Sorry to those of you who were expecting the “mystery man” to be another industry heavyweight, but this is where I wanted to go with the story.

The argument over Max Payne 3 (my thoughts on that here, and Andy Chalk’s column on it here) is like a lot of arguments over series that diverge from their originators:

1. Ah! They changed everything and the game no longer contains the elements that made me like it in the first place!

2. Shut up. The game looks awesome.

The quality of the game is more or less beside the point. (Particularly since it isn’t out yet.) Even if it’s a fantastic and fun game, it’s a radical departure from the original. If you liked the nighttime New York setting of trading gunfire with mobsters with your hip John Woo-styled bullet ninja / narrator, then the new one is going to be missing those key elements.

If Santa Monica Studio replaced Kratos with a spiky-haired androgynous emo teenager because they wanted to go after the Final Fantasy market, I think God of War fans would be justified in their outrage no matter how good the resulting game was.

But Max Payne 3 is being made by Rockstar. If we’re very lucky Max won’t spend half the game taking his cousin bowling.

Shamus Young is the guy behind this website, this book, these three webcomics, and this program.

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