Typically, when anticipating a sequel, gamers have a pretty good idea what they are going to be getting mechanically speaking, but when that title has had a prolonged gestation there’s a bit more of a mystery. Such is the case with Max Payne 3.

Sure, gamers know that a lot has changed since the second Max Payne adventure, and Payne has become much more grizzled and his world has a wider reach, but what they don’t know is how much of the game’s previous features will be preserved for this outing.

There’s been claims that Max Payne 3 will still feature bullet-time and many other cool ideas that were mainstays of the series, but now Rockstar has come out to talk about both the inner workings of this next-gen Payne, as well as drop a few hints about what will be returning from Max Payne’s past.

On the technical side of things, Rockstar says that the leap to Max Payne 3 will be very similar to the leap from GTA IV to Red Dead Redemption. The Euphoria engine that Rockstar fans have come to know and love will see a greater evolution this time around, one that incorporates both physics and animation.

Essentially, because Max will be flying around whilst trying to take down baddies, Rockstar will have to account for his flailing body as well as his bullet trajectory. It sounds pretty sophisticated, but also interesting.

“We’re also doing something new with Max where we’re doing physics-animation hybrids, like when he shoot-dodges; that’s physics and an animation pose library running together. You need to be able to control where he’s pointing but at the same time he needs to behave realistically depending on his environment. He has to feel aware of his surroundings. So that was a big challenge and something we spent a lot of time tuning.”

Mechanically speaking Max Payne 3 will be incorporating a few of today’s common tropes like over-the-shoulder viewpoint and a cover mechanic, but we figure those won’t be too jarring since they have become a mainstay of the third person shooter and Rockstar experience. It might disappoint fans that play nothing but Max Payne 1 and 2, but those gamers might have already written the game off because of Payne’s new look.

Don’t misunderstand, there should be plenty odes to previous Max Payne games contained within MP3, but it’s also within Rockstar’s rights to stay true to today’s gamers. That means a more seamless transition between cinematics and gameplay, as well as improvements to the core mechanics of the game. Clearly this Max Payne 3 will be the neo noir detective story, brought to the next-gen console.

What do you hope that Rockstar preserves from previous Max Payne games and what would you be okay with if they changed?

Max Payne 3 is slated for a March 2012 release on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Source: Gamespot UK, Shacknews

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