After years of Max Payne 3 relegated to developmental purgatory, Rockstar Games is finally bringing Max back to PC and console gamers next March, delivering new skills, the return of bullet time, and some completely awesome melee combat in Max Payne 3 – not to mention, in the short term, some cool new screenshots.

Rockstar Games also enlisted the help of Remedy Entertainment to make sure this installment of Max Payne stayed as close to the roots of the game as possible. They wanted to ensure that the film noir-like setting was preserved, as well as the aesthetics and gunplay. Max is no longer a cop but instead working private security in Brazil, staring down the bottom of the bottle, when the wife of the family he’s protecting is kidnapped, leading Max to channel his inner-Neo, use an assortment of various weapons to mow down the bad guys and save the wife.

The initial trailer that was released in September was a sight to behold, generating a lot of excitement for the ostensible hero. It showed enough to garner support and buzz while not spoiling too many details along the way. Rockstar has been steadily releasing screenshots over the past month to showcase more of the game, and these four new screenshot are a sight to behold. Previous screenshots have focused on Payne himself, showing years of substance abuse and the hard life he has chosen to lead. These pictures, however, show off more of the style of gameplay on one hand, and on the other, showcase the noir feel that is always present in the series.

The pictures also generate a feeling of motion, and in this case, the Max Payne-special slow motion. One can get a very good grasp on the action and the struggle of the scene, even from a still picture of a bullet being shot from a gun, while various discharged empty shells litter the air around.

If the reports of the estimated $105 million budget (and the need to sell 4 million copies) are accurate, it’s going to take a lot of industry buzz and fan support to propel Max back to the limelight. For a franchise that has been absent for nearly 8 years, I’m rooting for the support to return to the franchise, but Rockstar has a difficult mountain to climb here. Surely, though, it’ll be a critical success, unlike the Hollywood version (yuck). One can only hope.

Max Payne 3 launches in March 2012 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.

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Source: Rockstar Games

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