I’ve Had Better: Max Payne 3 The Weapons of Max Payne 3 SMGs Trailer

A new video game by Rockstar Presents has a new trailer that I just watched and I had some thoughts on it.  I wrote them down so that you can read them after you watch it:

The game is called Max Payne 3 The Weapons of Max Payne 3 SMGs. First, the good news for parents out there is while the warning says that this game may contain content inappropriate for children, I still think it’s a safe bet that it also contains content appropriate for children so you won’t want them to miss this trailer. Now that that’s out of the way let’s break down the real action of MP3TWOMP3SMGs.

We cut to some dramatic shots of 4 men in various states of reloading their guns before the title reveal. Upon closer inspection, I suppose it could just be 2 men (one bald, one not) wearing different shirts. Things get even harder to follow as the trailer continues and graphics and text come on screen to name each of the individual men. The video even pauses so that we have time to associate the weird names (which I’ll come back to later) with each man. If this portion of the trailer is to be believed, based on the nameplate graphics we now have 5 separate men starring in this game. That’s not all, if you were paying as close attention as I was (and you should have been) you’ll notice that the man from the intro in the polo shirt is never even given a name. If you count the man in the polo give us at least 6 men total. This number only increases if based you consider that based on the nameplates there are two different men wearing the same Hawaiian shirt as well two men wearing the same suit.

Max Payne

Max Payne #2

Why all of the fuss about the number of leading men in this trailer? For a game called Max Payne 3 (TWOMP3SMGs) there are only two options. Either there is one man named Max Payne or there are 3 men named Max Payne. Any other number of Max Paynes is completely unjustifiable. Hopefully the full game fills in that mystery for us.

Then again, based on the text I’m not sure any of these particular men are named Max Payne at all unless Max Payne is a codename or the unnamed man in the polo shirt is in fact the only Max Payne (which would be a nice twist but too much of a stretch for the audience to understand). On top of this, all of the men had strange names. All of them were either just a set of intials, numbers, periods or combination thereof. I couldn’t relate to any of them, but their job titles were pretty cool.

Wardrobe malfunction

Back to those shirts for a minute. I’m concerned that it appears the game is already repeating character clothing designs in this trailer. The trailer is less than a minute long and we are already out of art assets? While the graphics of the game certainly look great and I appreciate the gritty realism that the art style is going for, I’m worried that this could be at the cost of some immersive details. There’s more than one Hawaiian shirt out there, heck, wife-beaters even come in multiple colors (and camo!) these days.

One positive that I took from the trailer is that the guns really do look and sound great. The action is intense and the leading men are definitely bad asses. I am a big fan of not having to keep track of your ammo and judging by the amount of shots fired it doesn’t look like that will be a problem in MP3TWOMP3SMGs. However, I hope that the cause for all of this shooting isn’t due to a faulty aiming system in the game as that could get frustrating. Even though these semi-automatic guns are favorites of mine, I wouldn’t have minded to see a bit more variety to the guns themselves. Sure we had a few big ones and small ones, but they all support the same kind of the spray-and-pray type of shooting. Give me a sniper rifle, a shotgun or even a baseball bat to mix it up. Just a suggestion.

Working well with what they had to work with

Max Payne 3 Music

This man doesn't listen to music with bells in it.

My ears also have a few things to say. On its own and away from this trailer the music is certainly nice. However, it just made me think of a tropical location which seemed a little redundant with the Hawaiian shirts and palm trees seen throughout the video. I’m thinking the musicians just wanted a vacation and that desire started bleeding into their work. Personally, I don’t really care for games that take in places in locations that I haven’t been to and I would never go to a place that plays music that combines drums and bells and I strongly doubt these Max Paynes would either.

The real problem with the music is that the video has to wait on it to catch up. Now, my hats are off to the graphic artists and video editors that made it work. Every time the music slowed down they were able to fill in the gaps with the previously mentioned nameplates. Way to improvise! Call me old fashioned, but a trailer should be non-stop action and the music should keep up the pace with the occasional dramatic beat drop before everything gets even crazier. That’s how you stand out. Instead, we are treated to a soundtrack with a frustrating pace that was so bad when the music was low I swear I could hear the director giving instructions of when to start the music back up again.

The final straw came at the very end of the video. If there’s one thing I stand for, it is continuity and the final screen breaks the entire trailer for me. The title of the game at the end of the trailer does not match the one at the beginning. While I agree that Max Payne 3 is a much more succinct title, but it is just not as catchy as the long version. The viewer is also given one more confusing direction “May 15 Pre-order Now.” Which is it? I’m not sure they even know. I’d probably order the wrong game anyway.

What did you think of the MP3TWOMP3SMGs trailer? Will you be pre-ordering now or on May 15? How many Max Paynes will it take to convince you either way?

I’ve Had Better – Video game trailers are serious business that require analysis to the point of missing the point entirely because we have nothing better to do until the game comes out.