Max Payne 3 is just around the corner. The third entry in Rockstar’s beloved franchise is looking like another hit in their collection. Rockstar has a history of making good stories, and this one looks no different. And we’ve missed bullet time, so it’s about time we get back to playing with time and wasting bullets along the way. But somehow, with the visuals and trailers, Max Payne 3 doesn’t feel like what we’ve come to expect from Max Payne; rather it feels like a completely different game, which leaves me a little disappointed.
The original Max Payne had put the players in a world which came to life in the depths of darkness. Darkness is what comes to mind when we talk about Max Payne; it has become synonymous with the series. And it’s not just a game mechanism, it is to beautifully-exaggerate Payne’s state of mind, and has been executed flawlessly in the first game. The second game ups the ante even further by taking madness to a completely different level. Hallucinations and nightmares ensue, which turn the game into more of a movie, better than most movies out there with similar story-lines.
And this is what I want to stress about the third part. It lacks the atmosphere. Okay, the trailer looks awesome, and the game might turn out to be a masterpiece. It also has multiplayer, which should be fun given the Bullet time element which will come into play. But still, it feels more like the game lacks a main ingredient that made the first two games so unique. Slowing time is a trademark feature of the series, but it has been implemented by many games out there. But what those many games don’t have is the setting and the eerie nature of the story. Max Payne 3 seems to have lost it as well.
On the bright side, the shooting mechanics are looking better than ever, and the player now has a multitude of options to handle each firefight. The classic 360 degrees action elements have been enhanced as well, in order to provide a more realistic feeling, while at the same time keep the fun intact. The graphics are looking spectacular. This might well end up becoming one of the best looking games out there. And the classic Max Payne sound track is there. It’s all there. It has all the makings of a great game, barring the one thing I might end up missing the most.
At the end of the day, it’s just a shot in the dark. What we have seen are just previews, which don’t signify what the full game might be like. Rockstar may be voluntarily hiding the atmospheric moments, so that we experience them first-hand without any spoilers. But of course, as a hardcore Max Payne fan, I can’t but express my concern from whatever I have seen until now. Whether it holds any value or not, only time will tell (which is ironical given how controllable time actually is in the game).