Max Payne 3 Fights Gamer Nostalgia

Max Payne 3 Fights Gamer Nostalgia

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Rockstar's fighting between the nostalgia that gamers have for the series and bringing in new players.

Dan Houser is the lead writer of Max Payne 3 - the same position that he held on GTA IV - as well as the cofounder and VP of Creativity at Rockstar Games in New York City. After Take Two Interactive bought the rights to the Max Payne series from Remedy Entertainment in 2002, and we eventually found out that Rockstar would develop the sequel in 2009, fans of the first two games were a bit surprised. How could the makers of GTA make Max Payne as good as it was? Now that screenshots and the first trailer reveal a differently toned game, those fans are confused by the shift from the gritty New York streets that were as much a character as the eponymous detective was. Houser says that he must fight gamer nostalgia in order to make a modern game.

"I think the challenge of nostalgia is a profound one, because one thing about videogames is your memory tends to remove the horrendous," Houser said. "[Games] become these great, perfect experiences. It's definitely a challenge to get the right pitch when you want to appeal to the fans of the original and bring in a new audience."

Houser believes that strong writing is what will elevate games. "If games are to be the next major form of creative consumption, art, cultural expression or whatever the correct term is, then strong narrative has to be part of that," he said. "If the mechanics are fine and the story is ridiculous, the experience is much diminished."

For whatever reason, Houser's script demanded that Max depart his streets and head to sunny Brazil. We don't know very much about the details of why and how Max Payne needs to go there, and that veil of secrecy is very much intentional.

"It's really important to us that the games [feel] kind of magical," Said Houser. "It might annoy people that we don't give out more information, but I think the end point is people enjoy the experience. The less they know about how things are pieced together and how things are broken down and what our processes are, the more it will feel like this thing is alive, that you are being dragged into the experience. That's what we want."

Whatever I might think about the changes Houser makes to Max Payne, I have to respect his opinions on maintaining the mystery of games. That's something Rockstar does really well, and I will withhold judgement on Max Payne 3 until I play the actual game.

Source: Variety

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"Max Payne is bald? This game sucks!"

Yeah, good luck with this fight, Rockstar.

I'm a bit annoyed that they are taking it out of the city environment. No offense to your "greatly aspiring narrative", but putting the setting in a tropical climate with lots of lush jungle isn't inspired at all. It's literally the way every game has gone in the last 5 years. I'm not convinced. A new character is doable, especially if he/she is well written. But a whole new setting is most likely a mistake. Especially when you look at how important that setting was in previous games, both in terms of use and protagonists.

Does anyone remember that scene where you fight your way up to an apartment, only to jump out the window to land on top of the train. I was in awe.

Baresark:
...putting the setting in a tropical climate with lots of lush jungle isn't inspired at all. It's literally the way every game has gone in the last 5 years.

To quote Inigo Montoya, "I do not think that word means what you think it means"

Sorry, improper use of the word, "Literally" is a pet peeve of mine.

I don't hold out much hope the way big companies are making games lately. I'll believe it when I see it.

Max Payne 2 had you defending a guy in a cartoon mascot costume before the bomb in the oversized head explodes. I doubt moments like that will be in the new game, what with all the "grimdark" realism-focused stuff lately.

Xanadu84:

Baresark:
...putting the setting in a tropical climate with lots of lush jungle isn't inspired at all. It's literally the way every game has gone in the last 5 years.

To quote Inigo Montoya, "I do not think that word means what you think it means"

Sorry, improper use of the word, "Literally" is a pet peeve of mine.

As is misusing the phrase "the way every game has gone in the last five years". He's using it to mean "three games tops in the last 5 years have used the jungle setting, and even then those three started in said setting and moved away from it".

Unless he knows absolutely nothing.

Baresark:
but putting the setting in a tropical climate with lots of lush jungle

São Paulo is a large city with a higher crime rate than New York. It's dreary and hottest it's ever been is something like 94 °F. It's not tropical at all.
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"Dan Houser is the lead writer of Max Payne 3 - the same position that he held on GTA IV"

I'm afraid this is going to become 'my thing' if I bang on about it any more but... I'll just say that's nothing to be excited about.

I do like Max's new look though.

Does it have to be nostalgia talking if you expect Film Noir from a franchise based on Film Noir meets the Matrix?

I get it if you want to tell a new story, but if you made a Fallout game without the post-nuclear wasteland, it wouldn't be Fallout. Fallout 3 was a completely different gameplay style to 1 and 2 but it was still recognizable as Fallout.

"If the mechanics are fine"

That is entirely the problem, in most modern mainstream games the actual game mechanics are absolute shit.

"I think the challenge of nostalgia is a profound one, because one thing about videogames is your memory tends to remove the horrendous," Houser said. "[Games] become these great, perfect experiences.

He is implying Max Payne had horrid parts to it.

Bullshit, I'm playing MP1 right now and it's still fantastic, it has no bad parts.

Matthew94:
"I think the challenge of nostalgia is a profound one, because one thing about videogames is your memory tends to remove the horrendous," Houser said. "[Games] become these great, perfect experiences.

He is implying Max Payne had horrid parts to it.

Bullshit, I'm playing MP1 right now and it's still fantastic, it has no bad parts.

Platforming needle thin walk ways with a baby constantly crying in the background that screams at you if you fuck up?

Jagger916:

Matthew94:
"I think the challenge of nostalgia is a profound one, because one thing about videogames is your memory tends to remove the horrendous," Houser said. "[Games] become these great, perfect experiences.

He is implying Max Payne had horrid parts to it.

Bullshit, I'm playing MP1 right now and it's still fantastic, it has no bad parts.

Platforming needle thin walk ways with a baby constantly crying in the background that screams at you if you fuck up?

I literally played that bit 1 hour ago. I finished it in less than 5-6 minutes, not a big deal.

Matthew94:

Jagger916:

Matthew94:
"I think the challenge of nostalgia is a profound one, because one thing about videogames is your memory tends to remove the horrendous," Houser said. "[Games] become these great, perfect experiences.

He is implying Max Payne had horrid parts to it.

Bullshit, I'm playing MP1 right now and it's still fantastic, it has no bad parts.

Platforming needle thin walk ways with a baby constantly crying in the background that screams at you if you fuck up?

I literally played that bit 1 hour ago. I finished it in less than 5-6 minutes, not a big deal.

It still was a low point. Even though I still loved the atmosphere it created for the first 1-2 minutes.

John McClein meets Man on Fire in Brasil.

The thing is, The city was a big part of the narrative force in the first parts. It was a metaphor for the loneliness and bitter cold in max heart.

Xanadu84:

Baresark:
snip

To quote Inigo Montoya, "I do not think that word means what you think it means"

Sorry, improper use of the word, "Literally" is a pet peeve of mine.

OutrageousEmu:

Xanadu84:

Baresark:
snip

snip

As is misusing the phrase "the way every game has gone in the last five years". He's using it to mean "three games tops in the last 5 years have used the jungle setting, and even then those three started in said setting and moved away from it".

Unless he knows absolutely nothing.

It was actually meant as a form of embellishment. I didn't mean to insult the local English Nazis. Not every game in the last 5 years has been in a tropical jungle setting, clearly. My use of the word literally was this one: Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling. I know they used the word in the definition, but this is what the results of googling "literally definition" were. Also, this was not constructive at all. But, glad everyone got to say their piece. ;-p

To emphasize my point, this is from "Thefreedictionary.com"-

Usage Note: For more than a hundred years, critics have remarked on the incoherency of using literally in a way that suggests the exact opposite of its primary sense of "in a manner that accords with the literal sense of the words." In 1926, for example, H.W. Fowler cited the example "The 300,000 Unionists ... will be literally thrown to the wolves." The practice does not stem from a change in the meaning of literally itselfif it did, the word would long since have come to mean "virtually" or "figuratively"but from a natural tendency to use the word as a general intensive, as in They had literally no help from the government on the project, where no contrast with the figurative sense of the words is intended.

Jagger916:

Baresark:
but putting the setting in a tropical climate with lots of lush jungle

São Paulo is a large city with a higher crime rate than New York. It's dreary and hottest it's ever been is something like 94 °F. It's not tropical at all.

I stand corrected. I just hate the idea of moving any story from a good strong setting like a city, especially when the previous iterations were in a city. Though, good writing usually makes good use of the setting. Also, nowhere in the article does it tell the actual location of the game, besides "sunny Brazil". So, I wasn't aware it was taking place there. I only know that Brazil is 60% covered by the Amazon basin and gets more than 80" of rain fall per year. So, I'm sure after that you can figure out where I was coming from.

Baresark:
I stand corrected. I just hate the idea of moving any story from a good strong setting like a city, especially when the previous iterations were in a city. Though, good writing usually makes good use of the setting. Also, nowhere in the article does it tell the actual location of the game, besides "sunny Brazil". So, I wasn't aware it was taking place there. I only know that Brazil is 60% covered by the Amazon basin and gets more than 80" of rain fall per year. So, I'm sure after that you can figure out where I was coming from.

Yes, I can see that. Many sites(The Escapist) have been horrible with misrepresentation. "Sunny Brazil" is only half of it. Another popular thing is to point out how "un-noir" it seems when the person saying such things has no idea what noir is.

Hell, I actually love Housers writing. GTA4 is the best GTA game so far by a long stretch. So, damn it, you idiot, make a new game. Let Max rest. He bloody well earned it.

He doesn't deserve to be dragged to Modern Warfare 2 and made to cover behind crates in a bloody cover system. Payne always jumped in front of the bullets.

It's a damn disgrace. Also, from your screenshots it looks like you're making Kane & Lynch Visits Brazil! At least make it look interesting!

And please stop taking cheap shots by using the Max Payne 2 music. That music belongs in a better game that whatever you're making.

Edit: Or is it Bruce Willis starring as John MacPayne in Die Hard 5: Pay'n your dues?

Jagger, granted I've never been to Brazil and didn't look into the climate of Sao Paulo, but the images from the MP3 certainly play up Brazil as a hot place. Maybe that's part of why we're confused.

Baresark:

Xanadu84:

Baresark:
snip

To quote Inigo Montoya, "I do not think that word means what you think it means"

Sorry, improper use of the word, "Literally" is a pet peeve of mine.

OutrageousEmu:

Xanadu84:

snip

As is misusing the phrase "the way every game has gone in the last five years". He's using it to mean "three games tops in the last 5 years have used the jungle setting, and even then those three started in said setting and moved away from it".

Unless he knows absolutely nothing.

It was actually meant as a form of embellishment. I didn't mean to insult the local English Nazis. Not every game in the last 5 years has been in a tropical jungle setting, clearly. My use of the word literally was this one: Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling. I know they used the word in the definition, but this is what the results of googling "literally definition" were. Also, this was not constructive at all. But, glad everyone got to say their piece. ;-p

So, you intentiaonally said that something that has barely happened at all in th last 5 years has happened in "every game has gone in the last five years" because.....what?

Baresark:

It was actually meant as a form of embellishment. I didn't mean to insult the local English Nazis. Not every game in the last 5 years has been in a tropical jungle setting, clearly. My use of the word literally was this one: Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling. I know they used the word in the definition, but this is what the results of googling "literally definition" were. Also, this was not constructive at all. But, glad everyone got to say their piece. ;-p

To emphasize my point, this is from "Thefreedictionary.com"-

Usage Note: For more than a hundred years, critics have remarked on the incoherency of using literally in a way that suggests the exact opposite of its primary sense of "in a manner that accords with the literal sense of the words." In 1926, for example, H.W. Fowler cited the example "The 300,000 Unionists ... will be literally thrown to the wolves." The practice does not stem from a change in the meaning of literally itselfif it did, the word would long since have come to mean "virtually" or "figuratively"but from a natural tendency to use the word as a general intensive, as in They had literally no help from the government on the project, where no contrast with the figurative sense of the words is intended.

I have to take issue here. The purpose of the word literally is to signify that you should take the statement at its word, using the strict definition, without metaphor. If cats and dogs are falling from the sky, you would say that it is, "Literally raining cats and dogs", since simply saying that it is raining cats and dogs would be confusing. And Literally is still primarily used for this purpose. To specifically give it a unrelated definition, or even a directly contradictory definition (As yes another on a long list of intensive), the ONLY purpose you serve is to confuse the listener for no gain, while eliminating other users ability to communicate important information that would otherwise be impossible. I am all for the evolution for language, and when words get added or morph there meaning for a purpose, Im fine with that. But when a change, such as some peoples use of the word Literally incorrectly, literally does absolutely nothing except make understanding harder and more frustrating for everyone, I get annoyed.

I should point out that I have no problem with you. I'm not going to get angry at an individual for making a common mistake. But it's a mistake that shouldn't be made, because it is toxic.

Greg Tito:
Jagger, granted I've never been to Brazil and didn't look into the climate of Sao Paulo, but the images from the MP3 certainly play up Brazil as a hot place. Maybe that's part of why we're confused.

Not to sound like a dick, but a bit of sunlight doesn't mean hot. New York has sunlight.
São Paulo is a warm(but ultimately dreary) place, but it is not tropical, it's not a jungle, it's not some dream city on a beach.

Xanadu84:

Baresark:

snip

I have to take issue here. The purpose of the word literally is to signify that you should take the statement at its word, using the strict definition, without metaphor. If cats and dogs are falling from the sky, you would say that it is, "Literally raining cats and dogs", since simply saying that it is raining cats and dogs would be confusing. And Literally is still primarily used for this purpose. To specifically give it a unrelated definition, or even a directly contradictory definition (As yes another on a long list of intensive), the ONLY purpose you serve is to confuse the listener for no gain, while eliminating other users ability to communicate important information that would otherwise be impossible. I am all for the evolution for language, and when words get added or morph there meaning for a purpose, Im fine with that. But when a change, such as some peoples use of the word Literally incorrectly, literally does absolutely nothing except make understanding harder and more frustrating for everyone, I get annoyed.

I should point out that I have no problem with you. I'm not going to get angry at an individual for making a common mistake. But it's a mistake that shouldn't be made, because it is toxic.

LoL, there is no reason for anyone to be angry. I just cited how/why I was using the language I did. Also, things like sarcasm and embellishment are part of standard vernacular for the English language. I only put the usage note to back up what I was saying and my use of the word. I know it's not proper to write as we speak. I don't normally. It's not toxic because I didn't really use it improperly, only sarcastically. This form of the word has been used for over 100 years. And it has been a point of contention for just as long. But language must change with the time. If it did not, we would all still be speaking the same English of the original settlers who settled America. It still means the original meaning though.

Also, by your own admission, there was no confusion of the language. Everyone seemed to pick up what I was saying. You didn't think I meant what I said, no more than the other folks who pointed out my egregious(another fine word that can mean shockingly bad or outstandingly good, though people only seem to subscribe the former and not the ladder) English error.

For good fun, I'll play up on your thoughts at the end of your response with:
YOU COMING AT ME, BRO!!

Edit: Also, it's not uncommon in many other languages to take the use of a word out of context. It is a way that can make language deeper and more expressive.

OutrageousEmu:

Baresark:

Xanadu84:

To quote Inigo Montoya, "I do not think that word means what you think it means"

Sorry, improper use of the word, "Literally" is a pet peeve of mine.

OutrageousEmu:
As is misusing the phrase "the way every game has gone in the last five years". He's using it to mean "three games tops in the last 5 years have used the jungle setting, and even then those three started in said setting and moved away from it".

Unless he knows absolutely nothing.

It was actually meant as a form of embellishment. I didn't mean to insult the local English Nazis. Not every game in the last 5 years has been in a tropical jungle setting, clearly. My use of the word literally was this one: Used to acknowledge that something is not literally true but is used for emphasis or to express strong feeling. I know they used the word in the definition, but this is what the results of googling "literally definition" were. Also, this was not constructive at all. But, glad everyone got to say their piece. ;-p

So, you intentiaonally said that something that has barely happened at all in th last 5 years has happened in "every game has gone in the last five years" because.....what?

I actually meant to express my concern about the idea of it changing from a city to a tropical jungle like setting. As it turns out, what this article failed to mention was that it was still going to be in a city. And, as I pointed out, it was about embellishment, not fact.

Why do companies feel that a franchise's name exist separately from the actual games?

If they wanted to make a game about an ex-cop on the gunning down lots of bad guys in Brazil, why on earth did they need to tack the "Max Payne" name on to it?

Are we really expected to see everything about the game changed except for the name "Max Payne" and still believe it is in any way related to the prior games?

Something tells me we'll never know if Mona survived or not.

It makes me think about Far Cry 2. It was just a name stamped on to whatever other project they were developing.
Crysis felt like more of a sequel to Far Cry than the real sequel ever did.

I'm just trying to imagine why a New York City cop would ever find himself out of the country on an adventure. Sure, I'm sure he didn't go to Brazil to find treasure, but it's not what I'd consider a vacation hot spot either; at least not for Payne. No, I'm sure he got roped into some drug bust or some other lame-ass shit like that. I will reserve judgment until I play it, because Rockstar kinda knows what they are doing when it comes to story telling. I'm just feeling the need to brace myself even before hearing a proper synopsis, which shouldn't be my reaction to hearing that there is a new Payne on its way out.

DoctorM:
Are we really expected to see everything about the game changed except for the name "Max Payne" and still believe it is in any way related to the prior games?

How has everything changed?

I am totally torn. On the one hand, we already have max payne 1 and 2. We don't especially need a game that is essentially the same game with new levels.

On the other hand, if you stray too far from the source you get a game that everyone will hate even though it may well have been a perfectly serviceability game.

I'm definately looking forward to it though, if it turns out the scene change is a complete fuck up I'm sure they will reverse it for 4.

Not that I care so much about these details, but if I remember correctly, I heard on a podcast that the game does start in new york city, with a pre-bald Max Payne. And apparently a lot of the game takes place there.

They might have done themselves an unfavor by presenting the change without the transition and reason for it.

WHY IS HE BOLD AND FAT?

No seriously, why would you just go ahead and ruin an iconic look for no bloody reason.

Maybe there is a reason, I don't know I haven't played the game but still.

And why didn't they just make a new game with a new story with bullet time.

 

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