So in case you we wondering, Max Payne 3 is set eight years after the events of Max Payne 2. At this point Max is no longer a copy, he’s almost hit rock bottom, basically a drunk who is addicted to painkillers. Without the force to hold him to New York, Max has left the country and now finds himself in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The days Max finds himself doing personal security for the Rodrigo Branco, a wealthy real estate mogul, and his family. From there let’s just say things get complicated.
It appears that Natural Motion’s Euphoria engine will have a huge role in the game. For those of you not familiar with Natural Motion, they make the Backbreaker games. Where they make their money is with their game engines that have powered major blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Grand Theft Auto. The combination of Natural Motion’s Euphoria character behavior system and Bullet Time takes Max’s classic shoot-dodge moves. Shoot-dodge is not a canned animation, but a natural interaction with the environment, as Max will reach out to the floor as he dives, and naturally respond to objects in his way if you attempt to dive into a wall or obstacle. Max Payne 3 extends the concept of Bullet-Time to now include game areas of the game that will trigger set pieces involving Bullet-Time. These provide epic moments of action that allow Max to take out enemies in a new interpretation of Max Payne’s signature style. This sounds like it is inspired by “deadeye focus” in Red Dead Redemption.
Bullet-Cams make a return delivering players a reward for downing enemies with a satisfying final kill. Max Payne 3 takes the graphic novel panels of the earlier games and evolves them by utilizing in-game assets to create a motion comic-style approach. We are sure this will disappoint some folks but this is the natural evolution and expansion of a concept that has always had much more potential and it is just now that the consoles have progressed enough to fully exploit that potential. The series has always featured excellent voice work and James McCaffrey, the original voice of Max, is back. Not only as the voice of max, but Max’s appearance, face and many of his movements in Max Payne 3 are all captured directly from James himself. In what we think is a welcome addition to the franchise Max Payne 3 features an integrated cove system. Up until now the other Max Payne games have featured a real run and gun style gameplay and the cover system should slow gameplay down and make it much more methodical.
When it comes to really destructive environments most people would tell you that DICE’s FrostBite engine is the gold standard. In Max Payne 3 bullets will destroy nearly everything in the environment, sweat will appear on Max’s face and shirt as the heat of battle wears on, and blood soaks the clothing of his enemies. You’ll also notice the minute details of the weapons themselves: hammers cock back, slides move, shells expel from the chamber and literally hundreds more. For most of this game Max won’t have to go it alone though as partners and sidekicks will play a large role in Max Payne 3 (don’t get the distinction between sidekicks and partners just yet though). Rockstar has spent hundreds of hours of custom motion-capture on individual characters, making traditional in-game encounters completely unique, such as enemies sweeping a room or simply the way Max’s partners will behave as they move through the game. Well that’s all we got for now folks but even from the little we now know we can tell that Max Payne 3 should be one hell of a ride. What do you think so far?