December 20, 2011, 12:00

2012 Most Anticipated – #6 Max Payne 3

By Phillip Costigan, Contributor

Editor’s Note: We’re on to number six in our twenty-five most anticipated games of 2012. After culminating a comprehensive list of the confirmed games for next year, the MediaKick team voted on the games they are most looking forward to for next year, and after processing the results through a methodical algorithm we’re here to bring you the results. Taking a closer look at both what we know so far and why the team are excited for each game, we’ll have an article at midday everyday until Christmas – when we’ll reveal our most anticipated game of 2012. Be sure to check out the previous games so far if you haven’t already – #25, #24, #23, #22, #21, #20, #19, #18, #17, #16, #15, #14, #13, #12, #11, #10. #9, #8, #7.

Cast your mind all the way back to March this year, when we got word of two new screens for Rockstar’s Max Payne 3. We hadn’t seen the title for two years, so when we got the new screens, everyone got pretty excited, and to be honest, why wouldn’t you be? As the first title in the series since acclaimed developer/publisher Rockstar has taken over the franchise, we’re expecting big things from the third-person shooter due out in March 2012, which is why we’ve placed it at the very respectable sixth position in our top twenty-five most anticipated games of 2012.

2012 Most Anticipated – #6 Max Payne 3

Now, despite, rather shamefully, having not played the original Max Payne games, I’m genuinely surprised at how excited I am for Max Payne 3. Granted, any game from Rockstar has the ability to massively pique my interest, but it’s the setting and the vibe that appeals to me the most. Max is a broken man, whose situation has been described by Rockstar as going “from bad to worse.” He’s been double crossed in New York, and has moved on to Sao Paolo, Brazil to work on something big, to do with a kidnapping – despite just wanting to be left alone.

It’s a really interesting and mature setting, something we are only really starting to see really come into its own over the past few years, with games like Heavy Rain, Rockstar’s own LA Noire and other more mature, adult-oriented games coming to the forefront of the industry. With Rockstar at the helm, a company heralded for its storytelling, narratives and settings, one can only imagine how good this game could be.

And so it should be. The Max Payne series, originally developed by Remedy, is a respected part of gaming’s history, and Rockstar has been keen to make everyone aware that they intend for it to stay that way, keeping series staples like Bullet Time in the game. The franchise has always been successful, critically at least, and even saw a spin-off movie released, although the less said about that the better.

2012 Most Anticipated – #6 Max Payne 3

MediaKick contributor Igor is a man who has fond memories of the original games, and is happy to see Rockstar take the reins on this new project: “For me, Max Payne 3 encompasses two things that I look for when a videogame is being developed – nostalgia and the project being in the hands of a highly credited developer. My fantastic memories of the original Max Payne and knowing that these memories are currently being fondled by the one and only Rockstar, makes me a very happy gamer. A gritty new Max Payne will walk the streets once again, no doubt with some genius alterations to the formula that Rockstar will magically pull out of their hat. You can’t leave a videogame concept in better hands, it’s surely not possible? The care, love and attention Rockstar give to their projects gives me utmost faith that Max Payne 3 will come out a winner.” High praise indeed.

It’s a similar situation from MediaKick writer Dave Irwin, who was a big fan of the comic book style seen in the original games, and is also pretty excited to see Rockstar take over, to say the least: “Honestly, it is the game that popularised bullet time as a video game mechanic being brought screaming ten years into the future! Add the fact that Rockstar are taking full helm of the development of this game (as opposed to being limited to porting it to consoles) with their talent for creating immersive third person action-adventure titles and we could be on to something special. I really hope that the comic book feel of the first two games is replicated here as it really helps with the sense of character!”

My excitement really started picking up for the game back in September, when we got our first glimpse, via that wonderful trailer, of the game in motion. Confirming the original voice actor’s return, the trailer also showcased how Rockstar has, seemingly, once again captured the gritty style that suits this type of game. We also got a glimpse at bullet time, and the typical action Rockstar is known for. If that trailer isn’t enough to whet your appetite, I don’t know what will.

2012 Most Anticipated – #6 Max Payne 3

Our Editor, David Howard, is in the same boat as me, not being too familiar with the original games, but was also wowed by the trailer: “I only loosely remember Max Payne 3′s predecessors’; however, I do remember the enjoyment of bullet-time within a game – a feature that was incredibly innovative and enjoyable a decade ago. There was a long wait between its unveiling and our first glance at any gameplay, but my, it was worth the wait. The game looks fantastic and hopefully will bring the action aspect that L.A. Noire lacked, whilst providing an immersive and gripping plot. Whilst the initial trailer was mightily impressive, it was the more recent developer diary that really sold me on the game, let’s hope it lives up to my rising expectation when released next year.”

2012 is shaping up to be a great year for gaming, and with Max Payne 3 releasing in March, we won’t have to wait too long for the blockbusters to kick off.