In only a few short months, Rockstar Games will release the third installment of the Max Payne video game series. This dark shooter is going to be epic — not simply because it’s the third installment of a wildly popular series, but because the lead writer is Dan Houser (best known for his work on Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto).
Max Payne 3 will be released for the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and the PC. Alas, no Max Payne 3 for the Wii, but what would you expect? The graphics (and the storyline) are way too intense for the Wii system. The game will employ the “Euphoria Physics Engine” which makes blowing away the bad guys a thing of orchestrated beauty. I’m not normally too keen on a lot of over-the-top violence in video games, but for Max Payne 3 I can make an exception, especially with the cinematic “final kill camera” feature that has to be seen to be believed. When you shoot a baddie, the graphics really are amazing. The game definitely earns its Mature rating, and the violence is gritty and dark at times in an action movie, Scarface-esque sort of way.
As previously mentioned, the storyline of Max Payne 3 really is intense. The action takes place in Brazil eight years after the last game, and good old Max is in the employ of Rodrigo Blanco, the wealthy industrialist. Blanco may have riches beyond imagining, but his money can’t stop the bad guys from kidnapping his beautiful wife. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but in some ways, the game can be viewed as another twisted “damsel in distress” story, and Max must save the girl by fighting a whole lot of bad guys. I don’t know what Blanco is paying Max, but in my opinion it ain’t enough. From the very beginning, the game is an uphill, non-stop action thriller, and Max must make the most of his special talents — dealing justice and shooting the villains that stand in his way.
One exciting feature of Max Payne 3 that shouldn’t be overlooked is the online, multiplayer capabilities. For me, this really elevates this excellent game a notch or two even more. As good as the game’s storyline is, I predict that multiplayer will prove even more popular than than the standalone adventure. If you enjoyed the multiplayer options in Red Dead Redemption, you’re going to love multiplayer in Max Payne 3. Kick-butt heavy weapons, explosives, and much, much more to whet the hardcore gamer’s appetite for destruction. Max Payne 3 is a winner with a bullet — look for it in May 2012 at your favorite gaming store.