Max Payne’s going through a lot of changes in his third game: a change in locale (from New York to Sao Paolo), a change in appearance (from youngish and weary to middle-aged, bearded and weary) and a change in tactics (having added sticky cover and zoom aiming to his repertoire). At heart, though, he’s still the same tormented, painkiller-addicted anti-hero he’s always been, and his game’s still about shooting from the hip while diving through the air and dodging bullets in slow motion. To get a little more insight into what’s changing and what’s staying the same, we caught up with Max Payne 3’s art director, Rob Nelson, for a quick chat and a little bit of exclusive new gameplay footage.
Nelson also let on that some of the inherent weirdness of earlier Max Payne games will resurface in the sequel (although we probably won’t see anything as extreme as the first game’s nightmare sequences). Most of his emphasis, though, was on gameplay – and specifically on the challenges of adapting Max Payne’s run-and-gun style for a modern audience without losing what made the series’ gameplay unique. We won’t know for sure how well they did until our first hands-on with the game (which releases in March 2012), but for now, we like what we see.