Max Payne 3 Screenshots

It’s been a rough four years for Max Payne. Following the horrific events chronicled in the 2001 and 2003 installments of the game series, the down on his luck detective had to endure a terrible feature film adaptation in 2008, starring Mark Wahlberg, as well as a string of delays for the character’s return to the prime time in Max Payne 3.

Max Payne 3 was supposed to arrive in 2009 (with a number of “gritty” changes to the titular character) but was subsequently delayed, reports even suggested the game had been cancelled – though Rockstar Games maintains the title is still in development, releasing new screenshots of Payne here and there to tide fans over. In that vein, Rockstar has released two new shots of retro Max Payne in action – i.e. sans the mysterious bald head.

As we’ve previously predicted (by scraping together basic story bits), Max Payne 3 will likely see the ex-cop hell-bent on revenge – this time after he (possibly) fails a Brazilian family he’d sworn to protect. The emotional fall-out of, once again, failing to protect innocent lives is probably the spark that initiates Payne’s physical transformation from noir-esque NYC cop to a bald and strung-out gunman.

However, the new Max Payne 3 screenshots appear to be pre-emotional collapse, back when Payne owned a comb (click to enlarge):

Max Payne 3 Gameplay Screenshot

Max Payne 3 Gameplay Screenshot 2

There’s no doubt that the images certainly look great, especially considering the improved tech behind the character models; however, it’s getting increasingly hard to become excited about this title – with only nondescript, piecemeal, screenshots to go on. Given that the game has been delayed out of 2011 – with the possibility that it’ll miss 2012 as well – it makes sense that Rockstar doesn’t have much to show of the game at this point, since development is still in a massive state of flux. While certain staples, such as bullet time, will return it’s easy to see, based on the numerous delays, that the development team wants to put out another great Max Payne title but may not totally have the full scope of the project nailed down.

No doubt, the developer wants to keep the game in the headlines but it’s hard to imagine that the steady string of bland screenshots is actually working real PR magic. Gamers don’t need to be reminded that the title isn’t entirely dead – until there’s something worth seeing. Otherwise, Rockstar is just muddling the excitement with run of the mill – and uninformative images – for a game that may never see the light of day.

Hopefully the next batch of info will include a Max Payne 3 release date – and some solid details.

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