Max Payne 3 will be the first game in the series not to be developed by Remedy Entertainment. Fans of the first two games were quite surprised to hear that Rockstar games had purchase the rights to publish the third iteration of the popular series. But fear not, as apparently Rockstar Vancouver knows that for many, this is a beloved franchise.
Although many people are still skeptic about the company developing the game, we have to take into account that the same thing happened when Rockstar acquired the rights to develop Red Dead Revolver’s spiritual successor, a game originally developed by Capcom. Read Dead Revolver was a Spaghetti Western and it featured many over-the-top moments and some weird characters, but the game failed to meet critical acclaim, receiving so-so reviews. Eventually, six years later, Rockstar released Red Dead Redemption, proving that they can do so much more than reinventing the Grand Theft Auto series. The action-adventure western game was a huge success winning several “Game of the Year” awards and selling more than 12.5 copies worldwide.
But still, Max Payne 3 feels somehow different, especially considering that the first two games in the series were so distinctively unique. The first Max Payne revolutionized third-person action games as we now know them, incorporating an innovative element like the noir-style really proper of graphic novels and some comic books. It should also be noted that even though some of Max Payne’s features probably don’t hold up really well (gameplay, graphics) some others particularly do (immersive storytelling.) Something that immediately stood out about the game was the use of Bullet Time to defeat enemies in a cinematic way, but Max Payne also mixed some basic puzzle-solving sequences and platforming, making it an interesting hybrid.
The sequel, titled Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, was released in 2003. The game also received favorable reviews from critics and even though the basic gameplay and style is retained, the sequel incorporated some changes. Although the story was much shorter when compared to the original, the game delivered a solid plot that gained momentum until it reached its climax. Comic panels were reused to tell the main plot and for some of the cinematics. Surprisingly enough, the game uses the same graphics engine as its predecessor, but many significant changes were made to it, adding some special effects that provide more realism to the game.
Max Payne 3 will be released in March 2012 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC and the game will be quite different to its predecessors. The most apparent changes can be seen on Max, the main character, and the setting itself. Max is now bald and doesn’t use his traditional raincoat and also, the game will be set in Sao Pablo instead of New York. Furthermore, gameplay has also been changed and even though some of the main mechanics are still present, like Bullet Time, duel wielding and the same graphic novel style, Max Payne 3 uses a cover system. Many members of the press recently went to an event in which they had an opportunity to play an early version of the game. Fortunately for fans of the series, their response was really positive, so it seems like waiting until March will be harder than expected.