Stolen Pixels #193: Max Blame, Part 4

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Stolen Pixels #193: Max Blame, Part 4

Max Payne comes face-to-face with one final mystery figure on his quest to answer the question: Are games art?

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Love the last part, definitely telling the future there ;)

Also, I agree with the 'old man' screw recognition,if its fun, its fun!

Wait, you mean that the movie wasn't as crappy as the infamous German's movies? I think it ruined the series quite some time ago.

Can't Max just bullet time Kotick?

Rockstar will do fine. Say what you like about cousin bowling, but they know how to make a gritty world, and memorable characters.

Anyone else remember the awesomeness of Woozie from San Andreas?

Did you have to remind me of Max Payne 3? :(

The way things look, I'm happy pretending MP2 is the final game in the series.

"Max! You're in a GTA Clone!"

"Suddenly, it all made sense, the crumbling cityscape's gray desaturated daylight burning my eyes like muzzle flash, the balding, stubbled gorilla-faced man staring at me in the mirror as the open streets begged for new atrocities, flitting on devil's wings around each corner. Some drug runner's dead eyes glared at me with the word 'lynch' on his lips as I felt the sweat soak into my wifebeater. I was in a GTA Clone."

"Funny as hell, it was the most horrible thing I could think of."

MadCat55329:
"Max! You're in a GTA Clone!"

"Suddenly, it all made sense, the crumbling cityscape's gray desaturated daylight burning my eyes like muzzle flash, the balding, stubbled gorilla-faced man staring at me in the mirror as the streets open begged for new atrocities flitting on devil's wings around each corner. Some drug runner's dead eyes glared at me with the word 'lynch' on his lips as I felt the sweat soak into my wifebeater."

"Funny as hell, it was the worst thing I could think of."

You sir, deserve a cookie for that comment. Sadly, I left my cookie jar in my other browser.

Excellent comic as usual, Shamus. The reminder of Max Payne 3 was a bit painful though.

Onyx Oblivion:
Rockstar will do fine. Say what you like about cousin bowling, but they know how to make a gritty world, and memorable characters.

Anyone else remember the awesomeness of Woozie from San Andreas?

Considering the amount of hours I spent on GTA:SA I find it strange that I have no idea who Woozie is. Must not have made much of an impression on me.

And I'm sure it will be a good enough game. It's just looking to be a horrible Max Payne game. I don't understand why they didn't just call it something else and leave Max alone or wait for Remedy to do something memorable with him.

Hurr Durr Derp:
Did you have to remind me of Max Payne 3? :(

The way things look, I'm happy pretending MP2 is the final game in the series.

I agree. At least they aren't calling it Max Payn3. I guess that's something.

The end bit made me chuckle. Great ending to the mini-series.

Max is once again content!

Onyx Oblivion:
Say what you like about cousin bowling...

Ok, I will - I'm sick of people dismissing GTA IV based solely on a feature that can be turned off; yes, there is a messages off command in the phone menu on GTA IV.

These are my favorite Stolen Pixel comics so far. But I'm a fan of detective noir, and therefore Max Payne.

Doug:

Onyx Oblivion:
Say what you like about cousin bowling...

Ok, I will - I'm sick of people dismissing GTA IV based solely on a feature that can be turned off; yes, there is a messages off command in the phone menu on GTA IV.

I hope they aren't seriously dismissing just because of that. I recently got addicted to it again, such a great game, lots of details and subtle parodies. Combat can feel clumsy, the amount of content makes up for it though.

teh_gunslinger:

Onyx Oblivion:
Rockstar will do fine. Say what you like about cousin bowling, but they know how to make a gritty world, and memorable characters.

Anyone else remember the awesomeness of Woozie from San Andreas?

Considering the amount of hours I spent on GTA:SA I find it strange that I have no idea who Woozie is. Must not have made much of an impression on me.

And I'm sure it will be a good enough game. It's just looking to be a horrible Max Payne game. I don't understand why they didn't just call it something else and leave Max alone or wait for Remedy to do something memorable with him.

Hurr Durr Derp:
Did you have to remind me of Max Payne 3? :(

The way things look, I'm happy pretending MP2 is the final game in the series.

I agree. At least they aren't calling it Max Payn3. I guess that's something.

Oh man, you're kidding me, right? Woozie - the blind Chinese triad leader! One of the best characters in the game.

OP: Ah a perfect Max Payne ending, everything is as it should be. Oh wait, except the 3rd game coming out!

It's true. It doesn't matter if games are art, people should just have fun playing them. That's what counts.

teh_gunslinger:

Onyx Oblivion:
Rockstar will do fine. Say what you like about cousin bowling, but they know how to make a gritty world, and memorable characters.

Anyone else remember the awesomeness of Woozie from San Andreas?

Considering the amount of hours I spent on GTA:SA I find it strange that I have no idea who Woozie is. Must not have made much of an impression on me.

Blind Triad guy? Mostly in San Fierro?

Two things to comment on:

Andy Chalk:
So how exactly is this a new Max Payne game, and even more to the point, why? Maybe I'm being premature but I can't stop thinking that Rockstar got it backwards: It's ripped out everything that made the games unique and memorable and left behind only those parts that have, in the six years and counting since the last release, become thoroughly generic. And if that really is the case, then why tack the Max Payne name onto it rather than starting fresh with an all-new character?

A man has still hit rock bottom. He's still lost everything. You have Brazil, which is heavy into drug trafficking, possibly making Valkyr at a lower rate and causing more chaos in the process. You have Max Payne, who already has a sense of closure at killing the ones that killed his family, moving on to new things. You have Bullet Time and you have a franchise making a new step and a new beginning. It's not as if noir filming is conclusive only to New York. I'm fairly sure that Brazil has that unique style of depression and darkness in film, overflowing even on the brightest day.

Was I surprised at the change? Lemme think... Twelve years is a long time for anyone to change. In twelve years, will you have changed for the better? Will you look exactly as you did at 20 that you did at 32? I think the series needed a reboot. Granted, this is far from what I expected, but if we're still going with the noir style maybe, just maybe Rockstar can pull off another "out of left field" victory for themselves.

Shane Young:
The usual explanation when something like this happens (as with Xcom) is that they're just harvesting the brand name to garner a few sales, but, it's not like Max Payne is this obscure, struggling series that needed an overhaul to make it more "mainstream".

No. I personally believe they're taking the franchise in a new direction. I also believe that Rockstar has considerable ability to tell a story as proven with GTA (we'll leave GTA III alone... That was a work in progress. Damn Clyde...) I say let them work on it. As I mention with Andy, a lot changes in 12 years. I wouldn't be the slightest interested in yet ANOTHER game in New York, that had a momentous blizzard interfering with everything. ESPECIALLY when all the unique characters are dead or gone in some way.

Also, one thing about film noir:

wiki:
Worldview, morality, and tone

Film noir is often described as essentially pessimistic. The noir stories that are regarded as most characteristic tell of people trapped in unwanted situations (which, in general, they did not cause but are responsible for exacerbating), striving against random, uncaring fate, and frequently doomed. The movies are seen as depicting a world that is inherently corrupt.

You can't get much more corrupt than Brazil. With drugs rampant, a very violent police force, and guns everywhere, it truly is a unique locale to feel like you're doomed. With it being closer to release, perhaps it can surprise us by actually keeping that style of play.

Ugh, I'm among the rising ranks that is getting tired of seeing games set in New York. I have no ambition to ever visit the city because I doubt I'm going to get a hero's welcome in that town after all the times I've saved it in the past, dammit. So at least I'm glad that MP3 is going to take place in Brazil.
I'm curious to see if it will play like a GTA clone. Might be funny to see Max Dukes-of-Hazzard it over a car hood in bullet-time to kick the driver in the face to jack their car.
I thankfully skipped seeing the MP movie with Wahlberg, so my memories of Max aren't tarnished in that respect. But twelve years is a long time, I hope they at least aged him realistically.

Nice comic though. After hearing about MP3, I almost expected to see Max shoot himself in the head in the end after a snappy witticism. Or to pull out the old chestnut, "I'm getting too old for this shit".

Gindil:
Two things to comment on:

Andy Chalk:
So how exactly is this a new Max Payne game, and even more to the point, why? Maybe I'm being premature but I can't stop thinking that Rockstar got it backwards: It's ripped out everything that made the games unique and memorable and left behind only those parts that have, in the six years and counting since the last release, become thoroughly generic. And if that really is the case, then why tack the Max Payne name onto it rather than starting fresh with an all-new character?

A man has still hit rock bottom. He's still lost everything. You have Brazil, which is heavy into drug trafficking, possibly making Valkyr at a lower rate and causing more chaos in the process. You have Max Payne, who already has a sense of closure at killing the ones that killed his family, moving on to new things. You have Bullet Time and you have a franchise making a new step and a new beginning. It's not as if noir filming is conclusive only to New York. I'm fairly sure that Brazil has that unique style of depression and darkness in film, overflowing even on the brightest day.

Was I surprised at the change? Lemme think... Twelve years is a long time for anyone to change. In twelve years, will you have changed for the better? Will you look exactly as you did at 20 that you did at 32? I think the series needed a reboot. Granted, this is far from what I expected, but if we're still going with the noir style maybe, just maybe Rockstar can pull off another "out of left field" victory for themselves.

Shane Young:
The usual explanation when something like this happens (as with Xcom) is that they're just harvesting the brand name to garner a few sales, but, it's not like Max Payne is this obscure, struggling series that needed an overhaul to make it more "mainstream".

No. I personally believe they're taking the franchise in a new direction. I also believe that Rockstar has considerable ability to tell a story as proven with GTA (we'll leave GTA III alone... That was a work in progress. Damn Clyde...) I say let them work on it. As I mention with Andy, a lot changes in 12 years. I wouldn't be the slightest interested in yet ANOTHER game in New York, that had a momentous blizzard interfering with everything. ESPECIALLY when all the unique characters are dead or gone in some way.

Also, one thing about film noir:

wiki:
Worldview, morality, and tone

Film noir is often described as essentially pessimistic. The noir stories that are regarded as most characteristic tell of people trapped in unwanted situations (which, in general, they did not cause but are responsible for exacerbating), striving against random, uncaring fate, and frequently doomed. The movies are seen as depicting a world that is inherently corrupt.

You can't get much more corrupt than Brazil. With drugs rampant, a very violent police force, and guns everywhere, it truly is a unique locale to feel like you're doomed. With it being closer to release, perhaps it can surprise us by actually keeping that style of play.

Well, Ok Brazil sure, maybe changing New York isn't that bad - but why the hell did they change Max?
It's ok if he's older but bald, muscle man with beard ... they will probably even get a different voice actor and add cover systems :S

GodKlown:

I'm curious to see if it will play like a GTA clone. Might be funny to see Max Dukes-of-Hazzard it over a car hood in bullet-time to kick the driver in the face to jack their car.
I thankfully skipped seeing the MP movie with Wahlberg, so my memories of Max aren't tarnished in that respect. But twelve years is a long time, I hope they at least aged him realistically.

Nice comic though. After hearing about MP3, I almost expected to see Max shoot himself in the head in the end after a snappy witticism. Or to pull out the old chestnut, "I'm getting too old for this shit".

Brazil really isn't good for driving around in the favelas. I just saw a documentary that showed the police there and the type of terrain they're on. It's mainly hills and the training is BRUTAL, with steep steppes and mountainous beyond belief. Great to walk, but you need some trucks in Rio.

I doubt MP would work as a GTA clone. It's been an action game for a long time, which I believe is far better with a few addons (cover system, attention to detail) than making another sandbox game.

Inuprince:

Well, Ok Brazil sure, maybe changing New York isn't that bad - but why the hell did they change Max?
It's ok if he's older but bald, muscle man with beard ... they will probably even get a different voice actor and add cover systems :S

Funny, that's exactly what they did too. XD

Lawl, amazing pixel.

It has some wise statements throughout it, really enjoyed it. Also when he mentions the 3rd installement he is happy to hear it, a sad happy news for him.

Gaming is supposed to be fun, that's why I never bother with popular critics, rather read many reviews and take my chances, if it's not fun, well..Atleast I tried.

"Ah. That's more like it."

Oh man. That, and Max's smile, made the whole strip.

Agree with Yahtzee indeed **cough cough my ass cough cough**. This comic series defines the issue and answers it better than any collumn I've read since Ebert riled everyone up. Ebert was answering a question that few if any were actually asking, or needed to ask, or should have asked. A game whose primary goal is to be an artistic statement is probably one I'm going to tend to avoid. Same goes for movies now that I think about it.

Lol you do know your audience, Shamus. And do we ever like our dumbed down, homogenized crap...

Milkman Dan:
"Ah. That's more like it."

Oh man. That, and Max's smile, made the whole strip.

Agreed. And I play for myself. For fun. I can be critical but still I try to enjoy every game that I start.

Well compiled thoughts over the GameArtPayneStrips.

Ps. Might just ... buy the Max Payne 3 for the kicks of it :-]

Gindil:

GodKlown:

I'm curious to see if it will play like a GTA clone. Might be funny to see Max Dukes-of-Hazzard it over a car hood in bullet-time to kick the driver in the face to jack their car.
I thankfully skipped seeing the MP movie with Wahlberg, so my memories of Max aren't tarnished in that respect. But twelve years is a long time, I hope they at least aged him realistically.

Nice comic though. After hearing about MP3, I almost expected to see Max shoot himself in the head in the end after a snappy witticism. Or to pull out the old chestnut, "I'm getting too old for this shit".

Brazil really isn't good for driving around in the favelas. I just saw a documentary that showed the police there and the type of terrain they're on. It's mainly hills and the training is BRUTAL, with steep steppes and mountainous beyond belief. Great to walk, but you need some trucks in Rio.

I doubt MP would work as a GTA clone. It's been an action game for a long time, which I believe is far better with a few addons (cover system, attention to detail) than making another sandbox game.

Inuprince:

Well, Ok Brazil sure, maybe changing New York isn't that bad - but why the hell did they change Max?
It's ok if he's older but bald, muscle man with beard ... they will probably even get a different voice actor and add cover systems :S

Funny, that's exactly what they did too. XD

That's just great. Another fucking cover based shooter. Another great franchise flushed down the toilette with dumbed down gameplay.

For some reason, that last panel frightens me.

It's just... the way he smiles...

Its funny that Max seems to be ok with the 3rd installment.

Hey, is that the first vicious putdown of Rockstar I've seen? Shamus, I want to bear your children. Or give your children a bear. Whichever works better.

I think whether or not games are art is a discussion worth having, but 1) it's not worth abandoning games over their subjective quality as art and 2) it's not worth arguing with a guy who hasn't even played any games. Ebert's column was only catapulted to stardom in the gamer community because gamers love being butthurt and acting as if they're getting the short end of the stick and will jump to defend things that need no defending.

I'm still withholding judgement on how Max Payne 3 will play and feel. As to how it fits into the Max Payne we all know and love, that's where my problem with it lies. The ending to MP2 is quite definitive. Max is going to be okay.

MadCat55329:
"Max! You're in a GTA Clone!"

"Suddenly, it all made sense, the crumbling cityscape's gray desaturated daylight burning my eyes like muzzle flash, the balding, stubbled gorilla-faced man staring at me in the mirror as the open streets begged for new atrocities, flitting on devil's wings around each corner. Some drug runner's dead eyes glared at me with the word 'lynch' on his lips as I felt the sweat soak into my wifebeater. I was in a GTA Clone."

"Funny as hell, it was the most horrible thing I could think of."

You re my hero.

Onyx Oblivion:
Rockstar will do fine. Say what you like about cousin bowling, but they know how to make a gritty world, and memorable characters.

Anyone else remember the awesomeness of Woozie from San Andreas?

Woozie was one of my favorites.

A blind crime boss who can still street race and beat people at video games? Hell yeah

Gindil:
It's been an action game for a long time, which I believe is far better with a few addons (cover system, attention to detail) than making another sandbox game.

Cover system?

Max Payne is John Woo Movie: The Game (or at least it was, until John Woo Movie: The Game actually came out) as far a combat goes. And in John Woo movies cover is for pussies.

Anyway, I liked the end of Max Payne 2 (and Max Payne, for that matter) -

, the story is resolved and it doesn't need to continue - we can leave Max there, finally at peace and able to get on with his life. There was no cliffhanger, no sequal hook and there didn't need to be a sequel the first time and I'd say there definetly shouldn't be a sequel with a new voice actor and without any of the original team.

Its simple to me - I wouldn't want a sequel to Hard Boiled that wasn't directed by John Woo and didn't star Chow Yun Fat and I don't want the game series inspired by those works to be ruined in the same way.

Onyx Oblivion:
Rockstar will do fine. Say what you like about cousin bowling, but they know how to make a gritty world, and memorable characters.

Sure, but Brazil is sunshine-sweat-poor-district-with-beggars gritty and I don't like that. I liked the big-dark-city-in-snowstorm gritty the two original games had.

I love the plot twist in the comic, very likable new-age BS.

This series made me install the first one again. The only shooter I've ever loved in third person. Not in the last place cause of the way Sam Lake gave Max his first face.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Lake
Timothy Gibbs was "allright"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timothy_Gibbs
but the guy they made Max into for the 3th installment is one bridge too far for me.
This isn't Max 20 years later, but Niko Bellic.

That was one awesome ending to the series (the 4-part comic I mean).

Speaking of Max Payne 3... I can only wait... I hope they don't screw it up.
I can at least tolerate it's in São Paulo, since it's the most urban setting you can find in South America.

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