Max Payne, Kane & Lynch, and the Meaning of Ugly Games

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Extract ideas whose compelling force is identical with that of hunger.
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Podcast- Something Rotten:
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Script Consultation and Additional Voices by Laura Crone:
Script Consultation by Blake Hester:
Cinematography by Caroline Amico

Yes, A Games Writer Was Fired Over Review Scores:
Jeff Gerstmann’s Kane and Lynch Review:

Rockstar Spouse’s Letter:
Experience at Rockstar Vancouver:

Theater of Cruelty:
-The Theater and Its Double, 1958, Antonin Artaud
-Theater History Podcast #9:
-The Spurt of Blood:
-Antonin Artaud and the Theater of Cruelty: Crash Course Theater #43:

Visual Media Used: Kane and Lynch: Dead Men, Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days, Max Payne 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption 2

Music Used (Chronologically):
DLC Arena War Track One (GTAO), Captain Toad Goes Forth (Super Mario 3D World), FUTURE, One Card Left to Play (Max Payne 3), The Doomed Commercial Area (Disco Elysium), Max Payne 3 Theme (Max Payne 3), Sweatshop (Kane and Lynch 2), 12PM Whirling-in-Rags, Your Body Betrays Your Degeneracy (Disco Elysium), Silent Heaven (Silent Hill 2), Escape (Kane and Lynch 2), Main Menu Variation 3 (Max Payne 3)

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43 Comments
  1. Jacob Geller says

    For a full-length director's commentary with more thoughts about these games, third-person filming, and experimental theater, join my Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/JacobGeller

  2. Piksa! says

    Kane and Lynch isnt as bad as this guy says it is. I had fun playing it.

  3. Guilherme Araujo Azevedo says

    Obrigado Ric!

  4. GADM9001 says

    "The world of gaming journalism is not a hot bed of corruption and sleaze""Jeff Berstmann was fired from Gamespot because he gave a bad review to a game that was heavily advertised by the publisher"These two sentences, before the first minute of the video, don't make sense. If he was fired for giving a negative review to a game which's publisher was throwing a lot of money in order to receive only good reviews, then it is corrupt and sleazy.

  5. Water In a Glass says

    MP3 to me is what capped off this really edgy period in Rockstar's history. The games made for the PS3 era exclusively were really, REALLY depressing. At least GTA5 kinda went back into being a goofy over-grossed satire.

  6. Gabriel Walsh says

    I absolutely adore the Kane and Lynch games. I said this before in another comment, but they'd be a guilty pleasure if I didn't legitimately love them so much. The only part of the game I ever disliked was the first part of the South America missions. I actually didn't mind the rest of that bit of the game. I loved how dizzying Kane and Lynch 2 felt, like a snuff film, found footage, and a Hong Kong action film were spewed together. They're both average when it comes to the shooting and such, but the unique way they manage to cobble together elements of popular crime cinema, warp it into something so bitter and dour, and to then make it playable is, at the very least, a bit commendable.

  7. SsuperVillainN says

    I like what you did here

  8. Aysaq Chaudhry says

    Idk why you're calling them ugly the games have pretty decent graphics

  9. Jisatsu Kun says

    19:15 Gaspar Noé movies give me this exact feeling, especially parts like the bar scene in Irréversible or the opening of Enter the Void. That ear popping, nauseating feeling of uneasiness that just keeps on going just to taunt you to close it. Ugly games feel like a breath of fresh air in a gaming landscape where more sterilized and polished (for lack of a better word) experiences are the norm.

  10. Burrito Bowl01 says

    Got the sequal of Kane and Lynch with no proior context and it was a fucking fecer dream

  11. JewelsVEVO says

    Honestly we need more ugly stories in games

  12. S B says

    If name calling counts as a review, then I can say the guy who reviewed the game and got fired was a husky, husky boy. I found all Kane and Lynch games to be average/somewhat decent. A 6 out of 10.

  13. alsenar2 says

    It would be interesting to know what you think about The Last of Us Part II in regard to "ugly games" because not only did the developers themselve suffer under "crunch time" development and many scandals but the game itself shows violence in a way that makes you even feel bad for the enemies when you are slicing their throat in a long and very detailed animations which ends with the sound of them suffocating on their own blood. That is ugly. It also has no happy ending. Everything you did throughout the game was futile in the end. It leaves the player with nothing. And i guess the biggest reason why it is an "ugly game" is the controversy around it.How the game starts with probably one of the most controversial deaths in video game history. A decision that was purposefully made by the developers.

  14. JAMES BLUNT says

    I got as far into you defending video game journalists from chuds and stopped watching

  15. ALEPH NOLE says

    What was the song paying during the credits?I look through the name list and couldn't find it.Sounds like something from Halo Odst to me but I'm not sure.

  16. Maxwel Rodrigues says

    What is Max Payne 3 about? Well. let Max awnser this question:"So I guess I'd become what they wanted me to be, a killer. Some rent-a-clown with a gun who puts holes in other bad guys. Well that's what they had paid for, so in the end that's what they got. Say what you want about Americans but we understand capitalism. You buy yourself a product and you get what you pay for, and these chumps had paid for some angry gringo without the sensibilities to know right from wrong. Here I was about to execute this poor bastard like some dime store angel of death and I realized they were correct, I wouldn't know right from wrong if one of them was helping the poor and the other was banging my sister…"Although the game doesn't have the best voice acting and dialogues for the brazilian characters and the fact that São Paulo looks more like Rio de Janeiro, the portrait of Brazil is perfect. The way they portray corruption is very similar to the brazilian reality, unfortunaly. To get an idea, 4 of 6 Governors of Rio de Janeiro from 1998-2018 was arrested for corruption (and the impeatchment case of the current Governor is ongoing). And I don't even talk about the police corruption of RIo de Janeiro, the game only shows the tip of the iceberg.About Max feeling out of place… Well, I live in a Rio de Janeiro's favela and I fell out of place as well lol.The journey that Max faces in this game is very similar with the character Creasy from Man on Fire movies/novel. Both are traumatized men triyng to forget the past with alcohol and move to a unknown country to work as bodyguard from a rich family, but when they fail to protect the family, they go on a bloody journey to rescue them. The game even takes this "film corrosion" from the 2004 movie.An example of ugly games that could be in this video perfectly is Condemned: Criminal Origins and Army of Two: The 40th Day.Ps: I’ve never watched your content before, I just have to praise you for the quality of this video. You have won a subscriber. See you next time.

  17. DeadJuice says

    Kane & Lynch 2 is like eating cyanide while drinking sulfuric acid

  18. Vril says

    Reveling in ugliness is just banal.

  19. Cy83R ASF says

    A. Your'e being way too emotional and dramatic over some video games. Man up, dude.B. Is ugly your definition for artistic, theatrical masterpieces dealing with the heavy and harsh sides of life?And finally, C. WHAT ABOUT MANHUNT THEN?!

  20. Snake says

    Have you thought about making a Death Stranding video? I feel like the game is right up you alley.

  21. X X says

    Disco elysium music in the background?

  22. Hououin Kyouma says

    13:57 Rockstar animation looks pretty good these days…but that beard is just too thick, nobody has such an elegant face-rug

  23. Spartacus115 says

    Did anybody catch the quote that went by in a Flash at 20:52

  24. sote says

    You got some serious shit done here.

  25. Ambar Ascanio says

    I just like these videos the second they start. Just me?

  26. thepenguinftw says

    do u have twitch

  27. Gadiel Cedeño says

    I thought Disco Elysium started running in the background at some point during this vid…

  28. Dark says

    Max payne 1 was one of best rockstar games

  29. GrifWithOneF says

    I’d love to see you do a video on mass effect

  30. Isaiah Luna says

    I’m not gonna lie I love how he just basically narrates the games in some sort of way of how it’s ugly or whatever, not just that I like how he just talks about it idk, it’s maybe because of how his voice is or something but yeah.

  31. Friday Monday says

    >chuds instantly disregarded

  32. ILIKEDIRT says

    This is probably the best gaming video I have ever seen. You killed it man

  33. Alan Amilkar Albera Paredes says

    So Brazil isn't a western country? I believe they are.

  34. Senior says

    3 words, noah caldwell gervais.

  35. Xen Zer says

    really really good video

  36. Justin Montana says

    This Video made me think of something I read on Tumblr, of all fucking places:"I don't know what feelings I just felt, but it sure was a lot of them!"The feelings most of your videos make me feel are, simply put, A LOT!!!!So long as you keep making, I will be here! You're one of, if not my most, favorite Youtubers!

  37. Tony Roadhouse says

    I remember renting dog days as a pre teen. The cold shivers the game gave me from time to time have always stuck with me.

  38. DiegoAlanTorres69 says

    20:16 Mai soda!

  39. john gallant says

    Dear god thank you I have been saying this for fucking years you got my subscribe in the first 10 seconds

  40. Nick says

    Jacob has reminded me that video games can be as good as films, or theater; books, or TV. So happy this channel exists.

  41. DarkDiamondInc says

    A journalist getting fired for giving a game a poor review is the definition of games journalism being corrupt.

  42. Mrreebo says

    This was somehow both the closest thing to my own self interest and the most pretentious video I've every watched at the same time. You really had interesting subject matter here. But all you managed to say was "yeah, these games are ugly, but this other game is uglier" in a way that sounded like anything but a person being true to themselves.

  43. ChrisTheCoolKid02 says

    It breaks my heart you can't play max payne 3 on Xbox One or PS4

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