Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Oh the pain, William, the pain! (New releases for the week of 5-13-12: Max Payne 3)

At last, fans of dark, gritty third-person shooters about rogue cops mowing down hundreds of people in slow motion won't have to resort to playing Dead to Rights: Retribution when they want to enjoy the genre on a current-gen system.

It's sort of remarkable that there hasn't been a Max Payne game in eight years, considering how popular and influential they were, but at long last he's back, now working in the private sector in Brazil. Presumably the New York Police Department decided that keeping him on the force after his second three-figure body count killing spree was too much of a lawsuit risk. Or maybe the entire Police Department was disbanded by the city government as a cost-cutting measure once the violent death of every criminal in the New York Metropolitan Area over the course of the first two games made it superfluous.

In any case, he's now working in South America as a bodyguard for the wife of a wealthy Brazilian guy, still struggling with the demons of his tragic past. I'm assuming they went with the regular ending of Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne and not the secret one shown for beating it on the highest difficulty setting, which means that Max is now 0 for 2 on the “the lifeless body of the woman he loves not lying in a bloody heap in front of him because he couldn't save her” front. Then the woman he's working as the bodyguard for is kidnapped, and Max takes to the streets of São Paulo, Brazil, to get her back.

I'm wondering- and this is meant solely as an observation, not a complaint- if the developers were influenced by the 2004 Denzel Washington movie Man on Fire. (Which is a great, underrated movie that I highly recommend if you like action/thriller films or have ever wanted to see Denzel Washington cut off a man's finger while Oye como va is blasting on a car radio.) The similarities are striking:

1.The hero is an American expatriate and psychologically damaged stone-cold killer with a terrifying capacity for mayhem and a horrifically violent past who is now working as a bodyguard in Latin America.
2.The girl he's supposed to protect is kidnapped by dangerous criminals.
3.This displeases him.
4. Refer to my previous remarks in Part 1, in re “psychologically damaged stone-cold killer, etc.”

I'm pretty pumped about this one. All the trailers I've seen look great, and it's nice that it's available for PlayStation as well as Xbox.

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