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Max Payne

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DTOID Extra: Hands on with Max Payne 3's multiplayer


Mar 29
// Tara Long
Last week, our producer Zac and I were lucky enough to get a full two hours of hands-on time with Max Payne 3's multiplayer, which you may have seen in the trailer that Rockstar released yesterday. We were both incredibly impressed with what we saw, especially the Gang Wars mode. Watch the video to see more of the three different multiplayer modes and what we thought of them!

Preview: Fun with guns in Max Payne 3 single/multiplayer

Mar 29 // Ryan Perez
Max Payne 3 (PC [previewed], Xbox 360 [previewed], PlayStation 3) Developer: Rockstar Studios Publisher: Rockstar Games Release: May 29th Our old friend with nothing to lose Max Payne made its original debut on the PC, which was also where I was first exposed to the series, personally. Since then, I have continued the tradition, playing its sequel, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, on the same platform the first day it launched. After having seen the series' third installment in action on NVIDIA's new 680 hardware, I can't see this PC trend breaking anytime soon for me. Rockstar stressed that Max Payne 3 was not a PC port. The game has been developed from the ground up with this platform in mind, even incorporating several DX11 features -- which is still oddly uncommon in a lot of games, for some silly reason. So any of you PC elitists who yearn for the days of old when console games were the afterthought, rest assured that MP3 will have plenty more than what the 360 and PS3 versions can offer. As for the actual single-player experience, all I can say is, "boing." The original Max Payne set so many standards with regards to action shooters, and MP3 certainly doesn't skimp on the quality that its predecessors were known for. The action is consistently fast and frantic, with slight interventions of dialogue and exposition. The stage I witnessed had Max and his buddy Passos blazing their way through a large gang-controlled stadium. Tight concession areas saw Max doing his signature slow-mo dive into small groups of enemies, littering the area (and his foes) with bullets. The level even provided a nice sniping diversion, where Max escorted his pal from afar, taking out any enemies in Passos' way. At one point, Passos backed away from an ascending stairway with his hands raised, where a gang member walked down with his gun pointed. As the enemy barked orders, Max lined up the perfect killshot; the bullet, presented in glorious slow-motion (à la the original Max Payne) flew cleanly through the gangster's head. Afterward, Passos could be seen slumping over, exasperated, as if to say, "I'm getting too old for this shit." Even the non-gamers at the event chuckled. It's great moments like these that have made the Max Payne series one of my all-time favorites. Presentation has always been a main focus in Rockstar's titles, and MP3 is no different. The series' familiar graphic novel-style narrative is back, but rather than still panels and voiceovers, cutscenes are edited in real-time into a sort of motion comic, much like you see in a lot of comic-inspired films. The result looked like a great way of keeping things moving. Even important expository information is presented at the bottom of the frame in the game's main typeface. For instance, if a character says something along the lines of, "First, we need to hurry and defuse the bomb," then the words "defuse the bomb" pop up on screen. It's a pretty nice way for the game to give the player their objective while retaining the pace. Max Payne 3 uses Rockstar's familiar RAGE Engine, and though one would expect that it'd be blatantly showing its age at this point, that's not really the case with MP3. Character models look better than they ever have, and some nice effects are produced during heated firefights; my personal favorite was the Matrix-style blurry tracers from bullets after Bullet Time had been activated. PC users can even expect features like Tessellation; I'll admit, I was a bit surprised to hear that the RAGE Engine was still capable of such feats. Like many of Rockstar's other games, MP3 also utilizes Natural Motion's Euphoria Engine. For those who don't know, Euphoria is a character behavior program that accurately calculates the reactions and animations that NPCs have during certain situations. Red Dead Redemption fans will recognize Euphoria from whenever Marston stumbled drunkenly out of a tavern, or by roping bandits and dragging them along while on horseback. In Max Payne 3, enemies react accordingly to gunshots to specific areas. They'll limp around when shot in the foot, or stand dead-armed after taking a round to the shoulder. To me, Euphoria's procedural programming has always felt more fluent and lifelike than predetermined animations or ragdoll physics. I only need to point to games like Max Payne 3 for proof. Overall, MP3's PC rendition looks damned sweet. Rarely has Rockstar ever disappointed us with their single-player experiences. After having seen Max Payne 3 in action, I don't think "disappointment" will be a term any of us will hear when the game launches in two months. I'm leaving to pre-order my copy for PC the moment I'm done with this preview, no bullshit. Brazilian brawls with buddies Even Rockstar agreed with me when I said this: It's almost as if it would make more sense for multiplayer in games like GTA IV and Red Dead Redemption to suck. Both games have such insanely well-made solo experiences, that multiplayer should be some sort of shitty afterthought. Anyone who has played either of the two games online can tell you that that's certainly untrue. Rockstar has developed the habit of tailoring multiplayer almost directly to the single-player. By this, I mean that whatever themes are accentuated in the core solo experience are brought over to multiplayer in the form of unique modes or features. GTA IV is about gangsters and the mafia, so it's multiplayer has a mode where a team of "Crooks" must get their boss to safety, while a team of "Cops" tries to take him down. Red Dead Redemption is influenced heavily by spaghetti westerns, so Rockstar thought, "Fuck it, let's have a Mexican standoff at the start of each multiplayer deathmatch." They followed this same philosophy in Max Payne 3. Sure, the game does have the obligatory free-for-all and team deathmatch modes ... some of us just want to shoot things, after all, right? I even played through a mode called Payne Killer, similar to King of the Hill, where two players take on the rolls of Max and his buddy Passos, giving up those roles once they are killed. The player with the most time alive as either character wins the match. The one mode that Rockstar was proudest to show off was called Gang Wars. Basically, it consists five consecutive rounds, each a different mode than the others, which all change according to the outcome of subsequent rounds. For instance, if one round requires a team to retrieve a particular package (in this case, a bomb), and they win that round, then the following match will see that same team delivering that bomb to a target location. This particular touch makes Gang Wars seem very dynamic, and provides a bit of a narrative aspect to the multiplayer experience. This mode, along with the ability to form personal gangs and have rivals with other groups, will certainly provided a worthwhile experience in its own right. Max Payne 3's multiplayer also features some considerable depth and customization. Players will have the ability to create loadouts, all with their own guns, items, and skills that are unlocked by acquiring cash and XP. The difference between other games with this feature, though, is that your character becomes slower with every new gun or item you equip him with. Believe me, it makes a difference, because I thought I'd go into each match packing heat like Rambo. Instead, I ran around like a fat asshole with knee issues. Now, I imagine a lot of people out there are particularly curious about how Bullet Time works. I myself imagined multiplayer consisting of a constant barrage of slowed time, no matter where you are on the map. Fortunately, Bullet Time is actually based on line of sight. If I can see you, then activate my BT, you slow down. And if you can see anyone else while you're slowed, they too are affected. This not only rids us the annoyance of being slowed every five seconds, but actually creates an interesting dynamic to the multiplayer's strategy. Anyone caught out in the open during Bullet Time is pretty screwed, but, if players are near a corner or doorway, all they have to do is simply break the enemy's view of them. Then, after waiting a few seconds, turn BT back on them. So, simply put, Bullet Time in multiplayer is freakin' awesome. In fact, one of my most cherished memories will always be watching a Rockstar employee dive at me, time slowed to a crawl, only for me to club him in the face with the butt of my gun and kill him ... before he hit the ground. Bullet Time is but one of the many extra abilities that you can take into combat. These abilities are known as "Bursts," and range from granting you and your teammates health boosts to forcing members of the opposing team to see each other as enemies. Can you imagine how pissed certain people are going to be, once they're gunned down by a teammate during a pivotal moment of the round? I certainly can. One particular multiplayer feature that I liked was the ability to create a "vendetta." If a member of the enemy team kills you twice, without you killing them once, you can basically flip them the bird by forming a vendetta, which creates a large, distinguishable marker above their head, and also yields more cash for killing them. Unfortunately, I didn't win a single goddamned vendetta, but I can imagine the enemy players got some joy out of my failure -- and the bonus dough I granted them. I do love brightening up people's already awesome days. I have to give credit where it's due: Max Payne 3 certainly does not feature your run-of-the-mill multiplayer. Its modes are fun and varied, it features more depth and variety than most people will probably anticipate (you can even completely customize your in-game model, hipster glasses included), and its gunplay is fast, frantic, and incredibly fun. I can already tell I'm going to enjoy multiplayer in MP3 just as much as I did in GTA IV and RDR.
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I'm going to slip on my flamboyant fanboy hat for a second here and say that I adore the Max Payne series. Ever since the third installment was announced about 63 f*ckin' years ago, every morning has felt like a lie to me; th...

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Rockstar offers first look at Max Payne 3's multiplayer


Mar 28
// Brett Zeidler
Rockstar has finally unleashed a trailer that shows off the multiplayer of Max Payne 3 for the first time. And yes, Max Payne 3 is going to have multiplayer. It was inevitable. But if it's anything like Red Dead Redempt...
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The DTOID Show: Orbis, SimCity 5, and Max Payne 3!


Mar 28
// Tara Long
Evening, my lovelies. We've got a great show for you today - one full of flowers, pony rides, butterscotch candies, and all the video game news you could ever want!* On today's show, Max dove into some rumors about the next ...
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New Max Payne 3 video puts the submachine guns on display


Mar 23
// Brett Zeidler
Like guns? Good, because Max Payne 3 has a ton of them. But you already knew that. Now, what sort of guns you ask? Well, good thing you asked because Rockstar has you covered. Today, they released a new trailer that shows of...

Review: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680

Mar 22 // Ryan Perez
[embed]224337:43139[/embed] NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680Manufacturer: NVIDIARelease: March 22, 2012MSRP: $499 Important GeForce GTX 680 specs: CUDA Cores: 1,536 (Three times more than the 580) Base Clock: 1006 MHz Boost Clock: 1058 MHz Memory Clock: 6008 MHz Interface: 256-bit Total Memory: 2048MB GDDR5 Total Memory Bandwidth: 192.26 GB/s Texture Filtering Rate (Bilinear): 128.8 Giga Texels/sec Connectors: 2 x Dual-Link DVI, 1 x HDMI, 1 x DisplayPort Recommended Power Supply: 550 Watts Thermal Design Power: 195 Watts (244 Watts for 580) Power Connectors: 2 x 6-pin (One 6-pin and one 8-pin for 580)  My general PC specs: Windows 7 x64 (cards are already compatible with Windows 8) Intel i7 2.80 GHz 8GB DDR3 SDRAM I'm just going to get straight to what most of you want to know: How it handles games. The reason I posted my rig's not-so-uber specs above is actually a way of pointing out that my 680 has been taking a lot of the stress with all of the graphically heavy games I've thrown at it. It's all for the card. Believe me, I would have gladly neglect mentioning my specs, as mentioning your lackluster PC to techies is like showing your four-incher to a porn star. The first game I tested -- and the most obvious -- was Battlefield 3. An important note about its Frostbite 2 engine is that it's very efficiently built to run on an adequately powered rig. My old 560 Ti (always overclocked) could handle ultra settings at around 40 to 50 FPS, minus VSync or anti-aliasing. So it's obvious that a 680 would make short work of this game's demands. However, even on powerful rigs, framerate drops are common during heated battles with an abundance of particle effects (smoke and explosions) and game models crowding the screen. To test this out the best I could, I played through several "Conquest Large" matches on BF3's biggest maps available, all on completely maxed-out settings. Even when a team had only one point captured, and the player focus was centered on that entire area, I didn't witness a single drop in smoothness. I mean I literally kept my eyes on the framrate as the sh*t was hitting the fan, and noticed no fluctuation at all. I then tested the 680 on an engine that isn't very efficiently built. The Witcher 2's RED Engine has turned quite a few heads due to its looks, though it's no secret that maxed-out settings require an overall top-end PC. More specifically, the "Uber Sampling" feature is typically what kills the game's performance, as it renders each scene several times over to provide a smoother image quality. Most people turn this feature off, as the slight visual improvement doesn't justify the hardware demands. On my 560 Ti, you could swear I was playing some game I received from ten years into the future; a whopping 15 FPS was the best I got out of it. With the 680, though, it ran at a very stable 40 to 50 FPS, with almost no drops below that 40 (even during combat). Mainly due to the RED Engine's cumbersome features, The Witcher 2 was one of the most technically demanding games I could test on it. A close equal was Crysis 2 with its DX11 upgrades, which ran surprisingly better than Witcher. Out of all the games I tested on the 680 (others include Skyrim, Rage and Just Cause 2), the most rewarding was undoubtedly Crysis 2. The Frostbite 2 engine looks beautiful because of it versatility, but the CryEngine 3 looks incredible because of its cutting-edge features, and the 680 handles them all brilliantly. Displacement maps, high-quality HDR, real-time reflections, and particle motion blur all look absolutely fantastic. My 560 Ti could barely handle Crysis 2 on max settings at around 30 FPS. My 680 laughs at it, with a strong 60 FPS, only dropping to near 50 during moments of extreme action (lots of explosions and particle effects). After all of this, I can't say I'm surprised that the 680 performed the way it did. Many people may remember the Unreal Engine 3 Samaritan Demo from last year's GDC. Well, that demo, mind-bogglingly beautiful as it was, originally required three GTX 580s and a power supply the size of a small child. When I was first presented the 680 at NVIDIA's Editor's Day event during GDC 2012, the same tech demo was shown ... running on a single 680 and nothing else. NVIDIA wants this card to really mean something to the gaming community, not only by being ultra powerful and providing us with longevity, but also via the cutting-edge features that are idiosyncratic to NVIDIA cards alone. A lot of you might have been wondering how I got such close framerate fluctuation with VSync presumably on (it was). Without getting too technical, a big issue people have with VSync is that it forces the framerate to drop by positive integers, based on your monitor's refresh rate (i.e. a 60Hz monitor dropping by 60FPS, 30, 20, 15, etc.) all for the sake of preventing "screen tearing." We gamers can see the obvious problem with this, as the drastic drop in framerate results in "jittering." To combat this, NVIDIA has developed what's known as "Adaptive VSync," which automatically turns off global VSync whenever the framerate needs to fall to anything below your monitor's max refresh rate. No more jitter and no more screen tearing. As another means of providing a smoother gaming experience, NIVIDA is aspiring to do away with MSAA (Multisample anti-aliasing) by providing their own FXAA, which can be activated within the card alone and be applied to any game. They're also providing the upcoming TXAA, a new film-style AA that is at least 4X more effective than MSAA. The result is a welcome addition, as we've been long overdue for an upgrade in this area. Another great feature that we're all becoming acquainted with is PhysX, NVIDIA's proprietary physics engine. PhysX has been steadily appearing in a lot of high-quality titles, providing great rigid and soft body dynamics, as well as fluid and cloth simulations. At NVIDIA's Editor's Day, Gearbox Software CEO Randy Pitchford showed off Borderlands 2 and how it implemented PhysX. Fluids pooled and flowed in complete real-time, and even reacted to explosions -- splashing about into numerous smaller puddles. Cloth materials reacted accordingly to foreign objects, and could even be torn and shredded when fired at. It was quite incredible how these effects could be handled with such relative ease in real-time, when just five years ago it took me several hours to render them for 3D animations on a high-end PC. The last upgrade I'm going to mention is, in a lot of ways, more of a downgrade, but sold me on the card merely due to my living situation. As stated before, the 680 is a very efficient card, and that applies more than anything to its power consumption. The 680 is so streamlined that it actually draws less power than its predecessor, the 580 (see the specs above). What does this mean for me? Well, as a city that desperately tries to retain some sort of bullsh*t identity, San Francisco is adamant about holding on to their Victorian architecture of the 1920s. This includes the f*cked up power distribution systems that came with them. With that said, I can only have about two appliances on at any one time, before I cause a power surge and my place goes completely dark. When it comes to PC gaming, this presents a problem. I actually used to SLI two 560s, but had to get rid of one if I wanted to game with my heater on -- enduring cold San Francisco nights is definitely not worth an extra 560 Ti. So you can imagine that a card like the 680 fairs well for someone with my situation, if not also for people who dig the environment or like saving money on bills. Not only does it consume less power than the best of last generation, but its TDP is only 25 more than my freakin' 560 Ti. After seeing the Samaritan demo and what it took to run it last year, I don't know how they accomplished what they have with the 680. It's like someone sold their ass to the Devil to make this thing. To really explain every notable change and addition with the GeForce GTX 680 would take so much more time. This new line of graphics cards is leaps and bounds beyond the 500 series. This review alone is obviously not going to convince you to throw down $499 on a new card, but I do hope it drives you to do a little more digging into the fine details of the 680 ... especially if you plan on upgrading. PC gaming is slowly but surely making a comeback, and the GeForce 680 is the card to welcome it with open arms. Several games are in development right now with this very card in mind (others shown at the NVIDIA event were Max Payne 3 and The Secret World). If you yearn for the time when you filled your PC with the best of the best tech in preparation for the hottest-looking games to come, then the time is certain now, and the tech is certainly this card. Oh, and before I go, all of you hardcore NVIDIA fans are probably going to want to watch this: [embed]224337:43138[/embed]
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For some of us, upgrading our PCs with the best hardware and enjoying the most jaw-dropping games in all their glory is a not-so-distant memory. Even though I've consistently owned beefy rigs my whole life, I've spent less an...

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Max Payne 3 behind the scenes video shows impressive tech


Mar 16
// Brett Zeidler
I always love this kind of stuff. There's a certain "man behind the curtain" thing associated with videogames or any type of entertainment medium. But it's really cool to hear how games were put together and have some things...
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Four Max Payne 3 screenshots to get you all moody


Mar 15
// Jim Sterling
Here are four Max Payne 3 screenshots. There are guns in them, and nobody is happy. Max is just angry, all of the time. Angry and bald. Bald and angry.  Still, the shots look pretty enough, and ought to keep your excitement bubbling for what is likely to be one of this year's biggest hits. So why not gawp at them? Remember not to smile.
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[Update: Contest closed! Winner is @feralgoose. Thanks for entering!] GameStop is offering Max Payne fans a chance to get their names immortalized on a tombstone in the GameStop exclusive pre-order bonus map, Cemetery, in Max...

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The DTOID Show: Assassin's Creed III? GO AMURICA!


Mar 03
// Tara Long
Happy Friday, gamurzzzzzz. That's what you guys like to be called, right? Either way, we've got a very special show for you today. Or rather, we had one. It's over now, but you can still enjoy it in all its HD glory, thanks ...

Preview: How Max Payne 3 made me a believer again

Mar 01 // Casey Baker
Max Payne 3 (PC, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 [previewed]) Developer: Rockstar Studios Publisher: Rockstar Games Release: May 15, 2012 (360, PS3) / May 29, 2012 (PC) Max and his acquaintance Raul Passos enter a soccer stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, planning to pay off a ransom to a group that has kidnapped the trophy wife of real estate mogul Rodrigo Branco. Unfortunately for Max, things get muddled when an unknown third party takes Fabiana Branco and leaves Max with a sniper bullet in his shoulder. I took over here, and as I pushed an injured and slightly hallucinating Max along the dim hallways of the stadium, it became apparent that most of the Max Payne series' standout qualities have been retained. While the story is no longer told in static comic panels, it is still conveyed with great stylistic flair, including direct narration and witty one-liners from Max. Cut-scenes bleed into gameplay, and the storytelling keeps a graphic novel perspective. Words stand out boldly on-screen as they are narrated. The story moves through a series of flashbacks that take place in New York, and the cut-scenes often transition seamlessly from present-day Sao Paulo to New York. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to check out any New York levels, but I did get a peek at how the storyline would integrate the present and the past. As I reached my first large combat scenario in an abandoned training room, Rockstar representatives began to tell me how to effectively use the newest iteration of bullet-time, and it took a few tries deflating a lone soccer ball before I really got the hang of it. You can go into bullet-time at any moment by clicking down on the right stick; as a result, time slows down and frenetic combat situations become much more manageable. One thing that was immediately noticeable was that the game really encourages bullet-time, as aiming becomes a much more refined affair in this mode. I noticed that when I tried to play the game like it was Red Dead Redemption, my gun had a much weightier feel to it, and I would often swing wide of my target and miss it entirely, spraying a random set of lockers with my bullets instead. This strategic use of bullet-time really makes Max Payne 3 shine. A fair bit of criticism has been aimed at earlier Rockstar efforts because of their cover-based shooting mechanics, where it felt like you basically used the exact same strategy in every combat scenario. You'd find a good place to duck down, and then pop up and try to hit dudes who were little tiny heads popping around cover. Max Payne 3 truly flips this conceit on its head: I found cover rather ineffective, as enemies would often either rush me or flank me, making it difficult to return fire as my reticule swung wildly. Instead, the real rush of combat in this game comes from actually running headlong into a room full of bad guys, switching on bullet-time, and then using your weaponry and every environmental object at your disposal to take care of them all. It's like a much more evolved version of John Woo's Stranglehold. Bullet-time, and especially the shootdodge mechanic that you can initiate by running in any direction and pressing the right bumper, can be a glory to behold. With the Euphoria engine at play, Max actually moves quite realistically. He actually twists around in the air (or while prone on the ground) as he aims in every direction. My favorite move would be to run into a room of bad guys, initiate the shootdodge mechanic with a flying leap, and then flip around, shooting everyone in the room as I flew backwards onto the ground. Sometimes Max would even shoot under one of his legs in one smooth natural motion, which was both hilarious and awesome at the same time. As you use bullet-time, you can press the A button (on the Xbox 360 controller) to slow time down to a near-standstill, and whenever you kill the last enemy in the room, you're treated to a final kill-cam that lets you watch as the blood splatters realistically out of a dude's head while you're still pumping him with bullets. This seriously never gets old, and I found myself abusing the mechanic as much as possible. I continued through the stadium, shooting bad guys with dramatic flair. As I reached the actual stadium stairs, I decided to get really clever and leaped into the air above a bunch of guys hiding out in the bleachers below me. I managed to take down four of them before hitting the ground with a brutal thud that caused everyone in the room to laugh and reminded me that physics were still at play. A little later on, I climbed up into a tower and initiated an action sequence where I had to snipe from above, protecting Passos from enemies flanking him on all sides. The sniping was spot-on as well, as I had to really lead my shots and account for the direction and movement of my enemies. Here too, bullet-time was necessary to get in good shots and do it in enough time to save my acquaintance. The stadium level ended with Payne and Passos just missing Fabiana as she's taken away, and at this point I handed the controller off to Tara Long to get a feel of the game. Tara soon demonstrated another really awesome aspect of Max Payne 3: the automatic melee combat system. Just about every time you get near an enemy, Max knocks them out, and you have a chance to execute them with a bullet to the head at point-blank range while engaged in bullet-time. Tara proved to be pretty merciless, employing the tactic of running up to enemies and smacking them down before a shotgun blast in the face or the nuts. Though we both played in complete free-aim mode (and thus made it a bit more difficult for ourselves), you can always turn aim assist on if you're having trouble. Another aspect of the combat that came into play in the second level was using the environment to one's advantage. Max was running through the docks of the Tiete River on a rainy night, and throughout the level there are places where the environment can help turn the tide of combat to your advantage. One such point was a boat landing, where a truck sat just beyond the water's edge. The player had the option to shoot the obstruction blocking the truck's tire from rolling downhill, which sent it rolling into the river along with a few bad dudes. Also sprinkled around the level were the inevitable gas canisters, though using them was a strategic affair -- they took a while to explode, so timing was important. Both levels we played were great examples of how the series is retaining its noir feel through visual flourishes. The stadium level saw Max hallucinating a bit as he struggled to get through the area with his wounded arm (which, by the way, he quipped, is his "second favorite drinking arm"), and the gritty arena was rife with dark corners and minimal but effective lighting. The docks level included impressive rain and storm effects, as the wet asphalt glistened and lit up with every lightning flash. After jumping back into the game to finish the docks segment, I came away from the whole experience incredibly pumped for what Max Payne 3 will have to offer. With a cohesive storyline that's told in a similar but more evolved fashion and tight combat mechanics that make you feel like the bad-ass that Max Payne always has been, I sincerely cannot wait until this game comes out in May. Though I didn't get to see the multiplayer in action at all, I was told it will be a very engaging experience and will even include bullet-time for those in your line of sight. Also included will be an exciting Gang Wars mode, where the objective will constantly shift based entirely on how each match is progressing. Knowing Rockstar, the multiplayer will add a great deal of replay value to an already stellar single-player experience. Any fears I had about where Rockstar was taking the series have been effectively put to rest, and I can't wait to glue myself to the television set to see how Max's story will progress.
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I didn't have the highest of hopes going into the preview for Max Payne 3. I love the series, and though I know the latest has been getting preened and primped by Rockstar to match the caliber of their games, initial impressi...

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The DTOID Show: ME3, Max Payne 3, Raccoons & Balloons


Feb 26
// Max Scoville
Hey gang! In case ya missed it, The Destructoid Show was LIVE on Friday afternoon. Here's a recording of it. We talked about how Killzone 3's multiplayer is going free-to-play, how BioWare wants UK residents to petition thei...
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The DTOID Show: Rhythm Heaven Fever party!


Feb 17
// Tara Long
Happy Friday, everyone! In addition to being my all-time favorite day of the week, today also happens to be Rhythm Heaven Fever dance party day, which is a holiday I just made up in order to justify playing Rhythm Heaven Feve...
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This Max Payne 3 trailer gives some more story details


Feb 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
It's kind of a Max Payne sort of day, isn't it? First we had the feature (with exclusive new screens) recapping what we know about the new Max Payne. Then we found out the mobile version of the first Max Payne was coming ver...
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Original Max Payne coming to mobile devices very soon


Feb 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
How soon? In the "next couple months" soon. Originally revealed last September, the first Max Payne game will be hitting iOS and (presumably) Android devices soon much like the original re-release of Grand Theft Auto III. Bas...

Here's everything we know about Max Payne 3

Feb 16 // Liam Fisher
Max ends up in São Paulo, Brazil, at the behest of Raul Passos, for some security work. Obviously things take a turn for the worse (it’s noir, after all), but it’s unclear how everything will be structured. In a recent “Asked and Answered,” Rockstar stated: “[We] don’t want to give too much away about the game’s narrative structure, but the game is about Max coming to terms with his experience in São Paulo and the events that took him there.” Flashback sequences? Maybe. Max’s new look is pretty intriguing as well. He’s packed on a few pounds, shaved his head, and looks much worse for wear. That ought to make bullet time especially fun. Max Payne’s online modes, of which two have been detailed, look to shake things up a good deal as well. I mean, how cool is it that fans were given the opportunity to have their faces featured in the game?! The modes are pretty cool too, though. "Gang Wars" offers a more narrative driven, team-based experience which seems to be similar to the Operations mode in Killzone 3. Specific story points from the game contextualize each match with motion comics and narration while players shoot it out for dynamically updating objectives. Succeeding at one objective affects the next objective given with experience earned for each goal completed. Rockstar has dubbed this the flagship of their online experience, and I can definitely see why. The "Payne Killer" mode is an evolution of Max Payne 2’s "Dead Man Walking." Two players will take on the roles of Max and Raul Passos while everyone else is tasked with killing the two targets. Max and Raul may be outnumbered, but they’ll be given a few advantages to even out the playing field. Payne Killer looks to be a neat blend of "King of the Hill" and various assassination modes found in other shooters and is definitely something I'd be in to.  Mechanically, Max Payne has received a bit of a facelift. You’ll still be jumping into bullet time, but this time you’ll have a bit more control over the experience. You’ll retain full, 360 degree control of the targeting reticle while diving or rolling on the floor post-dive. They've taken some impressive steps in ensuring that Max's movements look and feel natural, while still providing you with the precision you need.  Bullet Time itself has become a more dynamic occurrence with unique animations triggering based on the weapon used, shot angle, and your position in relation to the target. It seems they've taken the series staple and fine-tuned it to a point of gory excellence.  [embed]221819:42708[/embed] The wait for May will definitely be a painful one, but if Hamza's demo time with the game is indicative of the final release it's going to be worth waiting for. Look for a brand new Max Payne 3 trailer to drop today at Noon too!
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Last month, Rockstar announced that they were pushing back the ever-so-slowly approaching launch of Max Payne 3 to give it a little bit more TLC. While the excitement is definitely mounting, I’m sure we can all agree th...

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Max Payne (and others) derezzed for 8-bit home computers


Feb 01
// Tony Ponce
What if, instead of Max Payne 3, the next chapter in the saga was a retro throwback for old-ass computers like the ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64? You watch the video above and, at first, it doesn't look all that bad. Then you ...
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The DTOID Show: Happy Action Theater & Mass Effect 3!


Jan 19
// Tara Long
Hey there, Destructoid! I'm sure you're all ravenous after the painfully long draught of videogame news yesterday (surely, we're the only videogame blog you read...right?), so Max and I rounded up some tasty tidbits to keep ...
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Rockstar is holding back Max Payne 3 until May


Jan 17
// Jordan Devore
It's been a long wait for Max Payne 3, so what's a couple more months? The game will be missing its March release date, and is now scheduled to arrive on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on May 15, followed by a PC launch on May 29...
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Max Payne needs some fashion advice


Jan 13
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Looking at these new Max Payne 3 screens has made me realize how badly Max Payne needs a stylist. Sure, he pulls it off with the grey suit, but then he goes and has some sort of midlife crisis causing him to shave his head and wear a tank top. A tank top, people! Don't even get me started on his horrible taste in ties. This has been a moment in Hamza Aziz's fashion ridicule corner. You're welcome.
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Get your face in Max Payne 3's multiplayer


Jan 12
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Rockstar is hosting a pretty awesome fan contest where you can get your face in the game. Just imagine it, thousands of people shooting your face full of bullets on a regular basis. Cool! Rockstar has already picked their fir...

Destructoid's most wanted Xbox 360 games of 2012

Jan 09 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) Developer: Rockstar VancouverPublisher: Rockstar GamesRelease: March 2012 Max Payne's life has been on a downward spiral every since the events of the original game. Max Payne 3 sees our hero trying to start anew as a body guard for a wealthy family far away from New York City. Like everything in Max's life though, things eventually spin out of control and sees Max waging a one-man war once again. I, like many Max Payne fans, was worried where Rockstar was taking the series initially but after getting a first-hand look I can say that this is the Max Payne you know and love. Rockstar is staying true to the fundamentals of the series, right down to the revamped bullet-time mechanics. Lollipop Chainsaw (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3) Developer: Grasshopper ManufacturePublisher: Warner Bros Interactive (US, EU) / Kadokawa Games (JP)Release: March 2012 Suda 51 and the folks at Grasshoper Manufacture are some of my favorite people in this industry. They constantly put out weird, off the wall titles that always appeals to my inner lunatic. So you can understand why I'm so excited for Lollipop Chainsaw. You play as Juliet Starling, a cheerleading zombie hunter who's taking on zombie rock and roll lords and their zombie army that have infested San Romero High School. Your main weapon is a chainsaw and your boyfriend is a decapitated head that's hanging around your waist throughout the game. And that's only scratching the surface of what we can expect from Lollipop Chainsaw. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC) Developer: Platinum GamesPublisher: KonamiRelease: TBA 2012 While I've always appreciated the Metal Gear Solid series, I've had a hard time delving into the stealth-action series. I love being bombarded by constant action and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance looks like it will deliver just what I need. A large part of why I'm even more excited for what Metal Gear Rising has transformed into is because of Platinum Games's background. They know how to make a great action game, but their stories have always been on the weak side. With Hideo Kojima on board with his fantastic (and ridiculous) storytelling expertise, Revengeance is basically a match made in heaven. Honorable mentions: The Darkness II, Tomb Raider, Halo 4, BioShock Infinite, Dishonored, Retro City Rampage, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City BioShock Infinite (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)Developer: Irrational GamesPublisher: 2K GamesRelease: TBA 2012 BioShock represented a turning point for me, personally. It was the game that convinced me of the urgency with which I needed to invest in an Xbox 360 back in 2007, the final huge nail in the coffin of my wallet. Today, the BioShock titles remain some of the finest examples of a game which places as much emphasis on why people are shooting each other as the shooting itself. It's a good time to have a socially-conscious game of this nature. With civil unrest breaking out in the wake of the financial crises and growing wealth inequality that threatens to squeeze a middle class right out of existence, BioShock Infinite's tale of ultra-nationalists being fought by a fractured rebellion which seems to have forgotten the reasons it was fighting in the first place could not be more apt. Toss all of it into a floating symbol of American exceptionalism and you certainly have my attention. Make my playable character a disgraced member of the Pinkerton Detective Agency? Sold. Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360)Developer: From SoftwarePublisher: CapcomRelease: TBA 2012 I genuinely love the Kinect system and have managed to maintain a high level of optimism for it, but the games designed typically suffer from a severe lack of complexity. Developers are still testing the boundaries, seeing what design implementations work with full-body motion controls and which do not. For my money, I have long maintained that the solution lies in combining the control options of Kinect with the traditional controller.  Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor attempts just that. With the interior control panel of your mech accessed by gestures and the actual piloting of the walker with a controller, it's the among the first serious attempts at Kinect integration that we'll have seen so far. With From Software at the helm, the title has a lot of potential which I hope will help to change the perception that Kinect games aren't for the hardcore. Borderlands 2  (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)Developer: Gearbox SoftwarePublisher: 2K GamesRelease: TBA 2012  In 2009, I played no game more than I played Borderlands. Nightly sessions took place in my household for months following release, with surges of play surrounding the arrival of DLC. It's the only first-person shooter that I have been able to get my fiancée to pick up and, even if it had been terrible, that fact alone would still warrant a day-one purchase of the sequel. Thankfully, Borderlands 2 is shaping up to be superior to the original in every way. We're getting new character classes with new skill trees, tons of new weapons and new environments fleshing out the world of Pandora. And last, but not least, it's a story penned by former Destructoid Features Editor "Reverend" Anthony Burch. We'll try not to hold that against it. Honorable Mentions: Retro City Rampage, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Darksiders II, Lollipop Chainsaw   Additional staff picks for the Xbox 360: Kyle MacGregor: Diabolical Pitch, Lollipop Chainsaw, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Jonathan Ross: Tomb Raider, Street Fighter x Tekken Andrew Kauz: Max Payne 3, Mass Effect 3, Borderlands 2 Jonathan Holmes: Retro City Rampage, Fez, Runner 2 Allistair Pinsof: Sine Mora, Max Payne 3 Max Scoville: Hitman: Absolution, Aliens: Colonial Marines, Retro City Rampage, Fez Maurice Tan: Alan Wake's American Nightmare, Mass Effect 3, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, Assassin's Creed IIISean Daisy: Dragon's Dogma, BioShock Infinite, Halo 4 Chad Concelmo: Fez, Darksiders 2, BioShock Infinite Josh Tolentino: XCOM: Enemy Unknown, Mass Effect 3, Hawken Tara Long: Borderlands 2, BioShock Infinite, The Darkness 2Samit Sarkar: Max Payne 3, Spec Ops: The Line, BioShock Infinite, Fez
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Welcome to 2012, everybody! This year is full of promising hot new titles, and all week long, the Destructoid staff will be sharing with you our most wanted games for 2012. Conrad Zimmerman and I are starting things off with ...

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First details on Max Payne 3's Gang Wars multiplayer mode


Dec 14
// Jordan Devore
We knew that Max Payne 3 would indulge in multiplayer, but weren't entirely sure how Rockstar would bring competitive play to fruition. Enter IGN with its exclusive look at Gang Wars. The team has attempted to infuse Gang War...
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The DTOID Show: MGS 5?! Killzone 4?! Max Payne 3?!


Nov 18
// Max Scoville
Hey! Yesterday afternoon we did another one of our wacky live Destructoid Shows today. I didn't do anything bad with a piñata (not on camera, anyway) but we did fire off our finest and most succulent tidbits of video g...
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Max Payne 3 gameplay trailer ... need we say more?


Nov 17
// Jim Sterling
I don't think more needs to be said for a headline, really. It's a gameplay trailer for Max Payne 3, and it looks pretty effing good! The video tells you how Rockstar is using animation to enhance the gameplay, and how it's made the targeting work in a fluid manner. I have to say, whatever they're doing, it seems to be working. Just check it out, and get yourselves excited!
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New Max Payne screenshots full of action-packed action


Nov 02
// Conrad Zimmerman
While everybody was busy pointing their gaze on the Grand Theft Auto V announcement trailer, Rockstar quietly dropped a few new screenshots on the Max Payne 3 website. Say what you will about the new look of Max, He scar...
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The DTOID Show: Bat-Saints, Skyward Jets & Max Payne 3


Oct 07
// Max Scoville
Brosephs and homeladies -- We have survived the week, and come before you with another episode of the hallowed Destructoid Show. Since today is a Friday, we had a contest. The prize this week was a copy of High Flyer Death D...

Max Payne 3 is everything I hoped for and more

Oct 06 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
[embed]212817:41110[/embed] Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360 [Previewed], PlayStation 3, PC)Developer: Rockstar VancouverPublisher: Rockstar GamesTo be released: March 2012 I'm first shown an early level, where I witness an older, more cynical, and distraught Max who is visibly haunted by the events of the first two Max Payne games. Otherwise, he looks like the Max you more or less remember (a head full of hair with a really bad taste in ties.) Several years have passed since the events of the last game and Max pretty much has nothing to live for. He's just waiting for that bullet to the brain to end it all while abusing alcohol and painkillers. Lucky for him, an old acquaintance from the police academy days, Raul Passos, offers him another chance: a job in the thriving field of executive security protection in Brazil. High-profile Brazilians are easy targets for kidnapping and being a bodyguard is a perfect job for an ex-cop like Max. Max doesn't have much time to think the proposal over, as Anthony DeMarco pays a visit to Max's apartment in New Jersey. Max had just killed Anthony's only son prior to meeting with Raul, and the prominent mobster has brought his whole crew with him to get revenge. The game then seamlessly switches from cutscene to gameplay as Max and Raul try to escape the apartment with their lives. Some gangsters are already in the corridor on Max's floor, but they don't stand much of a chance as Max's bullet-time kicks in. The Max Payne series started the whole bullet-time craze and it wouldn't be a Max Payne game without it. I genuinely felt a wave of nostalgia when I first saw Max do his signature slow-motion dive while shooting off his gun. Speaking of the slow-mo dive, I thought it was pretty cool when Rockstar demonstrated that Max can remain prone on the ground after a dive. In fact, you can roll Max onto his side or even on his belly. Aiming your weapons will be pretty fluid as you move your gun's reticule all around no matter what your stance is. Rockstar promises that there will be multiple aiming methods to choose from to please different play styles -- everything from complete free aim to some form of target locking. As Max rounds a corner, a cutscene begins in which we witness a mobster knock Max onto the ground and point a shotgun at our hero. Before he can pull the trigger, the mobster is gunned down by a crazy hobo who bursts out of his apartment. The Max Payne games have always had elements of the surreal, and this one won't be any different. The hobo starts talking crazy hobo speak as he goes off to take on more mobsters down the hallway. Max gives chase and peeks around the corner to witness the hobo on his knees and surrounded by three mobsters. The hobo continues on with his crazy talk and finishes his sermon by uttering the phrase "cleanse in fire!" and detonates the bomb that was strapped around his waist. From here, Rockstar guides Max into the hobo's apartment, where he finds a bottle of painkillers. Max Payne 3 doesn't use the regenerative health system that has become standard in games today, so you will need to find painkillers to fix yourself up. The bottom right of the screen shows a silhouette of Max that fills up with blood to show how much damage you've taken. You will also see a number within the silhouette to indicate how many bottles of painkillers you have. To the right of that is a meter that shows how much bullet-time you have and below that you will see how much ammo you have for your guns. Max can carry up to three weapons at a time, one slot reserved for a two-handed weapon (like a rifle) and the other two slots reserved for single-handed weapons. You can dual-wield single-handed weapons (for instance, a pistol and a submachine gun). Max also has contextual melee attacks, so if you're up close to an enemy and pull the trigger, Max will perform an automatic melee kill. This section of the demo ends with Max exchanging fire through the windows of a hallway with gangsters on a roof across the street. Here I see both the cover mechanics in play and get a small taste of the game's destructibility. First off, don't worry about the game turning into some sort of cover-focused shooter. While you can shoot using cover by poking your head out or blind-firing, the focus is still on the run-and-gun mentality you would expect from Max Payne. Plus, the destructibility will prevent you from any sort of cover abuse -- cover will get torn to shreds as more and more bullets are laid into it. Max finally makes his way to the roof and ends the first part of the demo. Rockstar then takes me into a later part of the game where Max is in Brazil. Max has obviously taken the job offer from Raul and the pair work together to protect the Brancos, a wealthy Brazilian family with strong political and social ties to the city of São Paulo. For the demo, we're taken deeper into the game where a now bald-headed Max is on the run from a right-wing military group hunting him and Raul's girlfriend, Giovanna, somewhere in São Paulo. The scene is first setup to the player in classic Max Payne noir fashion, but with a modern-day twist. As Max gives his monologue, we witness multiple camera angles displayed on the screen in the same way you would see it on an episode of 24. While watching this in-game cutscene, I couldn't help but have goosebumps as I heard James McCaffrey lend his voice once again to the iconic character. Not only has James returned as the voice, but Rockstar felt James would be the perfect body actor and he did full motion-capture work for Max. In fact, all the characters in Max Payne 3 feature full-motion body capture. Hundreds of hours were spent in order to bring life-like characters to the game. Sets were even built to scale in order to capture the in-game environments. So when you see Max and Giovanna in the next scene climb over some barricades into a bus depot in order to hide from the pursuing gang, you know that the motion-capture actors actually climbed over that obstacle in real life. Advancements to NaturalMotion's Euphoria and the RAGE engines have given us some of the most detailed and realistic characters in a Rockstar game to date. Max and Giovanna are catching their breath in a broken-down bus, but it doesn't take long for a few of the gang members to start searching the area. The pair can hide within the bus, but eventually the gang will flush them out as they patrol the area. Enemies aren't just brainless idiots and will use a variety of methods in order to take out Max. They can fire behind cover, use flanking tactics and so on. I really like the fact that you can't understand what the enemies are saying -- unless, of course, you speak Portuguese. As Max is a foreigner who doesn't speak Portuguese, there won't be any subtitles for the players when the language is spoken. So Max takes care of the situation the only way he knows how. Once there's only one guy left, the end of each of these encounters is marked by the camera switching to a slow-mo killcam perspective, which follows your bullets as they finish off the last guy. You have control over how fast or slow these killcams go, which is nice as I'm sure this will get old fast. Each of these encounters, based on what I've seen at least, seems to be a pretty self-contained struggle. Once you've taken out the varying number of enemies in each encounter, a cutscene takes place moving the story forward before the next section's firefight. If there's one thing I can see that will bother players, it will be the constant switches from cutscene to gameplay. Personally, I didn't mind the regular breaks; I want to see the story, since that's what is most important to me in a videogame. At the very least, the switch from cutscene to gameplay is pretty seamless and natural and won't pull you out of the immersion too much. There was even a moment where I thought I was still witnessing a cutscene only to realize it was actual gameplay happening on the screen. It also helps that there are no load times from the start to finish of the game. Watching Max and Giovanna work together in the cutscenes reminded me a lot of the relationship between Monkey and Trip from Enslaved: Odyssey to the West. Max would help Giovanna get through a fence or climb through a window in order to open up the pathway for Max. At the same time, Max would have to protect Giovanna in the gameplay sections. Don't worry, you won't be stuck doing any sort of babysitting duties. For the most part, Giovanna hangs back while you clear a room and there were just a few moments where Max had to come to her rescue. Finally, the demo comes to an end with Max and Giovanna stealing a bus. While Giovanna struggles to drive the bus away from the gangs, the player is left to focus on shooting at the enemies. After several minutes, Giovanna loses control of the bus and plows into a building. The two survive and make a run for it just before the screen turns to black, ending the demo.  The only real concern I have at this point is in regards to the multiplayer. Rockstar wasn't ready to talk specifics, but they did at least state that they feel that the multiplayer "will fit alongside" the single-player. As history has proved, multiplayer modes that have been added to a series known predominantly for its single-player have often failed. However, the multiplayer in Red Dead Redemption was pretty well-received so there's a chance we can see something good from Rockstar. Otherwise, I am so floored that Rockstar has been able to stay true to the fundamentals of what makes Max, Max. Rockstar even has the full blessings of Remedy, the original developers of the Max Payne series. Max Payne 3 is looking like one of the biggest games of 2012.
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This year is just ridiculous. There have been so many huge titles released in 2011 already and there are still many more on the way. I have a hard time trying to keep track of all them so you'll forgive me if I haven't really...

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Rockstar: We haven't abandoned PC


Oct 06
// Jim Sterling
Rockstar has promised that it's not forgotten about PC gamers, and that claims to the contrary are unfounded. The studio said this in the face of Red Dead Redemption being restricted to consoles and L.A. Noire taking months t...
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The DTOID Show: It's our 200th episode, let's celebrate!


Sep 14
// Tara Long
Happy Wednesday, Destructurds! Max and I are back with another edition of The Destructoid Show - our 200th, to be exact. Feel free to send us cards with money in them. On tonight's totally un-special birthday episode, I run ...

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