How Much Better Does Max Payne 3 Look On PC?

Today's Rockstar released the first images of Max Payne 3 running on PC, and while no exact comparison shots are available, taking a look at similar screens for the console version reveals substantial differences.

Just look at the image above. On the left we've got two of the three PC shots released today. On the right, two previously released console shots. All of them look just lovely, of course; this is Rockstar, after all. The PC shots just look crisper and sharper than their console counterparts. It's something PC gamers have come to depend on and expect, given the amount of money we pump into our machines.

The differences are most noticeable between the two shots of stubble-tastic Max firing off his weapons. The PC Max seems a bit more 'there' than the console one. Also he has a bit more hair fringe going on at his temple. This could just be due to the dynamic hair fringe system Rockstar is waiting for the right moment to reveal, which I just made up. Still, dynamic hair fringe: we need it.

The lack of a similarly-angled bald shot makes it hard to spot the differences between bald Max on the PC (left) and console (right). I really only posted this picture to demonstrate how good that shirt looks on both versions. I need that shirt. I need 10 of them in 2x-large, and I'll wear them every day for the rest of my life.

One thing to keep in mind as well is that Rockstar isn't taking screenshots on the sort of machine you likely have sitting on your computer desk. They've likely got Max Payne 3 running on the sort of system you see at trade shows and drool over until you realise it costs as much as a small car. Or at least something better than I have. Definitely not a Compaq Prolinea 425s.

When it comes right down to it, graphics don't really matter much when you're down on the ground and an angry enemy is shining a flashlight in your face like some sort of third and final Max Payne 3 screenshot. PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 Max Paynsylvanians (term coined) should enjoy the game just as much, no matter which platform they employ.

Folks that've pumped a couple thousand into a gaming PC will enjoy it a little more just as much.


    Before reading I couldn't figure out which ones are supposed to be better, they look too different to compare. Max is definitely more vascular and less pasty on the top left, and yeah he has a few more fat hairs on his forehead.

    Well how old is the xbox360 now? 6ish? This is how they pay for dragging their feet ....too long between consoles i think

      While the PC version does look better, it's extremely impressive how good the console version looks considering the 6 year old hardware.

      Trying getting it to run on a six year old PC!!

    Terrible comparison shots from a game art perspective, but perhaps that's deliberate to not take too much steam out of the console pre-orders?

    To be honest, the statements in the article about needing a high end PC are pretty superfluous. My 2 year old PC has a graphics card in it that is 12x more powerful then an entire PS3.

    Battlefield 3, Skyrim etc. are all console ports, that is the art assets, the rendering system etc. are all crippled for PC hardware. If you want some idea of what that can mean, you are looking at maybe a 10-20x reduction in performance in some cases over what is possible with PC exclusive model rendering.

    Sure, that might only result in a 50-100% better image, objectively but given how good Skyrim and Battlefield 3 look on PC's without even stressing them, that's a huge gap.

    MAYBE ... just maybe Rockstar decided to throw an extra few million at their art team and some talented, cutting edge shader programmers. While those screenshots don't look like they're all the way there yet (the skin shader is ok, but not perfect, there doesn't appear to be any Tesselation and Displacement on the character) they certainly have significantly different algorithm's at play there.

    I wonder if this is indicative at some kind of attempt to push past the limitations of the consoles ... something that we might just see on some kind of preview of the upcoming GTA as well. I can only hope because it's been too long since someone made an up to date PC game.

    Does the logo in that last shot remind anyone else of the AFL's Carlton logo?

        By Jove! You're right, Detective Spoonsworth.

        Hahah that's the first thing I thought to when I saw the screen shot

    I don't care. This isn't a Max Payne game any more.

      I'm not sure when it was a Max Payne game :-P

    it wills look ten tomes as butter on dah wee yuo

      "Ten. Tomes. As Butter..."

    It goes without saying that 90% of games always look better on PC

      Correction, 90% of games can POTENTIALLY look better on the pc.

      Or, if you like, PC's can POTENTIALLY make 90% of games look better.

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