5 Things Grand Theft Auto V Should Lift From Max Payne 3

It can be difficult to view Max Payne 3 on its own terms. It's a fine game in its own right, but it will always exist at least partly in the shadow of Rockstar's other, much bigger looming release — Grand Theft Auto V.

Since Rockstar released GTA IV four years ago, both Red Dead Redemption and now Max Payne 3 have brought enough tweaks and changes to the studio's brand of cover-based gunplay that GTA IV's action feels crusty and clunky by comparison. Max Payne 3 in particular refines Rockstar's third-person manshooting to a new and occasionally truly exhilarating degree. It's impossible not to want to see some of this stuff make it into GTA V.

Today, I'll be talking about five things I'd like to see carry over from Max Payne 3 into Grand Theft Auto V. And in a shocking twist, tomorrow I'll list five things that I hope don't make the cut. Here goes!

1. No Enemies On The Minimap

This is one that I've been on the record about for a while now — I love playing GTA IV without a minimap. Thing is, that's an extreme way to play the game — it can be difficult to navigate without some sort of map to view. But the biggest problem with the minimap is that it shows all of your enemies as big red dots, and combat becomes an exercise in whack-a-dot. "Where's the last guy? Oh, he's hiding over here. Better kill him."

Max Payne 3 has no minimap, and therefore you're never quite sure where danger lies. That makes every combat encounter a supremely tense affair, particularly when you're near the end but aren't sure where that last man is waiting for you.

While I don't think GTA V should do away with the minimap, I would love an option to have only the minimap visible and not be able to see enemy locations.

2. The Slow-Mo Kill-Cam

I don't like this one for the reasons you may think - I'm not actually a huge fan of the more provocative aspects of Max Payne 3's gory slow-mo killshots. But we'll get to that in the "Things I hope aren't in GTA V" article tomorrow. For now: The thing I like about the slow-mo kill-cam is that it signals a checkpoint — rather than popping some intrusive text into your face, you know the fight is over because you're watching a cinematic, slow-mo shot.

Due to the lack of a minimap, there needs to be some signifier for when Max has cleared a room of baddies. I really like this method, as it allows a singular sort of catharsis at the end of a tense shootout and lets you breathe a sigh of relief (while blowing away that last enemy in slow motion).

Victory! At least, until the next gunfight starts.

3. The Revenge-Save

In Max Payne 3, you can be killed quite easily, but if you're carrying pain killers, you're allowed a "last-minute save." If you are killed while holding pills, everything goes slow-mo and you have a chance to shoot your killer. If you do so, Max downs a painkiller and keeps on going. This is a very smart method of keeping the game from being too punishing without making it too easy. You're not out of the woods, and you just used one of your precious painkillers, but all the same, you've pulled it out and will live to fight another day. Or, another five seconds.

Its implementation in GTA V might require a bit of a reimagining of that game's health system, but it could also just function as a sort of "saving throw" anytime you get killed in a gunfight. You get one shot to take down your killer, and if so you get back 40% of your health. If your health reaches zero again… it's back to the checkpoint for you.

But if that does happen...

4. A Subtle, Smart Helping Hand

Max Payne 3 is a difficult game, but it mitigates that difficulty in smart, subtle ways. If you die once, you'll reload the last checkpoint with full health (small comfort in such a lethal game) and the same guns and ammo you had last time. Die a couple more times, and it gives you a bottle of painkillers and some extra ammo. Die even more times and you get two bottles of painkillers and even more ammo. The enemies remain just as numerous and difficult, but you're a bit more powerful and therefore more likely to succeed.

I love this method of balancing — it allows the game to be very difficult while keeping players from getting truly stuck. Yes, there are difficulty spikes and some really frustrating sequences (more on that in tomorrow's post), but in general, I'm a fan of Max Payne 3's brand of player assistance and would love to see something like that in GTA V.

5. Bullet-Time and Shoot-Dodging

This one is the easiest sell, I think, particularly given the success of Deadeye-Mode in Red Dead Redemption. Max Payne 3 may represent the best shooting Rockstar has done in a game yet, but it's still not as smooth as it could be. Cover is weird and overly sticky, and movement is still a bit too heavy and slow.

However, the addition of bullet-time and the shoot-dodge go a long way towards making the game more balanced and fun, and they leave Max Payne 3's shooting feeling exciting and distinctive. I can think of no earthly reason why these features shouldn't be included in Grand Theft Auto V as baseline gameplay mechanics. There's a stylistic argument to be made against this: Max Payne has always been the John Woo-influenced slow-mo shooter, while GTA has embraced a more realistic vibe.

But who cares? Seriously — bullet time makes Max Payne more fun, playable, and distinctive than other action games including Rockstar's other games. I really can't come up with a reason that Rockstar shouldn't just carry the entire system over into GTA V.

So there you have it: Five things that I'd love to see carry over from Max Payne 3 to Grand Theft Auto V. Tune in tomorrow, when I'll talk about 5 things that I hope don't turn up again.


    You know what they shouldn't do? Leave out "local only" search functions!

    "Bullet-Time and Shoot-Dodging"

    Please no.

      have you played max payne 3?

      easily the best part of the game, it's what seperates it from being a generic third person shooter...

        you mean "have you played Max Payne at all" seeing as bullet time and shoot dodging was in both 1 and 2

          Oh I love the slow-mo, bullet time, dodging.. IN Max Payne.. just not in every other game. You're right that this was ONE of the things that set the action in Max Payne apart from others.. but that is Max Payne.. not GTA.

            RDR had bullet time and it worked fantastically. It's because they changed it a little bit to match the gunslinger persona. Maybe include it but change it up a bit to match the modern criminal persona somehow. Max is all diving, slowmo shooting, John Marston is tag and shoot, who knows what our new guy could do? Though bullet time shooting while driving would sure as hell be interesting lol.

        not only that, but fudging the shoot-dodge is just as entertaining! - if you try a shoot-dodge and hit a wall with your head, or go spine-first into the corner of a wall, or catch a foot on an obstacle you were trying to jump over... and Max bowls over or trips short (especially cool since you can roll around on the floor and keep firing after falling over - none of those silly canned animations that momentarily lock down player interaction). Of course the flip-side is when you do cool Stranglehold-style slides across tables (assuming you don't come off the table and through plate glass!)

        Sure, I agree with you, I need bullet-time and shoot-dodging in Max Payne. I certainly don't need it in grand theft auto though. Just wouldn't fit nor feel right.

        Yes I brought it as well. It wouldn't work with GTA.

    Agree with some of these but have to say that bullet time and dodging just doesn't fit in with GTA the way I imagine it. The slow-mo to finish a section is ok I guess.. but still doesn't sit quite right either for the ultimate city-based sand box game.

    The mini-amp thing, as a toggle option, I agree with... it's another difficulty tweak.

    However, I am in full agreement about #4... that kind of dynamic balancing is what all games need.

      Yeah it would get real annoying especially when I go on one of my frequent shooting sprees

    I want the way Max reacts to the environment to be in GTA V, the ways he smashes his body off things is great & very lifelike. Also the way Max can let off a few rounds while lying on the ground after a big dive should be in there too.

    Single player for MP3 is amazing but the mp so far is painful all I see is people running with dual wielded weapons, keeping their cursor at head high spraying as they run around like a chicken with thirty head cut.

    I've been playing ghost recon future soldier mp too and that is some great third person mp .

    GTA IV goes slo-mo for a couple of seconds after you die (to watch a crowd of cops emptying their ammo in to Niko's corpse usually). It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to extend this period to his last little scrap of life.

    It'd be kind of nice to have a rare opportunity to slow-mo whilst trying to thread-the-needle in traffic at full speed sometimes also.

    It's always kind of a dilemma whether or not iconic features from franchises should make their way into other games. My initial reaction was that bullet time and dodging should not be in GTA4 because it's one of the things that makes Max Payne special, but if it genuinely improves gameplay then who am I to stand in the way of progress.

    I hating myself for writing this but...

    'What GTA can learn from MP3'

    Someone has been using the IGN article creator! :p

      Wouldn't the IGN article creator say something more like "What GTA can learn from CoD"?

    The only thing they need to use from Max Payne 3 in GTA V are the beautiful entry and exit wounds and the bullet holes. If GTA V lacks these things, I will probably cry.

    bullet time drive-bys would be cool in gta5, I can never hit anything if I'm going at any kind of speed

    GTA IV already has a slo-mo mode, it was just poorly implemented. If you remember the cinematic mode, there was an option to put it in slow mo, extending this concept to make the game a little more playable in slo-mo would be awesome as it was one of my favourite elements of the game.

    'Revenge-Save' sounds a lot like Borderlands' "Second Wind" what is baffling is why this sort of thing isn't more games - it's just about the best thing Borderlands has going for it!

    What about keeping two completely different games/styles separate and great in their own ways? Did that get tossed out the window or something?
    *looks at characters/writing in Max Payne 3*
    Oh. Right.

    Rockstar has learnt alot of things over the last couple of years,
    so i am sure grand theft auto V will be better. I like Max Payne 3
    and Red Dead Redemption very much. If they add some things from the
    other games it should be good. I was disappointed with GTA4. Hardly
    any stores? No activities you could really do. I have the feeling
    that they just knew alot of people were going to buy it because of
    the advertising and its great success on SA that they slacked off.
    In the BoGT and TLaD i was surprised that not alot of changes were
    made. The Graphics were the same. Even though it is supposed to be
    the same game the story line for them was short. I finished both of
    them in 2 and a half days. I really liked how the story mixed and
    you got a better understanding of evertything. It just completed
    it. You see the story from alot of aspects and the all connect. It
    seems like the main focus was the issue with the "diamons and Ray".
    I hated the Glock 17 in GTA4. I didnt like the sound and the
    texture of it was just bad, it looked like plastic. Or maybe i
    should just get a HDMI cable haha. Anyways i hope they listen to
    us, and that GTA5 will be almost perfect :)

    Sorry, i just forgot something. It should take some things from
    Saints Row 3 too. The Custimization, alot of clothes. The Car
    customization which they had in previous GTA's. But they just let
    out so many things in GTA4 and it felt abit empty. You should also
    be able to Customize your guns. I hope they have more guns in GTA5,
    because 2 pistols in gta 4 wasn't enough. And to be honest thats
    also a part of what makes the game. I think they should change the
    cover system. You should also be able to do hold ups and robberies.
    It would be nice if they put back the " recruiting gang members" or
    if they put a cheat to that as it probably wouldnt really fit in
    with the story line. I find it annoying how if you do missions for
    someone you always have to drive them somewhere. It would be better
    if sometimes they drove. So overall it needs more customisation, i
    would like if the graphics and texture were abit better too, more
    weapons, a slight better gameplay. Lets see how it will be. When is
    the official release date? It seems like Rockstar aren't telling is
    which would be just wierd, and very annoying to us people who are
    waiting for it.

    As well as better and smoother texture on the guns like in Max
    Payne 3. The details were really good.

    They should carry over all the shooting mechanics from Max Payne 3 into gta they're amazing, having every real bullet wiz past you. If you are gonna say you don't want bullet time in GTA V cos it's not realistic, then just don't use rather then not put it in so all the people that want it and would enjoy it have to miss out. And while you're at it make sure you don't play it again after your first death, just to make it more realistic.

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