5 Thoughts on the Max Payne 3 Trailer

So I’ve been thinking a lot about the Max Payne 3 trailer over the last week or so. While it’s a pretty straightfoward trailer, there is a lot to consider in it, given that it’s a part of a very distinctive franchise. Let’s all watch the trailer again one more time, and then we’ll talk.

Max Payne 3 Official 2011 Debut Trailer – Watch more Game Trailers

OK, so here are the five things that stood out in that trailer:

1. The sun

What is that shiny yellow orb in the sky? The sun, you say? The sun never made an appearance in the previous Max Payne games, so it’s surprising to see sunlight all over this trailer. That’s a pretty drastic change in direction.

2. It has cutscenes?

Max Payne’s signature comic book panels are nowhere to be found here, and there are a number of bits in the trailer that appear to come from actually cutscenes. This is another big departure for this game.

3. Max externalizes his angst

Max Payne has always been an angsty saga, and there’s plenty of that on display here. But in a twist, Max is less a cool customer and more a sad sack this time. He’s got a gut, he drinks, he throws his bottle of booze and he shaves his head. Looks like Max has finally broken down.

4. It’s so warm.

Not only is it sunny, but it’s warm. One of the most memorable aspects of the original Max Payne is the way the blizzard intensified the deeper Max got into the conspiracy. Max Payne 2 didn’t have a blizzard, but Max still wore a jacket because noirs are cold bitches. Now Max is wearing a wifebeater.

5. We’re not in New York anymore

Max Payne 3 takes Max away from the cold skyscrapers of New York to the unfamiliar palm tree shade of Sao Paolo. It’s a jarring change, and not just because they have sun there and no snow. it’s as different a city as you can find from New York in terms of world design. It’s a setting that should make for a very different Max Payne experience.

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2 Comments on 5 Thoughts on the Max Payne 3 Trailer


On September 20, 2011 at 5:06 pm

While I have faith that this title will ultimately be an interesting one, I cannot help but think Rockstar should have been brave enough to give it a different title. If it is driven by that same solid Rockstar design we all have come to know, then you could slap any title name on it and it’s a safe bet it will sell well just on merit alone.

But Max Payne 3 is going to, unfortunately, end up looking like a cash-in, no matter what. It’s like Rockstar said to themselves “We want to go a different direction (aka take a risk) than Remedy would have, but we’re only going to keeping the main character, the title name, and iteration. Basically, we’re going to market it as a Max Payne sequel, but it won’t really be a Max Payne sequel, per se. An alternate universe… or divergence, if you will…”

I’m of the opinion that any true Max Payne fan, at this point, would agree they’re trying to sell us a different Max Payne than we are expecting.

This is pretty much what Ubisoft Montreal did with Far Cry 2 when they inherited it.

I’m going to approach this game as if it were fan fiction. It’s just hard to see it as anything but Max Payne canon.

At least this way MP3 can impress me on its own merit, and I can ignore the voice inside my head asking “Does this live up to Max Payne standards?”

Lucas Serrano

On September 22, 2011 at 4:38 am

The name of the city is São Paulo..