Last year, Rockstar Games revealed that they were working on a return to the Max Payne franchise with an entirely new game engine and “many years later” approach to Max’s story. Max Payne 3 was shown off with some screenshots that showed Max having aged a eight years or so since the last game; he’d put on a little weight, shaved his head bald, and moved to Brazil, where he couldn’t find a decent laundromat. Fans weren’t enthused by what they saw, and Rockstar went radio silent on the game.
Now, Rockstar is ready to talk about Max Payne 3 again, in the new issue of Edge (see the cover below), and while the Brazilian setting remains, Max is looking like a more appealing protagonist. There’s no actual evidence that Rockstar changed its plans regarding Max 3 after the fans’ comments, since all of the previous elements are still there — including one new screenshot of a bald Max (apparently the game shifts back and forth in time). But now that Rockstar is revealing some actual details about the game, it’s starting to make more sense.
Perhaps most interesting is that the game is being built on the same technology that Rockstar used to make Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption, which is being used to bring the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil to life. In the game, Max has been forced out of New York City (we’ll have to play the game to find out why), and relocated to Brazil, where he works security for high profile clients. The storyline itself is under wraps for now, but Rockstar has revealed a pair of new screenshots from the game, which you can see above.
Rockstar is using a load of scripted events and their trademark interactive environments to create a cinematic gaming experience that’s at the next level that Max Payne fans are expecting. Bullet time will be back, as well as voice actor James McCafferty, who starred as Max in the first two games. The developers say that Sao Paulo was chosen because of its strikingly different culture and visuals. This will be Rockstar’s first time at bat for the Max Payne series, since Remedy Entertainment built the first two games.
There’s also a multiplayer component, yet no one’s saying how that’s going to work. Bullet time is such an integral part of any Max Payne game, yet the realtime needs of multiplayer would seem to negate any chance of multiplayer gameplay, so it will be interesting to see how Rockstar addresses that disconnect.