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Rockstar have been doing quite well for themselves in recent years with gamers immersing themselves in the wild west with last years “Red Dead Redemption” and L.A. Noir already becoming a huge critical success. The next item on Rockstar's to do list is Max Payne 3. While Rockstar didn’t make the original two Max Payne games, (That developer, Remedy is off working away at the next Alan Wake game), it’s up to Rockstar to live up to the legacy of the series.
Rockstar haven’t given many details on the story and this is probably good because the strong narrative that guided the player through the previous games is part of what made them so good. Max Payne 3 picks up some eight or so years after the previous game and Max himself has undergone a huge number of changes. He has now hit rock bottom, is bald and can barely remember the last eight years.
Max’s appearance isn’t the only thing that has changed, the Noir New York setting of the previous games has been abandoned and the series is moving to the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo. While San Paulo is certainly a drastic and more colorful move for the series, Rockstar promise that the Noir elements that made Max Payne what it was will still be present and story will feature the traditional Max Payne themes of betrayal, manipulation and revenge. San Paulo will provide a fresh new environment for the frantic gameplay and Rockstar have gone to great effort to recreate the feel of San Paulo all the way down to the ghettos or Fevelas which will provide an entirely new combat environment that contrasts the previous games.
The story and setting aren’t the only part of the Max Payne formula getting a makeover. While Max Payne was probably not the first game to do bullet-time it was certainly one of the first to do it well and the mechanic has been replicated countless times since the first Max Payne came out in 2001 and gamers might be growing tired of the mechanic. Rockstar are going to have to work hard to make bullet-time awesome again and part of this will be accomplished with the introduction of full destructibility of objects in the game which allows you truly appreciate the amount of devestation that is left in Max’s wake on his path to vengeance. Rockstar are also bringing in a cover system but they stress that it will not be a focus of the game, merely an option. It will also run using the Euphoria physics engine which will bring a whole new level of realism to the game.
Max Payne 3 is a huge change in setting for the series but it looks like Rockstar are going to be making sure that it retains the tone and gameplay that made its predecessors so much fun. Max Payne 3 is set for release on PC, 360 and PS3 in 2012.