Max Payne's journey through the night will continue.

Max Payne 3 screenshot

It's been a long, long time since the end credits of Max Payne 2 made that pledge - about eight years, to be precise. Remedy may have moved on to Alan Wake and other projects, but Rockstar still has the license, and now it finally seems that the promise is finally about to be fulfilled.

We already know where the journey will be taking us: São Paulo, Brazil. This change of setting, along with Max's new appearance - bald, bearded, and shorn of his iconic leather jacket - has understandably generated a fair bit of controversy among Payne's long-time fans. The first thing to note, then, is that we won't be heading south of the border straight away. The story kicks off in New York, and over the course of the game we'll learn how and why Max ends up on foreign turf with a beardy chin and a shiny noggin.

At the start of Rockstar's demo, Max is chilling out at his swanky bachelor pad in the Big Apple. Ok, that's not quite true: he's marinating in his own filth, and given the state of his apartment - drab decor, empty booze bottles, and omnipresent takeout trash - it's safe to say he won't be winning Come Dine With Me any time soon. The leather jacket is there, as is a full head of hair. Max is being courted by Raul Passos, a former cop buddy who's offering a lucrative security gig in Brazil, but the negotiation doesn't last long; an angry mob boss shows up and starts baying for Max's blood.

It seems that our hero accidentally ran over the man's dog. Actually, replace the words "accidentally" with "repeatedly", "ran over" with "shot", and "dog" with "son".

Some things never change, and as Max dives down the corridors of his apartment block, blasting gangsters in slow motion, it certainly recalls the good ol' days. Bullet Time is still here, obviously, and now as our hero moves he leaves a slight shimmery blur in his wake. You still fill the guage for this power by killing enemies, or by being fired upon, and to heal you'll need to quaff vast quantities of pain pills. By now Max's liver must look like a six-month old Big Mac, but as drug abuse hasn't killed him so far, I doubt it ever will.

The single biggest concession to modern gaming is the inclusion of a cover system, but thankfully its use seems to be far from mandatory. If you want to play sensible - something Max himself would never, ever do - that's an option, but from the looks of things you're equally free to run and gun. If you were concerned that the series might become a Gears-style squat fest, you can stop worrying now. Should your Rambo tactics lead to you taking lethal damage, you'll get a brief Bullet Time chance to save yourself: snuff out an enemy in your dying moments, and you'll be resurrected - but only if you've got pills to chug down.

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User Comments

Woffls's Avatar


Yeah got myself a time machine. Sorry bro.
Posted 21:23 on 06 October 2011
munkee's Avatar


"They've already stripped out what made Max Payne feel like Max Payne." - Oh, you've played it!? Sorry. I didn't realise.

Posted 21:03 on 06 October 2011
Woffls's Avatar


Yes, you're right. I hate change; it's all unpredictable and stuff.

I want a Max Payne game. If I didn't, I'd buy something else. There's nothing wrong with wanting the same thing but better. They've already stripped out what made Max Payne feel like Max Payne. Spoilers: it wasn't bullet-time.

anything by Rockstar games is the best and if you don't like it then you're wrong.

Posted 20:05 on 06 October 2011
munkee's Avatar


You're right Woffls.. Change is bad.

Personally, I like that they're mixing it up. It's not like Sao Paulo is a played-out setting. Having thoroughly enjoyed most things that Rockstar create, I'm pretty confident that the game will be great. As long as it 'feels' like Max Payne, then I'm good to go.

Also, getting to see/play the journey from New York to Sao Paulo is a nice touch. Rather than rip fans out of their comfort zone by changing everything they know and love, I imagine they will create a dark and interesting transition into the new Max Payne territory.

I don't want to see Max Payne 3 simply imitate 1 & 2. I love those games and will happily play them again. But, they were then.. This is now.

Just because I wear a R* avatar doesn't mean that I'm not open minded. I just appreciate that anything by Rockstar games is the best and if you don't like it then you're wrong.
ps. Sorry Valve. I still love you too.
Posted 19:57 on 06 October 2011
Wido's Avatar


Cannot wait for Max Payne 3!
Posted 18:35 on 06 October 2011
Woffls's Avatar


I just want Rockstar to come out and say that the game is 20% bald-Max in Sao Paulo, and 80% leather jackets in underground stations, sleazy motels and back-alleys. If they told us that, a lot of people would start paying more attention to Max Payne 3, and I think they know that. That's why I'm still not optimistic about the direction they're taking.
Posted 17:26 on 06 October 2011

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 15/05/2012
Developer: Rockstar Studios
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: Action
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 254 35
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