What I’m reading at the moment: May edition of Edge magazine

Max Payne 3: the hair's gone and the belly's got a little rounder but Max Payne is still out for vengence.

In this age where e-readers are popular with just about everyone, and gaming content is consumed online,  I still love reading Edge magazine every month. There’s just something about it’s visual style and art direction that I love.

The thing I like about Edge magazine is that it doesn’t try to compete with the online blogs and gaming sites – although the magazine’s publisher has its own online portal for up-to-date news  – and this month’s edition is particularly enticing, featuring a much older and more angst riddled Max Payne on its cover, psychotic eyes glaring out at the reader.

I take my time when I read a good magazine. I don’t flick through it like it’s tabloid trash then toss it aside but my magazine reading process goes something like this: pick up the magazine, scan the cover, flick through it, pausing on pages that grab my attention, then I start reading, starting with feature stories that have piqued my interest and am engrossed from there.

I still have the original Max Payne games for PC, and it was one of the first series to utilise bullet-time mechanics where the player could slow down time and have Payne performing weapon acrobatics as he pumped lead into the hapless foes. In the original, Max Payne was a New York cop on the edge, out for revenge. In Max Payne 2, a love interest came along but Payne was still a man fighting against the system. An angry man fighting against the system.

When in 2009 Rockstar announced that there would be a third Max Payne game, details were thin on the ground but Payne will be a few years older, more world wary and more cynical – as if he could be more cynical. It’s eight years on from Max Payne 2, too, and our anti-hero is no longer in the NYPD, instead working as a private security contractor in Sao Paulo, Brazil. In some images, Payne is balding and noticeably fatter than when he was in the NYPD. In a nice touch, actor James McCaffrey, who voiced Payne in the first two games, is returning to portray Payne – this time in a full acting role.

The rest of the current issue of Edge contains a feature about Prey 2, the sequel to 2006’s Prey, and a feature about why gamers are so transfixed by video game violence. I’m looking forward to poring over the contents in the coming weeks.

Who said print magazine’s were dead?