Eddie here. I’ve been planning to resurrect the old column, so what better way to do it (especially with E3 looming and that resource called “time” looking pretty thin) than with the return of my column-within-a-column “Scribblings” series?
Scribblings is all about the random (or not-so-random) notes I write while playing games for review. This is where you can see exactly what the game planted in my brain during the heat of the moment. It’s what came out of the experience in real time. I think it’s a fun exercise, and potentially as informative as the proper review itself.
So, in s-l-o-w-m-o-t-i-o-n, I bring you the Max Payne 3 scribblings:
Max Payne 3 begins with a slow-motion hurrah
an old, alcoholic, painkiller addict getting back into a business he’s over the hill for
split panels, words on screen to emphasize Max’s narration
Max is totally detached from the world he lives in, less so from his past life,
totally out of place, and he hates it “electronic music, robotic people”
continually exhibits that he’s crazy and gung-ho, with no regard for his own physical well being
lots of hair-trigger reaction moments
Max seems to almost want to die, just waiting for fate to do it for him. mentions fate when hit by sniper
humor like compliments on being a good button pusher
adding damage to max’s broken body as the story wears on
spotlighting the death throes, adding more shots on dying enemies. so gratifying
Max’s narrative helps drive play forward. “a bullet will sometimes work as well as a key”
Max is almost constantly drunk, and when not, he’s got the painkillers. each substance has an effect on the camera. heavy during cutscenes, brief during play
“YES!!!” Moments. lots of them. this is the epitome of the action genre.
sunset boat chase through the jungle river. beauty setting the stage for violence. party on a luxury high rise. violence. nightclub. violence. soccer stadium. violence. Hoboken. violence
max drinks more. pops more pills.
then he quits, goes sober. reinvents his image, explores the poor side of Sao Paolo. questions his prior place in the world, making money protecting the rich and killing the poor. “protection”
if he’s not experiencing effects of the drink or painkillers, he’s nursing the throb of a hangover.
Max’s pace through the lower-class streets is slow and cautious. the foreign language is never translated, keeps him feeling lost, unwelcome.
“I was running the risk of becoming too clear-headed”
on-rails sequences do not overstay their welcome and add, rather than detract from the experience. they always serve to increase action and adrenaline.
Max spends his life trying to save people – primarily women – perhaps to make up for the wife and daughter he failed to save in 1998
“I’m only a cop, Max” -Passos. “So you keep saying” -Max, the cop,who never gives up
Although he doesn’t fully understand it all, Max goes into the final act to clean up. Like the Taxi driver.
“Try to look after yourself, Max. Life is worth living”
always talking about fate
last area: “the mission was screaming suicide, but i didn’t give a damn” after a diatribe narration about how he’s a dumb move guy, going in the wrong way was his style, etc