Announcement - Valve
Save 75% on Max Payne 3 during this week's Midweek Madness!

For Max Payne, the tragedies that took his loved ones years ago are wounds that refuse to heal. No longer a cop, close to washed up and addicted to pain killers, Max takes a job in São Paulo, Brazil, protecting the family of wealthy real estate mogul Rodrigo Branco, in an effort to finally escape his troubled past. But as events spiral out of his control, Max Payne finds himself alone on the streets of an unfamiliar city, desperately searching for the truth and fighting for a way out.

Featuring cutting edge shooting mechanics for precision gunplay, advanced new Bullet Time® and Shootdodge™ effects, full integration of Natural Motion’s Euphoria Character Behavior system for lifelike movement and a dark and twisted story, Max Payne 3 is a seamless, highly detailed, cinematic experience from Rockstar Games.

Product Release - Valve
Max Payne 3 is Now Available on Mac!

For Max Payne, the tragedies that took his loved ones years ago are wounds that refuse to heal. No longer a cop, close to washed up and addicted to pain killers, Max takes a job in São Paulo, Brazil, protecting the family of wealthy real estate mogul Rodrigo Branco, in an effort to finally escape his troubled past. But as events spiral out of his control, Max Payne finds himself alone on the streets of an unfamiliar city, desperately searching for the truth and fighting for a way out.

Announcement - Valve
Day 2 of the Rockstar Publisher Weekend has kicked off today. The Daily Deal for today is the Max Payne Franchise at 75%-80% off! Be sure to check back each day for new deals.

During the weekend, titles in the Rockstar catalog are on sale for 50% to 67% off. Plus, check out the Rockstar Hit Collection, which contains a selection of Rockstar's greatest hits!

Announcement - Valve
Save 66% on Max Payne 3 as part of this week's Weekend Deal*!

For Max Payne, the tragedies that took his loved ones years ago are wounds that refuse to heal. No longer a cop, close to washed up and addicted to pain killers, Max takes a job in São Paulo, Brazil, protecting the family of wealthy real estate mogul Rodrigo Branco, in an effort to finally escape his troubled past. But as events spiral out of his control, Max Payne finds himself alone on the streets of an unfamiliar city, desperately searching for the truth and fighting for a way out.

*Offer ends Monday at 10AM Pacific Time
Kotaku

The Trippiest Video Game Levels



Surreal stages, events, or gameplay that somehow just don't fit have always been present, and even expected. Their crazy graphics, weird aesthetics and ideas make sure that we have absolutely no idea what's going on. But they have their charm, they are funny, or they're simply part of the experience—and so we love them.



We collected a bunch of them below.





Bad News in DmC


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: DmC Chapter 10






The Cardbridge In Alice: Madness Returns


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: Alice Wiki






The Nightmare Scenes In Max Payne


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: Max Payne's first nightmare






LSD Dream Emulator


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: LSD Dream Emulator Wiki






Inside The Red Dragon In Rayman Origins


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: Rayman Origins Dragon Trailer






Yume Nikki


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: Yume Nikki Wiki






The Space Harrier Stages In Bayonetta


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: Bayonetta Chapter 14






The Final Stage In Beautiful Katamari


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: superadamsworld's LP






Goro Majima's Karaoke Minigame In Yakuza: Dead Souls


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: Yakuza: Dead Souls - Goro Majima Karaoke






Stage 7 In Parodius


The Trippiest Video Game Levels source: cubex55's LP



There are probably a lot more mind-cracking levels or games, so you should submit your own picks below (with visual support)!


PC Gamer
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title="Permanent Link to Stop making horrible console ports – a guide">pcg port authority







Broken menus, wonky mouse controls, single figure framerates - this is the familiar story of PC gaming prowess held back by consoles. We understand why it happens: console-land was where the majority of sales were, and thus the focus of development. But that reasoning has never seemed, well, reasonable: a trashy console port can knock a chunk off your Metacritic rating, sour a huge potential audience against you forever and lose you loads of sales on a platform that can be extremely lucrative if only you know how to approach it.



It's really not that hard or expensive. After all, a pair of talented modders managed to make Dark Souls' PC version immeasurably better within the space of an evening, and while devs might not want to spend resources making hi-res assets just for PC, there's plenty of really basic stuff that can be done to not totally fuck up a game. Which, given the amount of time, love and money spent on these creations, is surely something that would please the developers and publishers as much as their beleaguered PC audience.



We've thrown together a list of tips, common foibles and fixes - add your own in the comments!



On release, Binary Domain defaulted to gamepad inputs which could only be changed by running a separate settings program. Gnnngggn.



Accessible settings

PC configurations are as many and varied as the gamers that own them. A PC game has to account for this with its range of settings. Have these options accessible in-game, and don't require the player to drop back to the main menu to change them. Definitely don't put them in a separate trainer which forces you to restart the entire damn game. (Hi there, Binary Domain.)



Resolution

For the love of Baal, let us change the resolution. And definitely let us change the resolution before embarking on a lengthy unskippable opening cinematic in enforced default shatto-vision. (I’m looking at you, Max Payne 3 - or trying to, anyway.) Better still, autodetect the native resolution!



Key-bindings

Let us at them. Particularly if, for whatever reason, you've decided to give charge of your keyboard inputs to someone who has never actually seen or used a keyboard before. How do you reach the main menu in Binary Domain? Oh, that’s right, it’s Enter. Of course. Then, when in the menus, you press space to select and F to go back. Obviously, in-game, F is the interact key - except when interact is space. Argh. Incidentally, Enter is not the PC's equivalent of the gamepad's A button - it's the furthest you can get from both hands in normal FPS control mode. So don't make it the compulsory key to dismiss pop-up messages.



Gamepads

Some games are designed for and best suit a gamepad. That's cool. But for games which might easily be controlled by either a gamepad or a traditional PC set-up, please autodetect which system is currently under use. Most games seem pretty good at this now, but there are still some stragglers.



Framerate

Let those framerates soar free into the vast open skies of PC gaming wonderment. Also, let us fiddle with things like V-sync - with the vast array of PC hardware set-ups possible it is unlikely you will have guessed how to best optimise your game's performance for any one PC. Why wreck your hard work with dropped or torn frames when you could just trust players to tweak the game to perfection.



FOV sliders, particularly in singleplayer games, should be a given.



Field of View

PC gamers typically sit closer to their screens than console gamers and this changes the effect of a limited FOV. Unless you are setting out specifically to discomfit and sicken the player, offering the ability to adjust FOV will only make people like you. You do want to be liked, right?



Alt-tab

If your game cannot do this, you are probably going to Hell, where you'll be forced to troubleshoot for irascible Windows ME users for the rest of eternity. Sorry about that.



Menus

PCs typically come equipped with a mouse - the perfect device with which to gaily skip through menus. Please make use of it. Do not make us scroll through a gazillion options when a single click would do. Relatedly, make your menus pay attention to where the cursor actually IS. Console ports, like many carnivorous predators, seem to only sense movement. So you often see the wrong menu option highlighted and have to wiggle the cursor a bit to make it notice where you're actually pointing.



Mouse support

Mice are not thumbsticks. This should be quickly apparent from their different shape. Do not duplicate the analogue stick deadzone with your mouse acceleration. (Got that, Dead Space?) Also do not impose momentum on mouse movements. My world stops spinning when my mouse stops, not a few seconds later, Syndicate. And don't use autotargeting systems based on the assumption that there are 8 degrees in a circle.



Sleeping Dogs was a port done right. It also featured a man urinating into a toilet full of sick. A rare game indeed.



Social media integration

No.



Games for Windows Live

Don’t do it. You may think that we PC gamers object to GfwL because we are a prickly bunch who resent having to install yet another wedge of corporate molestation replete with its own superfluous achievements system, fragmentary friends-lists, cross-promotional guff, easily lost log-in details and so on - particularly when we are already so well served by Steam. All that might be true of Origin or uPlay, but it doesn’t come close to describing the genuine horror of GfwL, which remains one of the most ill-conceived and poorly executed pieces of software it is possible to install on your PC. It’s hideously designed, hugely unergonomic, painfully slow, intrusive and prone to complete failure in every single aspect of its operation. It’s just unbelievably terrible.



DRM

Piracy sucks. We know. However, the solution should never be to periodically lose players' saves, punt them to desktop mid-game or prevent them from playing the game altogether.



Hi-res textures

Now, we’re not asking you to create an entirely new assets pipeline for the PC alone, but in many instances textures are created first at high resolution then scaled down to fit onto the itty-bitty consoles. You can make use of those on PC, you know.



Post-release patches

We salute your ongoing commitment to PC gamers by releasing fixes after launch. But don't leave it until then to make your game playable. Don't leave it until launch day, even. There are good business reasons for this: reviewers will be playing your undercooked code; you'll burn your earliest purchasers and most loyal customers; you'll lose momentum building a community among players (particularly key if your game has an online component); people will be more likely to pirate your game if they think it's not worth the risk of an actual purchase.



Any more? Add them in the comments.
Kotaku

These Deal Breakers Make Me Give Up On A Video Game Within The First Hour When it comes to deciding what game gets my attention and why, I am absolutely ruthless. I don't care how much better it's going to get, I don't care that it's actually an amazing game and I just have to give it a chance. No. If you mess up in the first hour of a game, I'm done.



I call these missteps 'deal breakers,' in reference to when there is something you can't overlook in dating—something that outweighs all other redeeming qualities.



Deal breakers don't have to happen in the first hour, of course—most of them do for me because once you've already invested hours into a game you might feel obligated to finish what you started. There's almost this expectation, right? That you can't talk about a game unless you've played it from start to finish, even if we're not talking about a review or anything.



This expectation/guilt is what drove me to finish Max Payne 3, even though I think I outright dropped the controller when Max said that even he has no freaking clue what's going on in the game anymore.



Early on though, there's no remorse. It's quick and painless to drop a game.



Recently I tried picking up Planetside 2. I liked MAG; I'm excited by the idea of large-scale warfare. I figured that Planetside 2 would be a good idea to try out, since it's an MMOFPS that promises "epic, massive combat" in battles that might last "days or weeks." Alright, cool. That sounds like a great premise! Count me in!



So I boot up the game, I pick my faction, and I'm dropped into a match. I see players all around me, they're running someplace else. I look at my map. I don't know where to go or what to do, really.



Early on, there's no remorse. It's quick and painless to drop a game.

But I figure the best thing to do is to just follow other folks—I mean, this is a shooter, right? How complicated can the objective be? I'm probably supposed to go somewhere, capture a point or something like that. Simple stuff. All else fails, I know that left click shoots.



I play for twenty minutes, following people, going off on my own, scaling buildings to get a better view of what's happening. I die a few times. At best I understand there's an area where I'm supposed to be, but I have no idea what to DO there. So I stopped playing.



Could've looked it up. Could have asked people. ...Could play a game that just gets it right instead of rewarding shoddy introductory levels where nothing is explained. I'm not even sorry; again, no remorse—there are games that get it right and those are the ones I'm going to spend time with.



Then we have games that treat me like an absolute idiot and overexplain everything—the tutorial never effing ends. I hate those too, and have been known to stop playing a game if it becomes too grating. But at least these set ups make it so that I actually know what the heck is going on!



Planetside 2's approach, where little is explained, CAN work. The most sophisticated introduction to a game is the one where nothing is explicitly said, and instead everything is communicated through design alone. In this, Super Mario Bros is famous: there's a goomba coming, and you only have a few seconds to figure out how to jump. In jumping, you're likely to find out about mushrooms—the breakdown of that level and its design genius is a fascinating read.



These Deal Breakers Make Me Give Up On A Video Game Within The First Hour



Worse than both the under-explained and the over-explained start to a game is the boring start to a game. A game that starts too slow, takes too much of its time, assumes that you will be into it merely because it exists.



These games probably won't grip you with an in medias res start, which is kind of like a running start in the middle of the action, as in Uncharted 2. They won't even give you an interesting premise to go off from, as in The Walking Dead's opening scene where you're in the back of a cop car. No. You will suffer through the boring and you will like it.



Unfortunately, as much as I adore Persona 4, I wouldn't blame anyone for dropping it because of its 4-hour throat-clearing. The game doesn't give you enough in the start to truly appreciate the sleepy town of Inaba, and if it weren't for the strength of Persona 3, I'd likely not have put up with Persona 4—which reveals that yes, deal breakers have some wiggle room.



And then finally we have a thing that is running the danger of becoming a deal breaker for me: games designed specifically to make you feel guilty about something, while absolving the developer's hand in making the mechanics intoxicating in the first place. Like Andrew Vanden Bossche says in reference to Spec Ops: The Line, and more overtly, a trend in violent games in 2012:




Video games are pretty eager to blame players for killing when designers are the ones that turn on slow motion every time I score a head shot.



I think it would be pretty cool to have a game about how cruel oppressive systems survive by pushing their problems onto individuals.




If 2013 continues this trend, there's gonna be a lot of unfinished video games in my library.



But ultimately, the reason that so many of my deal breakers happen at the start of the game is that it's the most important segment of the game. It sets the mood, the tone, the pacing—everything, really. If my introduction to something goes awry, what is to say the rest of the game is redeeming? I shouldn't have to stick around to find out.



Do you have any game deal breakers—stuff that makes you drop a controller and go, nuh uh, this ain't happening? Share below!


Kotaku





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The band HEALTH's killer Max Payne 3 soundtrack was easily one of the best of last year, and a chunk of the reason Max Payne 3 was among my personal top games of 2012.



This video from The Creators Project shows the band talking about the process of scoring the game, focusing on the stadium level (maybe my favorite music in the game) and that climactic late-game moment when the vocals kick in.



They've also shared some of the musical "stems" they used over at the Creators Project blog. You can listen to those below, and check out the various ways the band would layer sounds to make the music more or less intense. If you've played that stadium level as many times as I have, this stuff will be very familiar. HEALTH's John Famiglietti points out that numbers 2 and 4 are dominant stems, so they won't mix.











Nifty. Makes me want to go crack wise and dodge some sniper-fire.



HEALTH Breaks Down Their Score For Max Payne 3 [The Creators Project]



Kotaku





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I can't tell you how many hours I've lost in Max Payne 3 doing exactly what YouTube user birgirpall is doing here. Poor Max. There he was, brooding and going on about not saving the girl and what is my butt doing? Trying to do 'trick shots' with his body. Can I clear this gap? Can he fit through here? What happens if I bullet time off this ledge? Oh my god, why is fire a one hit kill?



Whoops, I got stuck in this place I wasn't supposed to go. Let's see where else I'm not supposed to go! Dead, dead, dead. Geeze Max, you're no fun.



But sometimes it wasn't even a choice. There were some parts where I knew I had to move forward, but I couldn't find the way up. And apparently Max dearest can't jump or climb a freaking step, so I ended up dramatically lunging over the smallest of inclines.



It's stair climbing, Max Payne style. You wouldn't get it because you don't know how screwed up the world is.



Nothing nearly as bizarre as how birgirpall manages to make Max go flying after colliding with a scared partyer though. Woah.



I broke Max Payne 3 [birgirpall]


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