To take a franchise like Max Payne out from the development void where it has languished for several years and come up with something as creative as Max Payne 3 takes a lot of work. So much work, in fact, that it had to be split up between two studios: Rockstar Games, who is doing a lot of the primary development, and Remedy Entertainment, the original developers behind the Max Payne games that we all came to love.
The union on Max Payne 3 was confirmed by Rockstar’s vice president of product development, Jeronimo Barrera, in an interview with Gamespot. Rockstar involved Remedy in developing Max Payne 3 to ensure that the game — namely its noir setting, gunplay, and aesthetics — stays true to its roots.
So far, the job looks like it’s getting done, if the first trailer was any indication. There is also a pop-up version of the trailer featuring some interesting trivia that’s worth checking out. Though Max Payne 3 is looking pretty fantastic right now, the break-even point for the title is pretty high — it’ll need to sell 4 million units.
Barrera was very adamant in establishing the reasons why Max Payne 3 will work in such a dramatically different location as Sao Paolo, which invokes some elements of New York City, but still remains on the lower half of the earth. It’s going to be exciting to see what Rockstar does with Max in a completely new area.
Here’s Barrera’s statement:
“The game is very true to the original games in terms of gameplay, aesthetics, and visual and narrative themes, although [it's] updated to take advantage of the past nine years of game development. For us, noir is not about a place (and if it were, that place would surely be Los Angeles, not New York) but about a particular visual style and a kind of story and characterization telling that has a certain hard-boiled cynicism, plenty of twists, and a sense of decay and depravity. Yes, it has moved from a wet or snowy corrupt vision of New York to a sometimes wet and equally corrupt vision of a booming modern-day Brazil, but I don’t think they are otherwise that different.”
“The goal with the trailer was to set the scene for a new chapter in Max’s story; one that would make sense both from a thematic point of view and from the point of view of Max’s character arc. Staying true to each core element of Max was always a major focus, and that’s actually something that we discussed with Remedy during development, and they’ve been extremely supportive of our work.”
The entire interview at Gamespot is pretty enlightening and provocative reading for those who’d like to see where Rockstar wants to take the grizzled ex-cop.
Max Payne holds a special place in some gamers’ hearts. It released when there was sort of a lull in the action genre and here came Remedy, delivering bullet time, bullet cams, gritty urban noir, and inner monologues from an ill-named narrator. It was great. It’s still a little scary to see Max Payne 3 not take place in a traditional noir city (Los Angeles really would have been awesome), but Rockstar clearly wants to deliver a great action-noir experience to old fans and new. Keep your eye on it.
Max Payne 3 releases March 2012 for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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