Max Payne 3 Exclusive Story Preview

We put the fun back into the nine-to-five as we suit up and shoot up an office building in our exclusive look at Max Payne 3.

When we finally got our first look at Rockstar's reboot of the Max Payne franchise, the man at the centre of the action was a rudderless, burnt-out husk of a man. But, hey, what's new? While Max had left the chilly New York winter seeking out the more tropical shores of Brazil to do contract security with friend Raul Passos in Sao Paulo, old habits die hard, as Max once again tried to protect the women around him. We recently got an exclusive look at some more of the single-player story in action.

The fact that our hero was still sporting healthy-looking locks of dark hair meant that the events of our latest demo predate those of the bus depot shoot-outs in our last preview. Fabiana, the wife of our boss, Rodrigo Branco, has been kidnapped, and we've been summoned to assist in the hunt. While the city may be different, the situation was the same. As Passos arrived at Max's apartment, he attempted to rouse us from the comfortable-looking slumber that comes from a night spent head down on a wooden table. Discarded Chinese food containers of indeterminable date lay strewn, while empty bottles of booze lined most available surfaces. Passos took playful verbal jabs at Max as he stumbled around looking for pants, but there was a stern, and concerned, edge to his voice. Clothes really do maketh the man, and nowhere is this a more evident reflection of the wearer. Passos' clean, pressed linen suit was in stark contrast with the grimy, wrinkled appearance of Max's outfit.

Upon arrival at Branco's office, the conversation flitted between unsubtitled Portuguese and English, as a high-ranking member of the local law enforcement, Marcelo Branco (the hard-partying yin to brother Rodrigo's wealthy, but respectable, yang) and members of staff discussed Fabiana's disappearance. The steady stream of language barely paused for air, and Max's limited language abilities further exemplified his fish-out-of-water status, being located in a foreign place and roped into situations that he didn't completely understand.

Ever the trooper, once the group dispersed Max found himself back in his comfort zone: less chat and more splat. Armed Cracha Preto gunmen stormed the building, and while Branco had taken the initiative and installed an elaborate, and expensive, alarm system, it was immediately clear that there was a problem with the plan when it failed to activate on command. A big-haired IT support staffer rushed into the room, unsuccessfully attempting to override the system with some furious keyboard massage, but to no avail. Branco hunkered down in his office while we played babysitter to the IT guy, who shared more than a passing resemblance to Moss from British comedy series The IT Crowd. Bullets flew, and while our sidekick didn't know one end of a gun from the other, we stalked the hallways with confidence, pumping round after round into enemy soldiers as they crossed our path.

Bright sunshine streamed in through the floor-to-ceiling windows in the office building. Desks appeared to be worked at, stocked with piles of carefully filed paper reports, knickknacks, and architectural model mock-ups of buildings in progress. All became casualties of battle as we returned fire, bullets whizzing past, and the glass of desk dividers shattered as we inched our way towards the server room to reboot the security system. Cover quickly became shredded, necessitating our need to push forward, while a combination of low-slung furniture, diving jumps, and bullet time provided its fair share of dramatic Hong Kong-cinema-style action moments.

While we half expected a survival-style mission where waves of attackers would descend on our position as we protected our frail, intellectual buddy, it wasn't the case. In true help-desk style, all it took was a flick of the power switch and a few keyboard strikes to get the system back online, and only moments later, large metal doors slowly began to slide down from the ceiling to seal us in.

I said soy chai latte! SOY!

Branco may be wealthy and connected, but he's certainly no Tony Montana. Commanded by Max back to the safety of his office, he scuttled off, pleading with us to "try not to completely destroy the place." Our move to the lobby revealed a slain receptionist with her phone headset still attached. The image didn't have much time to sink in, though, as another of the game's set-piece moments was triggered: a jeep smashed through the glass doorway of the building. Time slowed, and reloading and bullet conservation were no longer our concerns as we took aim at the driver first. Gun-toting passengers were second on the list, closely followed by the stream of armed men rushing in through the now-destroyed entrance. Reinforcements arrived when a white van pulled up and the doors flung open. Anyone we hadn't already filled with lead was picked off one by one as we ducked behind pillars and returned fire. The foyer's opulent facade was stripped bare in the skirmish, revealing a functional, but unattractive, steel rebar below. With the bodies finally beginning to pile up, we were presented with one last challenge: a significantly more heavily armed soldier wielding a machine gun. Our rounds appeared to bounce off his helmet and thick body plating at first, but after working him for a bit with a mixture of blind fire from the remaining cover and some well-placed bullet-time shots, a final, fatal blow forced the camera to zoom forward, tracking the slug as it burrowed deep into his flesh in slow motion, kicking his body back violently in the process.

The scene skipped ahead slightly to avoid storyline spoilers, and whatever went on during that period trashed the building even further. Bullet holes had been replaced with smoking craters, fire burned intensely out of control, and the multistorey structural integrity had clearly been weakened by the mystery assault. Max was covered in a thick coating of ash, his once-grey suit now a new, darker shade, but, on the plus side, conveniently hiding many of its wrinkles. In your face, ironing! He was badly injured, grasping at his chest in pain as he struggled to pull himself up a flight of stairs.

Blaze and ember effects looked particularly impressive, as pockets of flame fell on the floor and clung to the walls. A brief gunfight with some dedicated goons who stayed behind ensued, and after disposing of them like we did their counterparts, we pushed over a large metal filing cabinet to gain access to a precarious-looking high-rise path. We sighed with relief as it held together long enough for us to safely cross, and we struggled onwards, only to fall through a collapsing cement walkway, tumbling down and encountering a wounded Cracha Preto grunt with horrendous injuries. With a leg missing, and fire slowly consuming his ravaged body, the downed bad guy attempted to crawl away as our demo came to a close.

Perhaps a slightly excessive way to light a cigarette…

The two demos that we've seen have given us a look at some of the indoor and outdoor environments that we can expect, and given the focus being put on destructibility, we're glad that there's plenty to shoot at. Max is nimble, but steady, with gun in hand, and while maybe we didn't exactly follow Rodrigo Branco's orders about keeping the place in one piece, we were still alive to fight another day. Look for more on Max Payne 3 in the coming months, including info on the franchise's multiplayer debut ahead of its March 2012 release on the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.

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Discussion

72 comments
KrazzyDJ
KrazzyDJ

Yes ... finally, games that I always wanted to have sequels are actually getting them. Grand Theft Auto, Hitman and now Max Payne 3. Whoa, just when I thought that 2011 is gonna be unbeatable, comes 2012 !!!

KoRniTo
KoRniTo

I'm hoping for the best! Please keep the dark mood of the character strunggling with himself and all that. Keep the great story there!

geoff-uk123
geoff-uk123

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

megalonagyix
megalonagyix

Can't wait. Sounds more like an Die Hard game (with a story) but I'm certain R* gonna pull this off. Just look at LA Noire.

ishan316
ishan316

This is my most anticipated game of 2012.

leoansa2
leoansa2

....something is coocking good.....i can smell it!!

senseless_dj
senseless_dj

Give me MAX PAIN!!...wanna live these max payne days all over again...i hope this hits the spot.

Elann2008
Elann2008

I hope they do a great job a capturing Max Payne's story and scenes.. These things can be butchered to death with the overly cinematic cutscenes. I preferred the more subtle style by Remedy with Max Payne 1 and 2. MP2 is brilliant and I doubt that MP3 could live up to (nostalgia aside).

ramilahate
ramilahate

hoping for the best...fingers crossed!!

m2rg
m2rg

prepare another 10 gamespot!

peteywentout
peteywentout

@Soothsayer42 LA Noire worked as the perfect benchmark for the new state of the art facial animation motion capture. might be disappointingly short for such a long time wait, but i'm guessing its benefits to the rockstar gaming industry will be massive

Ponczman
Ponczman

MAX is always A KILLAAA!!! looking forward to it!

Soothsayer42
Soothsayer42

Rockstar never dissapoint me.... Well, LA Noire maybe.. dont work for 6years to make a 12hour game with so weak content. im not bragging, its the truth

1valiantknight
1valiantknight

I have no doubts that the gameplay will be fantastic it will all come down to the story and dialogue. Hopefully they have stayed true. The setting doesn't bother me. I'm a huge fan of noire detective stories and a good noire story can take place just about anywhere, don't believe me watch the movie Brick. Anyway let's hope Remedy proof read the story.

true_gamer007
true_gamer007

Congested streets of Sao Paulo will add to the strength.

THA-TODD-BEAST
THA-TODD-BEAST

This game is so destined to bomb... I can't believe what they're doing to one of my favorite series of games of all time.

NighTmarE_evo
NighTmarE_evo

I hope they keep the deep dialogue/conversations the first two games had. So far I'm not really impressed with how the 3rd is shaping up to be... This is not the Max Payne one expects.

Deugar
Deugar

If this trailer is any indication, the writing and voice-acting has taken a serious hit since the second game. "I was working a protection detail for the kind of people who needed protection in a town like this."

boyardee14
boyardee14

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Sandulf29
Sandulf29

Oh my f***ing gawd! I want this game out already. Why R*? Why you makingme wait

marcusfenixatio
marcusfenixatio

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

ZekeDaPlumber85
ZekeDaPlumber85

I still play Max Payne 1 and 2 every yea or so and it's always just as much fun. This is gonna be just as awesome.

DomaineStickem
DomaineStickem

kill the bad guy, save the girl... how original... but it looks good

yavix
yavix

I've been looking forward to this game for a looong time. I really don't care if Remedy and 3D Realms aren't involved. Sometime IP's are larger than the original teams who brought them out. The game looks very promising to me, but I'll refrain from judgement until they give us more concrete gameplay videos.

keebthesquee
keebthesquee

Laughing at the ones who have been criticizing this game for its new direction. People were putting it down without even waiting to see what the changes were. The game, characters, story and mood seems to be great.

Shishio817
Shishio817

Oh man have I been waiting a long time for this!!

Cryptic_Shadow
Cryptic_Shadow

Rockstar has the rep to make great games. Need to see some gameplay.

Johan8
Johan8

People fearfull of change suck. Move out from you confort zone damn it! Changes are good :)

zoeyleft
zoeyleft

i dont see why you should be afraid! Rockstar aint stupid. they aint taking over a franchise to change it... it will be max payne and it will make max payne fans happy, im sure.

TheGame402
TheGame402

I'll tell you what all the haters saying that this game is going to suck are just internet trolls with nothing better to do. Have you played it ? No Have you seen it being played ? No so why don't you all be quiet & actually play the game when it comes out. Stop being so fearful of change as murray_mchs has said & let Rockstar try out some new things a game company can't keep growing unless it keeps trying to innovate their games in new & exciting ways. & Rockstar being a bad company boyardee14 that is laughable at best. Rockstar is one of the best gaming companies today not one game have I played that has been made by Rockstar that has been bad & that is including L.A noire granted Rockstar only published it & didn't make it but still it was a good game cause it tried something different & succeeded with it. With an Attitude like that boyardee14 you don't deserve to be playing any of Rockstar's video games. You are like so many of the ignorant people that argue over Call Of Duty & Battlefield boyardee14 you defend your game to the death without any knowledge of how the other game plays. So let the Real fans of Max Payne myself included decide when this game comes whether it sucks or not because I think we know what to expect & what we want in a Max Payne game.

X-The-Doctor-X
X-The-Doctor-X

Haven't played the first two but this looks kind of cool, maybe i'll give it a try

VALikimlav
VALikimlav

I've been waiting for this game for a long time.

murray_mchs
murray_mchs

I've never seen consumers so fearful of change. I won't judge it until AFTER I've played it.

BayHarbrButcher
BayHarbrButcher

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

deadlysin87
deadlysin87

Oh Max Payne... I love you so. The Fall of Max Payne was a FANTASTIC game on PC, I hope this is the same. Although a Rockstar in-house studio is making this instead of Remedy Entertainment like the last two, I hope they keep it just the way it was. Max Payne has some SERIOUS fanbase that Rockstar forgot about for a long time...

otanikun
otanikun

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

boyardee14
boyardee14

itll suck cuz except for RDR rockstar SUCKS at storylines and i dont give a crap if you all send me hate message and thumbs down this comment. rockstar is a bad company.

Viral-venom13
Viral-venom13

Sounds awesome in terms of the action at hand and i just love the way of how this preview was written in that sorta Noire style just as how Payne's narratives within the past games were, i just hope that R* sticks close to Max's story of past events without bringing something that's completely not connected to Payne's story that most are already familiar with!

rmartinezdl
rmartinezdl

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]