Max Payne 3 Critical Let's Play: Chapter 1 (Something Rotten in the Air)
 
Hi everyone, Introducing my Max Payne 3 Critical Let's play! http://youtu.be/eaMKPkOtgwU?list=PLoN-AaQc-uK6gpzWcXln_IdT6LPhKUPZ0 Following on from my Critical Let's Play video series of the Modern Warfare trilogy, I am now going to play through and talk about one of my favourite games of recent years: Max Payne 3. While I never really got into the earlier Max Payne games, I found Max Payne 3 to be this absolutely stunning action videogame with some of the most remarkable production quality. Max Payne 3 is an action game that takes itself seriously, but never *too* seriously. It knows exactly what it is (a game where a dude shoots a lot of people) and it puts a lot of effort and care into being that to the best of its abilities. In a lot of ways, it is exactly what I want in a big blockbuster game: not pretentious but not flippant, with the resources available to a big studio used to craft an incredibly detailed world full of unique assets. This is probably the main thing I will be drawing attention to through this Critical Let's Play: the sheer craftspersonship on display in every single chapter of the game. The other two key themes that I'll keep returning to are the representation of Max as a body, and the rhythmic progression of the game's narrative. Max's body has a real weight, a real heft as it moves through the world. The story is inscribed on his flesh with wounds healing up over days, dodgy haircuts, and a shotgun wedged into his armpit while he reloads a pistol. The attention of detail paid to Max's ever changing body contributes so much to the game, and its presence can't be understated. The rhythm, meanwhile, is present in the game's various transitions from scene to scene, from the way one chapter just blends into the next. The way a firefight swipes into a cut scene, or the way Max automatically slows to a walk and draws his pistol as the player approaches a door to ensure the next cut scene smoothly flows on from the player's control. We also see in Max Payne 3 the beginning of Rockstar using slow walking transitions and cut scenes to load in levels in the background to (generally) avoid loading screens. This is something that Grand Theft Auto V continued. So those are the general areas I will be talking about through these videos. I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed making them! My ability to remember multiple characters' names was sorely tested at times, but apart from that I'm really happy with how these turned out. Hopefully you enjoy it as well! Any feedback is, as always, more than welcome. And finally for now, here are some things I have written about Max Payne 3 in the past so you know where I am coming from with this, as well as some further links you might be interested in. Notes on Max Payne 3: http://critdamage.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/notes-on-max-payne-3-or-brendan-tries.html Regarding the Pain of Avatars: http://www.reactionzine.com/regarding-the-pain-of-avatars/ Playing to Lose: The Fall of the Videogame Hero: http://www.wwd.com/menswear-news/lifestyle/m-playing-to-lose-7514181?full=true (I say in this first video that Max Payne 3 has nothing interesting to say about gender. This was a misspeak. Max Payne 3 has a lot of interesting stuff to say about normative masculinity.) Health's Soundtrack for the game: http://www.wwd.com/menswear-news/lifestyle/m-playing-to-lose-7514181?full=true (I speak about the music a lottt in these videos) Jon Rafman's film A Man Digging, 2013: http://vimeo.com/67294179 (This is a really great machinima film that really shows off Max Payne 3's wonderful design.)