Max Payne 3 is Rockstar's most 'linear game'
Despite several delays and enhancements, Rockstar's Max Payne 3 is shaping up to be a fantastic addition to the series' library. Rockstar, though, is taking an entirely new route in contrasts to their past titles. For instance, Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto IV both offered players freedom to explore the vast terrain, but Max Payne 3 is already being dubbed the developer's most "linear game."
In a recent playthrough, IGN's Daniel Krupa described the linear gameplay, which adds a new, yet welcoming flavor:
Max Payne 3, however, is a very different proposition. Ostensibly, it's one of the most linear games Rockstar has ever made, and that's not a bad thing. Those skills, normally directed towards building functioning ecosystems and populating vast cities, have been channeled into a more focussed narrative.
I played part of chapter III, which opens with a short in-game cut-scene. At this point in the narrative, Max has left New York and is working as private security contractor for wealthy industrialist Rodrigo Branco, whose glamourous wife Fabiana has been kidnapped. Max and his partner, Passos, are tasked with making an exchange for Fabiana that night at the Galatians stadium, a fictional football team in Sau Paulo. Recalling the motion-comics the series is famous for, it's a heady mix of cinematic styles and visual flourishes: key pieces of dialogue appear on screen, dutch angles, changes in film stock, gravelly voiceover. Some might find it overwhelming, but it certainly gives the game a distinctive visual style. It's not boring to watch.
Impressive as these cut sequences are, though it's the way that they seamlessly segue into gameplay that really sells this type of storytelling.
Krupa went on to explain the title's fresh gameplay that tailors to both hardcore Max Payne fans and newcomers, saying "The game lets you choose between three main shooting options: hard lock, soft lock, and free aim. The first two are pretty much what you'd expect - both assist with aiming to a greater or lesser degree - but it's free aim that really facilitates the classic run-and-gun Max Payne gameplay. Yes, it's harder to pull-off a head-shot, but it should be difficult. It also means that you can aim in any direction and keep on moving in a realistic manner."
Rockstar has been carefully crafting the Max Payne 3 experience for years now, and if this indicates the final product, then we are all far the change. A slick narrative, fast gameplay, and the Rockstar name? Yup, we're on the bandwagon.