Trying to imagine what it must be like for the seemingly endless enemies that Max encounters brings the idea that they must be completely oblivious to the fact that in the next few seconds, no matter how hardened or gangster they are, they are only moments away from death. Max Payne is a death dealer, hardened by the gritty underworld of New York City’s corrupted and vile. As Max has continued to struggle with the tragic murder of his wife and newborn daughter, these wounds consistently prove to be wounds that will never heal. When Max has nothing to lose the gun in his hand transforms him into death incarnate. Now with Max Payne 3, we find him escaping the hell hole of New York only to come face to face with his demons once again, and a new damsel in distress.
Max Payne has taken a job in São Paulo, Brazil, which has him protecting the family of a wealthy real estate mogul Rodrigo Branco, as he tries to escape his past once and for all. His addiction to pain killers and alcohol, refuses to help him heal the gaping wound that has been left from losing his loved ones, and now in the streets of Brazil he is in for the fight of his life as he tries to uncover the truth and rescue Fabiana Branco, the wife of the man he is now paid to protect. Rockstar is attempting to use technological innovations, and engaging, visceral third-person combat, to create a cinematic action experience that you have never seen before. Who can complain with that?
Max Payne’s story has always been about the emotions of loss and tragedy, and driving home the idea of what this can do to any human being. It’s heart and soul has always been wholly devoted to the bullet ballet. Hundreds of bullets fly around you in slow motion tracing the rounds as they pass. Max dives across the room, plugging round after round, into the helpless low-lifes of New York City. As Max slides across the floor, the enemy rounds hovering above you leave you with the idea of how close to death you really are. This bullet ballet is accomplished through the use of precision Bullet Time and Shootdodge mechanics, that work in tandem with the Natural Motion Character Behaviour system for realistic character animations to provide gamers with an immersive cinematic action experience like never before.
Rockstar is aiming to elevate the shooter genre to an entirely different level with the combat in Max Payne 3. Through the use of Bullet Time and Shootdodging gamers will be able to dive, duck, and dodge the barrage of bullets as you face each group of enemies. With Bullet Time activated, enemies slow down around you as Max is free to aim normally. This places Max in a huge advantage when he faces seemingly inescapable odds. As he takes enemies down each bullet fired is fired in real time. This means that each bullet that leaves the chamber of your gun, is an actual bullet modeled within the game world. The force of these bullets as it hits your enemies forces them to react realistically as it would affect them in real life. Enemies now react realistically through the use of the Euphoria and it brings an entirely new dimension to the shooter genre.
Bullets now feel that they have actual force behind them. Shooting an enemy in the shoulder may send them into a spin towards the pavement, as the force knocks them down realistically. Imagine you are taking fire from an enemy at the top of a staircase, you raise your gun and fire at his legs, the bullet pierces his knee and instead of a shrug and maniacal laugh, you watch as their leg collapses under the weight sending them toppling down the stairs towards you. Euphoria is being taken to a completely new level than has been seen in previous Rockstar titles. Max Payne 3′s focus has been creating a realistic, engaging, and cinematic action experience. As Rockstar is taking Euphoria to another level of realism they are integrating with an evolution in the way they tell their story through a dynamic storytelling immersion.
Rockstar is aiming to evolve their storytelling capabilities with Max Payne 3, and for them this means keeping the player immersed in the noir narrative that the Max Payne titles are known for. They have created a panel generator system that dynamically integrates gameplay with cutscenes. This infuses the voice over narration of Max with the graphic novel style presentation of the first two titles. As the game generates these panels in gameplay it allows for seamless transitioning into gameplay. The goal is to take you from cutscene to gameplay, without ever having to show you a load screen. If everything comes together as planned in the final product, fans of Max Payne will never be taken out of the tortured mind of the hardened detective, and always feel immersed in the world of Max Payne 3.
Not only has Rockstar put significant effort into creating immersion within the single player campaign, but they have injected a dose of narrative into the multiplayer as well. With the new mode Gang Wars, gangs and factions from the single player are at war with each other through each match. As each round draws to a conclusion the match evolves and branches to new storyline depending on the outcome of the previous match. This means that the match may start both teams with the objective of capturing a territory as long as possible, then dynamically transition gamers into a sabotage and defend type match. Rockstar is attempting to create a sense of cause and effect with the multiplayer that may give gamers a reason to invest themselves in the online community.
On top of the implementation of narrative in multiplayer, Rockstar is including what they are calling “Bursts”. These have a wide range of effects. One of the most intriguing bursts revealed so far is the “paranoia” burst that when activated at level 2, makes the enemies see their teammates as enemies, activates friendly fire, and targets an allie for a bogus bounty. Many of the perks in the multiplayer rely on the concept of deception and mistrust, which is prevalent within the single player gameplay. Max Payne 3′s multiplayer aims to weave narrative with action and is looking to extend the longevity of Max Payne 3 for some time after release.
Max Payne 3 is set to be the shooter of the year. Through the use of engaging third person shooting action, seamless cinematic integration, and bullet time, Rockstar is attempting to create something fresh and engaging for shooter fans the world over. As we rapidly approach release on May 15 for the US and May 18 in the UK, anticipation is sure to build. For more on Max Payne 3 be sure to check out our hub page here, and be on the look out for our full review shortly after the game launches!
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