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Max Payne 3: Dissected

Trailer Analysis: 52 screenshots from the debut gameplay...

Finally Max Payne has returned to action with Rockstar releasing the first Max Payne 3 trailer earlier this week.

And quite the trailer it is too, giving us a good overview of Max's new situation and the kind of trouble he'll be getting himself into. Oh, and it's all in-game footage as well. Good ol' Rockstar.

We'd better not waste too much time though, there's some serious dissection to be done. Although a lot of what we can see in the trailer probably comes via in-game cutscenes, we do get a good look at the style of Max Payne 3, the characters, locations and some potential hints towards gameplay as well.

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First thing's first; where are we? Well, we know that Max Payne 3 is set in Sao Paulo Brazil and an establishing shot across the slum area of town sets the scene.

The third title in the thriller series takes place around a decade after number two and, as Max points out in the trailer, he isn't a cop anymore. Instead he works in the private security field for a rich family in Brazil.

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Not too well though, it turns out, because we soon see who we think is the man of the house reading a ransom note that, once translated, reads "Bring $3 million dollars to the Galatians stadium today at midnight or Fabiana dies!"

You'll notice that he's reading the note at a desk with 'Banco' documents on it, maybe this chap is a banker, then, hence all the wealth.

Fabiana is the daughter of the family under Payne's protection and you have to feel for the guy; following the plot of the original Max Payne, it seems he can't be around a family for too long before something tragic happens.

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We get a quick few shots of what looks like Max Payne visiting the banker before we see things starting to kick off in an office environment, with children's pictures and all.

Maybe the gang who took the banker's daughter have come to collect the ransom directly for whatever reason, or maybe the group's after the banker in order to distract Max while someone else swipes the daughter.

All just speculation for the moment of course. Either way, it looks like we'll be getting an office shoot-out.

We think it will be early on in the game as well because Max has hair. The trailer features a definite tipping point where Payne decides it's time to go classic Max.

At one point it looks like he's taking life pretty hard. We get a scene where the broken hero is drinking heavily. Perhaps the hit on the banker was successful, perhaps Max failed on two counts with the girl still missing and her father dead.

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Eventually our man snaps and decides to shave his head. Not the most extreme result of a psychological breakdown you might think but the real action follows.

We should also point out that Max is addicted to painkillers in number three as well as having a taste for the sauce. Will we get hallucination sections as in the original? Will we be hindered by withdrawal symptoms if we don't keep topping our protagonist up with drugs? We hope so!

When Payne loses the sharp grey suit he goes a bit loco, rampaging into the slums like Rambo with shotguns, machine guns and a dirty vest. Sensible? No. Badass? Si.

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Not that the man was conservative before he dropped the open-collar shirt. You might notice in that quick office skirmish that Payne accompanied his standard pistol with an Uzi. We don't know how the world of private protection works but we'd say that has to be one of the more aggressive options when it comes to tooling up.

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