Earlier, we brought you some exemplary new screenshots of Max Payne 3 and now we’re here to bring some much desired details regarding the game’s story and gameplay, which will feature the return of the series’ staple, bullet time.
What exactly is Rockstar Games going to do to breathe some new life into the titular character? Quite a few things. First off, fans of the Max Payne games will be pleased to know that the series’ comic book paneling style of storytelling will be making a return and will feature a motion-comic approach that will use in-game assets.
James McCaffrey, otherwise known as the voice of Max Payne, will return to lend not only his voice, but his face, movements and his appearance. This fact alone will be incredibly pleasing to fans.
The Max Payne series has always been about Max shooting the bad guys, but why will he be doing so this time around? The story of Max Payne 3 starts off with Max eight years after the events of Max Payne 2, where he no longer carries an NYPD badge and becomes a drunk, addicted to painkillers (the series’ source of health). From there, Max leaves New York and becomes a private security consultant in the city of San Paolo, Brazil.
Max’s assignment in Brazil finds him in charge of the security of the Branco family. His client? Rodrigo Branco, real estate mogul and head of the Branco family. Max will also be running security for Rodrigo’s two brothers, Victor, youngest brother and local politician, and Marcello, a party lover. In addition to the two brothers, Max will be protecting Rodrigo’s wife, Fabiana, and Giovanna, sister of Fabiana.
As seen in previously released screenshots, Max will not start the game in Brazil, but the center of the game’s story will see the transformation of Max from the gritty, hard-working cop he once was into the broken, bald-headed stranger in a new country. An educated guess presumes Max fails in protecting the family and becomes a vigilante in Brazil, hunting the killers of his clients in a mixture of pride and vengeance.
Max Payne 3 will also contain some gameplay changes and tweaks of the series’ mechanics. These changes were made possible to the Euphoria physics engine seen in both GTA4 and Red Dead Redemption. Shoot-dodging (aka firing one or two guns whilst jumping through the air) will be making a return and no longer looks like a canned animation.
The environment around Max will make a difference of how he shoot-dodges. For example, Max will put his hand out to soften his landing if he dives to the floor. Max will respond according to objects if they’re in his way of a shoot-dodge. It will definitely be worth seeing to see how Max responds when he shoot-dodges into a wall, something any Max Payne player can say was unrealistic.
Environments will also be changed drastically during the course of a gun fight. Areas that started off pristine (at least for Brazil), will be bullet riddled and full of destruction by the end. Details won’t just be limited to the area around Max, either. His face can be covered with sweat, blood can stain his and the enemies’ shirt. Gun mechanics are also taken into account: hammers are cocked, slides move, and casings eject realistically.
Owing more to the Euphoria engine, enemies in Max Payne 3 will react to where they are shot, a mechanic that was also seen in John Woo’s Stranglehold. Players should have lots of fun attempting to play a nut-shot exclusive gameplay. This feature should work well with the return of the Bullet-Cam, which followed the last bullet fired in a gun fight.
Of course, a Max Payne game wouldn’t be the same without Bullet Time, which makes a return with a twist. The regular mechanic of slowing down time to gain the edge over opponents remains the same, but, certain scripted areas of the game will automatically trigger Bullet Time for the player to be a little more stylish in how he chooses to dispatch enemies.
New to the series will be the addition of cover mechanics. Max Payne was never really about taking cover completely, due to the use of Bullet Time, but now players will be able to utilize shoot-dodging and Bullet Time out of cover to mix up gun fights.
Max won’t be going it alone the whole game, either. Partners and sidekicks will appear throughout the game to assist the cop/ex-cop in different ways and have been motion-captured carefully to give each individual his or her own look.
From the early details, Max Payne 3 certainly sounds like it will be wildly pleasing to fans of shooters and of the series. Unique storytelling, a great protagonist, and amazing action sequences made the series great and Rockstar is concentrating on those ideas to deliver a stunning third game. We can’t wait.
Max Payne 3 will be releasing sometime in 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.