mastodon himself, Philanthr0py, is dive-shooting into Max Payne 3. Phil has been looking forward to this one for some time, and he's finally rea...
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Dtoid Playdate: Who's up for some Max Payne 3?


May 15
// mrandydixon
Max Payne 3 is out and the reviews are in: this game kicks ass! The campaign sounds fantastic, but for you multiplayer-focused gamers the highlight of the package has to be the new Crew system in the Rockstar Social...
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The DTOID Show: Tomb Raider delayed, Dark, & Civilization


May 14
// Max Scoville
Hello everyone! I hope you had a marvelous weekend! Here's today's episode of The Destructoid Show! The big news today (aside from Diablo III) is Max Payne 3. Conrad's review is up, and the game sounds rad. Some folks f...

Review: Max Payne 3

May 14 // Conrad Zimmerman
Max Payne 3 (PC, PS3, Xbox 360 [reviewed])Developer: Rockstar VancouverPublisher:  Rockstar GamesReleased: May 15, 2012MSRP: $59.99  The story mode takes Max from the mean streets of New Jersey to the equally mean streets of São Paulo, Brazil. Keeping with tradition, the entire plot is experienced in flashback, narrated throughout by Max as he reflects upon the recent state of his life. Beyond that, events are frequently presented out of their chronological order so that the settings constantly shift and blur together, keeping the player constantly guessing where they'll wind up next. By this point in his life, Max has effectively hit rock bottom and has been spending all of his time searching for meaning in a bottle. That pursuit doesn't stop just because he's hired by a wealthy Brazilian family to work as a bodyguard, with the promise of good pay for babysitting socialites. But the job doesn't turn out to be the cakewalk it was supposed to be, and a drunk Max fails to protect the family when a local street gang targets them, leading to a series of events which will leave hundreds dead in the wake of his efforts to redeem himself. Throughout the series, Max has always been the unfortunate victim of circumstance. He's the guy who's in the wrong place at the wrong time, either through no real fault of his own or due to the concerted efforts of others surrounding him. In some ways, you can make the same argument about Max Payne 3, but it doesn't really hold up to scrutiny. Yes, there are secrets to be learned and villains to be punished, and Max is still the guy who gets stuck in the middle of a bad situation. Unlike prior games, though, Max has to bear far more responsibility for his role in the course of events. Throughout the story, it becomes clear that most of the situation could have been avoided had Max chosen a better way to deal with his problems than becoming a drunk. While it may make him a less sympathetic character, the story is considerably better for the change as it provides an opportunity for Max to be more than just the man standing between evil and its goals and experience genuine character growth. The tale may be dark, but the presentation is flashy as hell. Max Payne 3 transitions almost seamlessly from cutscenes to gameplay sequences and back, rarely giving the player an opportunity to have the time to think about doing anything but playing further and driving the story forward. The non-interactive sequences give the impression that they fold in and out organically, but serve another function as cover for the game's lengthy loading sequences. One has to wonder if some of the rather lengthy story sequences are of the length they are simply to cover up the fact that the player is playing a game, particularly upon discovering that many of the longer scenes cannot be skipped until they're almost completed. Nevertheless, they are entertaining and effectively maintain immersion by never disconnecting the player from the narrative. There's a lot of visual style imparted on these sequences. During cutscenes, bits of phrases in Max's narration will pop up on the screen to provide emphasis, and Max Payne 3 makes heavy use of a blurring effect aimed at giving the game a modern, cinematic tone and connecting the player with the sense of disorientation Max feels. While the bits of text are used to great effect throughout, the blur wears out its welcome over time and feels a bit tedious eventually, but it appears so often that it eventually becomes easy to ignore through repetition. What cannot be ignored is Max's narration. When he's not shooting other people in their heads, he's inside his own, and Max has gobs of dialog throughout the game. He is constantly contributing wry observations about whatever crosses into view, and with fantastic variety. Every time Max picks up health-restoring painkillers, he has something to say about them. If the player tarries too long in a room, Max will pipe up to remind them what the next objective is. His voice is a constant companion throughout the entire affair and expertly performed by returning actor James McCaffrey (who also provides motion capture for the role). Better still, the writing of Max has been elevated. Gone are the overwrought metaphors in Sam Lake's version of the character; Max doesn't once try to compare telephone lines to a human circulatory system or any such pretentious crap. He's still clever and just as full of pathos as ever, but without giving the impression that his words are forced or disingenuous. He's such a joy to listen to that players will likely be scouring environments in search of more pearls of wisdom, and those who do will be amply rewarded for their diligence. Controlling Max is also more satisfying than ever before. Max Payne has always been a series where cover played an important role, but Max Payne 3 is the first game to feature an actual mechanic for employing it, allowing the player to hide behind objects, lean out, and blind-fire. The cover mechanic does not provide a means of easily moving from one object to another, however, leaving the player to either rely on a rather slow, rolling dodge, or to take advantage of "bullet time" (earned by being shot at, killing enemies, and more) to slow the action and minimize the damage. Max isn't a space marine, after all. He may be tough as nails, but it doesn't require much more than a few bullets to take him down, and there are a lot of bullets in his general vicinity pretty much all of the time. But death need not be the end with the introduction of a "last stand" mechanic, activated when Max runs out of health but still has unused painkillers. When in the last stand, bullet time is activated and the player has a few seconds to eliminate the specific enemy responsible for the killing blow. If successful, Max will survive in a prone position with a majority of health restored, at the cost of a painkiller and all stored bullet time. These new mechanics go a long way toward deepening the gameplay experience, but Rockstar also has an eye for broadening appeal. Max Payne 3 offers a variety of options that gear it toward players of a wide skill range, most significantly by providing aim assistance in the series for the first time in two different forms. When in "Soft Lock" mode, aiming Max's gun causes the targeting reticule to move to the center of mass of the closest enemy. The still easier "Hard Lock" works similarly, with the exception that the reticule will stay with a targeted enemy and try to maintain its relative position on their body even if they move. Aim assistance is optional; it's set at the beginning of the game and can be switched from the pause menu at any time. Players new to Max Payne or less skilled at third-person action games will likely appreciate the advent of aim assistance, but it's not perfect. Sometimes the game will make questionable choices about which enemy should be targeted, and there's no means of manually switching between targets when the necessity arises, leaving the player no choice but to freely aim. The system works well overall to make a challenging game much easier to manage, up to a point. That challenge level gets rather considerable late in the campaign. The last third of the game is filled with enemies who are wearing full combat armor, seem capable of taking more rounds than Max, and are best dispatched with a quick headshot. Of course, they are also wearing helmets that will simply fly off their heads when hit, leaving the player to have to shoot them in the head again. Since aim assistance moves the target to the center of enemies, it can go from a crutch to a hindrance when Max is up against these more difficult foes. Players are able to revisit completed stages in two Arcade modes. First is Score Attack, in which points are tallied for killing enemies and score multipliers awarded for doing so stylishly and effectively. Bonuses are earned for accuracy, the use of bullet time, and a variety of other opportunities which will allow a skilled player to rack up high scores. In addition, the New York Minute mode introduced in Max Payne 2, in which players are given one minute to complete the entirety of the game and awarded more time for killing enemies, also returns; players can race against the clock in each of Max Payne 3's 14 chapters. And then there's multiplayer content, as well. Players will be able to choose between playlists designed for "Soft Lock" and "Free Aim" targeting, and play in three different types of competitive multiplayer. The standard Deathmatch appears, offered in solo and team flavors. "Payne Killer" is a game in which one player assumes the role of Max (well-populated games allow a second player to become his partner, Passos) who becomes the target for the other players and must try to survive as long as possible to earn points. Finally, "Gang Wars" consists of a dynamically selected series of objective-based scenarios linked together, where two gangs compete to claim dominance. It's a robust offering, complete with experience progression, tons of customization options, and a host of social features. Players earn experience and cash, which is then used to unlock new weapons. Balance between player loadouts is achieved with an encumbrance mechanic that compensates for a heavily armed player by making him slower in movement and healing. And since this is Max Payne, the multiplayer would be remiss if it did not include the bullet time system in some regard, though it does function a little differently. When activated, bullet time only affects those players who are within the line of sight of whoever activates the ability. It's also a bit of a double-edged sword to employ, as human players have a far easier time putting a little dot on the head of a slow-moving character and a player in bullet time might find themselves overwhelmed if there are more than a couple of opponents aiming at them. Rockstar has also expanded this concept beyond just bullet time to create a range of abilities called "bursts" relating to the meter in multiplayer, now referred to as "adrenaline." Whatever you call it, adrenaline is earned the same way as in the solo campaign, but players can accumulate more by looting the corpses of other players. Bursts come in a delightful variety of forms more interesting than a basic damage buff. In addition to standard bullet time, bursts also can allow you to pinpoint the locations of your enemies or even confuse an opposing team by making all teammates appear to be opponents. It's damn good fun, creating an environment of chaos and thrilling combat. The new Rockstar Social Club features allow players to team up easily in Crews, pairing them up with players on teams who are members of the same Crew, and it makes it easy to get into a game with people you might actually want to play with. Crew members will engage in the game on a whole new level, becoming embroiled in bitter feuds through a mechanic which adds another objective layer to playing online by giving players specific enemies to target based on their associations and prior conflicts between Crews. Max Payne 3 is a fantastic package, with a top-notch presentation and plenty of content to keep players busy and happy. It may have been a long time in coming, but there's no arguing with results, and Max is the kind of guy who gets them. Fans and newcomers alike are going to find plenty to enjoy in this exceptional title.
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Nearly a decade has passed since Max Payne last brought his brand of violent street justice to a dark and unjust world, and videogames have changed dramatically in this time. And Max has changed with it, under the new directi...

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Enjoy some pew pew with the fan film Max Payne: Valhalla


May 12
// Tony Ponce
Over the last few months, I had been receiving tips on an upcoming fan-made Max Payne short entitled "Valhalla," but I avoided posting the trailer, instead waiting until the full production was complete. The film was finally...
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The DTOID Show: Hitman, Republique, & Max Payne 3


May 11
// Max Scoville
Hey guys, here we are again with another Destructoid Show. We were live today, but if ya missed it, here's the recorded version. I already typed this up once today but it got deleted and now I'm rushing to get the post done ...

Getting It Right: Max Payne

May 10 // Allistair Pinsof
Max PayneDeveloper: Remedy EntertainmentPublisher: Rockstar Games, Gathering (PC)Released: July 23, 2001In a nutshell: With only a PC arcade-style racing game behind them, Death Rally, Remedy spent half a decade developing Max Payne: An ambitious shooter set in NYC that told a contemporary noir story through comic book panels, cutscenes, and action. It stood out in 2001 for its photo-realistic graphics, cinematic presentation, and slow-mo mechanic. Spotlighting the player’s actionsI often find myself slowly panning the camera like a E3 demo guide when I play a Call of Duty game -- going against the game’s player direction in order to give myself a more cinematic experience. But, when I play Max Payne I feel like the ideal performance leads directly to the ideal visual feast. This is a rarity in videogames, but I’m not sure why it should be. Game developers must always perform a balancing act in giving players space to perform while also giving them rewards for their performance. The key to Max Payne’s success is its ability to highlight player action in a flashy way without taking away their influence or ruining the flow of action. Max Payne was revolutionary in combining these two aspects into a seamless experience. Where other games might put you in a fight and then present a cinematic of the events following it, Max Payne’s visual flair in battles came directly from the player’s actions -- letting a well-aimed bullet and bold dodge trigger brief cinematic moments.Metal Gear Solid made me feel like I was watching an awesome action flick, but it wasn’t until I played Max Payne that I felt I was in one. By framing the player’s actions with panning camera angles, dramatic zooms, and mesmerizing slow motion, Max Payne put the spotlight on the player’s actions in a way never attempted before.Developers shouldn’t be inspired by the mechanic of player activated slow-motion. Instead, they should focus on the effect framing a player's actions can have on combat. God of War and Uncharted achieve the same impact by presenting wide cinematic angles during platforming segments. Ninja Gaiden 2 applied this by highlighting deathblows in spectacular fashion, while Deus Ex: Human Revolution added spectacular visual animations to certain abilities when successfully performed. Even Resonance of Fate, a Japanese RPG of all things, managed to make a rote battle into a John Woo fever dream where characters endlessly jumped and fired guns when given the order. In years since Max Payne's debut, God of War, Fallout 3, and other games have done this in their own way to great effect. It’s easy to look at bullet time as a gimmick or a novel feature. In truth, it changes everything: the tone, the pace, and the spectacle of combat. There is nothing else like it. Even though others games replicated this feature, as in the F.E.A.R. series and Stranglehold, it never felt quite as special as it did in Max Payne. Versatile arsenalA good selection of weapons in a game is defined by its strengths as much as it is defined by its shortcomings. On the surface, Max Payne has the most generic set of weapons a videogame could possibly offer. As it should -- after all, the story is based in New York City, circa 2001. While sci-fi and arena shooters may have more imaginative weapons, few games strike the near perfect balance of Max’s arsenal. Due to careful calibration on the developer’s part, each weapon has its ideal time and place. Even during the game’s final hours, I found myself reaching to weapons obtained hours earlier out of strategic necessity. Sure, the Striker may have terrible spread (in the first Max Payne, at least) -- and you can cheat the reload of every weapon by quickly swapping them in-and-out -- but otherwise the entire weapon selection is pretty much flawless. In one instance, you may assume a door in front of you leads to a narrow hallway, so you equip dual Ingram uzis to deal maximum damage in a short amount of time. Turns out it’s a wide open courtyard with enemies above and below. Oops! So you snipe an enemy above, pull out the M4 Carbine on enemies below, and dive into an incoming group of enemies with dual Desert Eagles.As good as the first Max Payne’s weapons were, the sequel perfected it by giving projectiles a dedicated button and rebalancing other weapons (although the grenade launcher and baseball bat were sorely missed). While many games have a loadout similar to Max’s, it’s rare they strike the same balance. The difference it makes is drastic. Instead of leaning toward the vastly superior weapon, Max Payne’s intense combat scenarios and challenging difficulty demand the player to know what’s right for a specific enemy type and setting. Every battle is a victory well earned in Max Payne, even when it leaves poor Max hobbling on one leg toward the next ambush. Emotional complexityWhen David Cage and Jenova Chen speak of “emotional complexity”, I roll my eyes. After all, who is to say a father grieving for his kidnapped son is more emotionally complex than Kratos’ endless rage at the gods? From a distance, every emotion is equal in its potential for impact. It all depends on delivery and the player’s value judgement.However, I don’t entirely dismiss the idea of “emotional complexity.” It’s just that to me it means something much different. It’s not about the value judgement of a specific emotion but the layering of contrasting emotions: The way a Smiths song can sound so dour, while Morrissey’s sardonic lyrics can make me smile. The way George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead can make a zombie a source of fear seconds after being a source of laughter. Max Payne is also full of emotionally complexity. In play, the game can be harrowing depending on player health and ammo. In storytelling, the game can be freighting or laugh-out-loud funny depending on what it’s presenting at the time. In one instance you are in a nightmare having a dead baby shoved into your face, while another stage contains a parody of BBC’s Upstairs Downstairs. Having contrasting emotional elements isn’t a key to success, as Fez and Sword & Sworcery recently proved. Both games have dialog and elements that break the game’s fiction for a cheap, self-knowing laugh. It all comes down to delivery. While Max Payne 2 may take itself a bit more seriously, both games succeed in skillfully telling a story while giving the player enough opportunities to laugh, tense up, and occasionally shit themselves. True emotional complexity -- that is contrasting emotions piling into each other; not sappy music playing over pastoral landscapes -- makes for games with more depth. Whether it’s melancholy music playing over an upbeat adventure or comedic dialog overlapping a harrowing scenario, layered emotional tones can create unique, memorable moments in games. Start with a bangNeither Max Payne has a good story. Sure, they have great atmosphere, personality, and characters, but they hardly make up a tale we haven't heard before. What these games do have, however, is an immediate and clear goal given to the player by a time-tested story method: starting in media res.For you illiterate swine, in media res is a Latin term which means “into the middle of things." It’s when a story begins without introducing the setting, characters, and/or scenario. The audience enters into the story at a mid-point. The result is two-fold: positive and negative. On one hand, it creates an indifference in the viewer by distancing them from the characters’ reality. On the other hand, it creates a goal for the viewer: “I must figure out how things got to this point!”Thankfully, Max Payne is such a great narrator that we feel connected to him despite not understanding his situation. Max’s goal and our goal both intersect and conflict: We want him to get his revenge but we also want to know how he got his revenge. It’s an odd thing.I can’t tell you how many games I’ve played that start me from square one. Whether I’m a soldier in a training course or an orphan boy in a mystical village learning ancient mythology, I’ve been through the ringer so many times in games that I now find starting a new one intimidating due to the inevitably dull opening act. Max Payne’s approach is refreshing. I don’t need to have everything spelled out for me. If a developer feels that they must slowly initiate the player to the game world's history, please have the restraint to hold back until an hour or so into the action. Exposition is a cheap tactic in film, but in games it can be devastating to immersion and flow. Not every game needs to follow suit, but if games considered reining in the exposition early on we could tell familiar stories in new ways. Which is what storytelling should be about! Intelligently varied enemy encountersIndividuality is overrated. Location is everything. Just look around your day job or school. Are the most successful workers/students so stunning or are they just the product of fortunate events that lined before them?Sure, Max Payne may not have the enemy variety of an id Software game, but it makes up for it through economical placement. The game consistently changes things up when it comes to enemy positioning and strategy. Sometimes you’ll open a door and a thug will be standing in front of you with a shotgun pointed toward your face, so you point one right back at him. Another time you may have thugs running away from you for cover -- when do you ever seen that in games? Thugs come in through windows, elevator shafts, and occasionally grapple down from above. You are constantly on your toes. A far cry from Call of Duty, where enemies shuffle out of the same door and line up behind the same wall.It’s hard to give enemy variety to a game grounded in reality. Uncharted and Call of Duty throw heavily shielded enemies for challenge, but they are a nuisance that ruins the flow of combat. Max Payne shows that being creative with simple enemies and increasing their numbers can be much more engaging than one super-powered enemy with a shotgun -- though even Max Payne makes this mistake with a couple lackluster boss encounters. Thankfully these are the exception rather than the rule. I’ll be completely honest: I was worried I would have to force this entry or completely abandon it all together. As much as I loved Max Payne in 2001, I wasn’t sure it would hold up. I was pleasantly surprised than to rediscover how fantastic it is in nearly every aspect. The sequel made some major improvements in combat, but I still prefer the tone and quirks of the first. It’s hard to pick between the two but thankfully no one is forcing us to.I find Rockstar’s changes to the series very disconcerting as a fan, but I’d rather they make it their own than force themselves to fit into the mold Remedy made. The offbeat humor and tongue-in-cheek story of Max Payne definitely isn’t something most developers would attempt, which is a big factor of why it’s still a refreshing play. One thing I trust Rockstar will get right is the series' penchant for turning combat into a spectacle worthy of a Hollywood action film. So many developers today fail to realize that having action surrounding the player isn't the same as them contributing to it. There are only so many times you can watch a scripted sequence of a helicopter crashing and feel impressed. As the middling Modern Warfare 3 proved, having more helicopters falling and more explosions isn't the answer. The answer, upon revisiting Max Payne, is painfully obvious: Let the player tell the story through their actions and make the presentation so smooth that it feels as if the camera, animation, and enemy reactions were choreographed all along.
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[Getting It Right is a monthly series in which I take a look at the elements that make up a classic game. What were the key ingredients that set it apart and make it hold up to this day? Read on to find out.] It’s not e...

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Max Payne ruminates in Max Payne 3 launch trailer


May 10
// Conrad Zimmerman
Max Payne 3 releases next week, so it's only fitting that Rockstar would deliver a cinematic treat to remind everyone of this fact. Behold this trailer, in which a brooding Max Payne (as if there were any other kind) reflects on the twists and turns his life has taken and why he's not like anyone else. Damn straight, he isn't.
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Rockstar recently unveiled some cool new features for its Social Club, the most notable being the addition of cross-platform "crews" for the purpose of challenging other players in online feuds. We'll see crews play a big pa...

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Rockstar's Social Club gets more Social


May 07
// Liam Fisher
Rockstar launched their Social Club service alongside Grand Theft Auto IV a few years back and, if you're really into GTA or Red Dead Redemption's multiplayer odds are you've made good use of the platform. Between the mo...
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Part one of Max Payne 3 comic out now, read it for free


May 05
// Brett Zeidler
As was previously promised just a few weeks ago, Rockstar and Marvel have released the first part of the Max Payne 3 comic. Written by Dan Houser and Sam Lake, "After The Fall" explains a bit of Max's childhood and some event...
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The DTOID Show: Horse Ops II, Dawnguard, & a $99 Xbox 360


May 02
// Max Scoville
Hey guys! Here's another helping of Destructoid Show! If you don't eat it all, you won't get any dessert. (I'm kidding, that was a joke, please do not eat our internet news program, thanks.) Today, a bunch of big other shoes ...
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Rockstar reveals over seven map packs for Max Payne 3


May 01
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Rockstar has revealed their downloadable content plans for Max Payne 3, and at least seven map packs are in the works. The first one will be out in June, four additional ones are set for Summer, and two more for the Fall. Roc...
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The DTOID Show: Crysis 3, Free2Play MW3, & CoDBlops 2?


Apr 25
// Max Scoville
Tara's back! Finally! Hooray! Anyway, here's today's Destructoid show. Hamza went and checked out Crysis 3, Max Payne 3 requires SO MUCH of the gigabytes, as well as some fancy PC specs, and Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is...
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Max Payne 3 to ship on two Xbox 360 discs


Apr 25
// Jim Sterling
Max Payne 3's significant PC specs ought to have been a clue that Rockstar's upcoming game will be quite a demanding one, so it should come as no surprise that it'll ship on two discs for Xbox 360. Rockstar confirme...
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Max Payne 3 can scale up to monster PCs


Apr 23
// Brett Zeidler
Rockstar has never been known for their PC ports in the past. To this day, I still can't get GTA IV to play nice with my machine. They opted out of a port for Red Dead Redemption, and I never got around to L.A. Noire on PC, s...

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