Max Payne 3: The Best Finale to a Game Trilogy, Ever.

25 Mar

-For the Uncensored!

It’s no secret that while I asserted that Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls, and Alan Wake are reasons to replace the cinema in my Art and Culture 26th article, I would add one more game to the list that does add to the death of cinema, but also a lesson in writing that helps perfect the notion of how video games are becoming an art form for writers, as well. And Max Payne 3, is the technical achievement in writing and execution of gameplay and cinematics.

            With Max Payne 3, developed by Rockstar Vancouver (now Rockstar Toronto) and released on June 20th, 2013, we probably get one of the most depressed characters in video games, ever. Max Payne. An ex-cop who challenged the Italian Mafia, lost his family, and his love, Mona, Max seems doesn’t seem like a character that would want to play dead. Max Payne is reintroduced back into the life when he defends a woman in a bar, and his old friend, Raul Passos, helps him kill a mafia boss’s son, and when he nearly escapes from a shootout in a church, after paying respects to his family, he leaves for Latin America, as a hired hand. But the phrase he tells the mafia boss’s son, and he said, “You practice that speech in the mirror in your underwear” made me laugh, but also realize that Max just wants to relax and get drunk. But to have to relive his pain with his family still haunts Max, and he says, “Let it go. It was a long time ago. Seriously.” There’s so many lines that add so much to the visuals and how sad the story is, and proves how much video games can be well written too. The beginning where he talks to himself alone in the apartment, getting drunk, looking at his dead family, reminds you where Max is, and it’s not in a good place. Also, when says, “Say what you want about Americans, but we understand Capitalism. You buy a product and you get what you pay for. And these chumps had paid for an angry gringo without the sensibilities to know right from wrong. Here I was about to execute this poor bastard like I was a dime store angel of death and I realize they were correct. I wouldn’t know right from wrong if one was helping the poor and the other was banging my sister.” as we flash back to the beginning. It’s probably the moment when a player has to realize they are going in for a bumpy ride, and the writing sets up a game where story and voice over match with a cinematic quality.

            It’s a game that seems to be forgotten in most circles, but only to a die hard few, but the persistence of Max Payne’s legacy is in the writing. It’s the ironic nature of Max’s voice over that seems to sell the game most over much of what is confirmed in buttons and how a player can control Max. 

            It’s lines that Max says, Sa Paolo “is like Baghdad with a G-String” that keeps me laughing for days on end, but the poignant nature of the voice over, with the action that is a contender for how games can handle voice over. The sadness still pervades. When he loses the daughter of a millionaire he’s supposed to protect, you can hear the sadness of him reliving his days when he lost Mona, his love interest from Max Payne 2, and his family in the first game. 

            Tragedy seems to follow Max wherever he goes, and the way the voice over is used is why no voice over in video games has ever come close to Max Payne 3. The way he’s pushed to his limit, even shaving his head, as a sign of his short lived sobriety, makes you feel bad for Max as you guide him like Virgil through his Inferno. 

            They abandon the comic book cut scenes from the first two games as it probably was due to budget restraints. But there are lines to this day that make me laugh and still remind me the fun I had and how much writing was put into the game. When Max Payne is stopped by the cop he’s helping in Sao Paulo, he says to Max, “it’s not worth it” and he stops but the villain say, “I’ll walk,” and Max says, “Yeah with a limp” and stamps his foot into the villain’s leg, snapping it in half. 

            The bone crunch and the hilarity of the statement meet, as the game gives Max a happy ending. It makes me realize that to not address Max Payne in how writing can match up with the way you can respond to actions the character can make. It’s probably why Max Payne 3 is the calumniation of the first two games, and drives home the pain and heartbreak Max can live through, but still find redemption at the end of his journey.

-Louis Bruno is the author of more than 15 books, including, The Michael Project, The Michael Project: Book 2: The Lost Children of Eve, Thy Kingdom Come, The Disintegrating Bloodline, Apocalypse Soldier, Hierarchy of Dwindling Sheep. His books can be found on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Lulu. He can be found on Gab, https://gab.com/thereallouistbruno, Minds https://www.minds.com/lbruno8063/, and Parlerhttps://parler.com/profile/therealLouistbruno/posts. Instagram @lbrruno8063 and @louisbrunoofficialbook. He has written for the Intellectual Conservative and Ephemere. Also, he writes on https://louisbruno.substack.com, where you can support him directly. His latest, Come Home, Young One, a dark fantasy novel is out now at Lulu.com. Link is here: https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/louis-bruno/come-home-young-one/hardcover/product-pw8q7z.html?page=1&pageSize=4.  His next series, City of Sand, will be available sometime this year.

Note from Louis: Thanks so much for reading my articles and being such a constant reader, and listening to my podcasts. I usually write two to three articles a day during the week, but one to two on the weekends. Also, if you haven’t already, please subscribe, donate, like my articles and comment, buy my books, leave a review. Sharing the articles and podcasts helps above all can help if you can’t donate, too. Thank you so much. All help is appreciated. If you do subscribe, you canhave access to top tier articles and reviews, and also grow my page to help keep stay corporations mad all day. 

Also available on podcast too: 

http://www.breaker.audio/the-real-louis-t-brunos-blog

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https://pca.st/504t7jxr

https://radiopublic.com/the-real-louis-t-brunos-blog-We7LDvhttps://open.spotify.com/show/2spknKkC6Hi3YM5naV9cc9

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