Max Payne 3: Can Rockstar deliver without Remedy?

Heading to Brazil for some Marlowe-meets-Macarena...

Since tortured Big Apple dick Max Payne brought The Matrix's 'bullet time' kicking and screaming into gaming in 2001 we've been carpet-bombed by the bastard mechanic.

Tequila time, focus meters - if we see one more goon die in a slow-mo gorestorm of his own viscera it'll send us to (The Big) sleep.

Hard to believe that this slew of imposters all spawned from Payne's tortured belly; meaning our tired antihero's facing his biggest challenge yet: reinventing everything. Himself. His world. His mechanics.

He's certainly made an unexpected start. It's off to Brazil we journey, where a down-on his-heels Maximilian is on the rampage in Rio - having chucked in the shield for a private security firm.


Hardboiled B&W in the technicolor land of the carnivale? Believe it.

Rockstar are aware that the shooter envelope needs pushing, so bank on a sophisticated cover system and environs that pack in a level of destructibility unseen since the last Red Faction, for starters.

Now he's also a firm fan of (read: addicted to) painkillers, expect Max's dependency to directly impact upon the blasty bits too. Whether that's some kind of rage mode riff or a more sophisticated flashback-themed formula remains unclear right now, though.

A caveat: this new Max Payne is being helmed by Rockstar Vancouver, who brought Bully to 360 in 2008, rather than Alan Wake coders Remedy, but given Rockstar's propensity for sharing tech and knowledge between internal studios, that shouldn't be a problem.

Remedy might be out, but the brains behind GTA and Red Dead are in. There's nothing sinister about the delay until some time later in the year either.

Rather, after the rip-roaring critical and commercial coup that was Redemption, the smoothest devs in gaming have opted to give other major release L.A. Noire time to breathe on release.

Ergo, expect nothing less than the next generation of third-person blasting... well, until Gears of War 3 turns up, anyway.

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