We can still remember walking into our local WHSmith and suddenly seeing Max Payne on the PC shelf. It came from absolutely nowhere! Rockstar (who published the game developed by Remedy) had only injected cash for pre-order hype, but had forgotten to market for day-one sales. Most games would have seriously suffered for this. But not Max Payne. He just downed his pack of pills, held his head high and let PC magazines all over the world, do the work for him.

max payne

Max Payne may have hit store shelves with no customer warning, but it became the new benchmark for PC action games with a rumoured 4.5 million sales

Max Payne made a statement that day. That statement being that you don’t have to rely on huge marketing hype to push first-day sales. If the developer put their heart into a games development, customers will put their hands in their pockets…and that’s exactly what happened.

max payne gba

Max Payne was such a PC success that it even lead to a GBA version. It was actually pretty cool with a cleaver, modified version of bullet-time

Max Payne was a huge success and became known as “the game the PC needs right now” from PC Gamer. The first game and Max Payne 2 made a flag stand tall for the PC’s action game genre. But the last we heard of Max and his rattling aspirin bottle, was 10 long years ago. Major changes have been made since we all last shotgun-dived thorough the nearest doorway, as Remedy (who were busy working on the superb Alan Wake) gave full rains to Rockstar for publishing and development.

So What’s Happening With Max Payne 3?

max payne 3

With major changes to the games look, gameplay, main character and even developer, gamers are anxious for more info on Max Payne 3

After the superb news of confirming the third game…all went silent. The odd image popped up of Max Payne 3 and we must admit, things looked frighteningly different. Max looked unrecognisable with a great big bushy beard and shiny noggin:

There was even talk of a new cover system, but while most of us would expect that from modern shooters today, we still couldn’t help but think it could take the edge off bullet-time.

Lets take a look at the first shots shown of Max Payne 3:

max payne 3 bald max

Many thought Max Payne would be completely bald throughout Max Payne 3. We'll talk more about this misleading screenshot, later

As well as style, our hero seemed to have under gone a physical make-over. Max has been pumping iron for Max Payne 3. Add the bald head to the large build and it may equal a prison sentence at some point. This could all point to a much more merciless and unbreakable Max Payne, than ever before. We can’t wait to see what’s become of Max Payne, in this new and hardened chapter!

max payne 3 build

Wherever Max lifted those weights, he unlocked the achievement of 'Brick Splatter-House' before Max Payne 3!

We may have heard that bullet-time will remain in Max Payne 3, but Rockstar also announced that the game will offer a new cover system. Most new action releases bear the duck-and-slam system now, but how would this work with Max Payne 3? Could it totally make bullet-time redundant, turning it into an “added-extra” or will it team-up well with the cover system like Capcom and fighting games? Rockstar could possibly design areas where cover is impossible, forcing the player to bullet-time for their dear lives. Or…they simply found that bullet-time jumps to cover-points (while pelting lead into some bad dudes) was just insanely cool! Hmmm…gets you thinking, eh?

max payne 3 cover system

That's it...a little more and I'll bullet-time out from this cover, desert eagle you in the face and uzi him in the nuts!

It seemed that Rockstar where keeping a close eye on Max Payne 3 announcements, making sure that news only got feed out in short, controlled bursts. After the above info was released, Max Payne went M.I.A for quite some time. No shots, no trailers no gameplay.

A few weeks ago, Rockstar released more news on Max Payne 3. Although not as much as we all hoped for (no gameplay footage) we did get some small answers.

Max Payne 3 – The Latest News

The first announcement was that Max Payne wouldn’t be completely bald throughout. Rockstar backed this news up with a screenshot clearly showing our bullet-dodging hero with a head-full. While this news had nothing whatsoever do with gameplay, it was nice to see a resemblance to the Max Payne we all know and loved to play as.

max payne 3 hair

The aspirin guzzling, slow-mo shooting hero we're all familiar with, finally begins to emerge from the darkness

From the latest news we can also tell that gameplay will follow Max back and fourth from past to present. From the early screens that were released of Max Payne 3, we’re definitely convinced that Max ends up doing time at some point during this Quentin Tarantino-style timescale. Whether or not the player will experience gameplay within a prison, has yet to be confirmed.

max payne 3 bullet dive

Prepare to send Max bullet-dodging back and fourth throughout his torn and lead-filled life, in Max Payne 3

Rockstar also announced that their Euphoria animation system (used for GTA IV) would also be used for Max Payne 3, giving the character and overall game much more life and realistic behaviour. You should now be able to see and feel every jump, dodge and harsh landing that Max Payne pulls-off, as well as see the consequences for not seeing that nearby table before you went into bullet-time (well…consequences for the table).

max payne 3 engine

With the Euphoria animation system and visual looks to kill, we can easily say that the Max Payne 3 engine is looking awesome!

Although we’ve seen very little since Max Payne 3’s initial announcement, what we have seen is looking very promising. When the first ever screenshots surfaced for max Payne 3, we were actually scared it was turning into a Splinter Cell clone. The look and character design were pointing dangerously close to Ubisofts experienced, rugged assassin. Now however, we feel a bit more at ease with recent screen shot releases as we’ve seen a familiar face come back into the light, as well as hints of creative flair with Max Payne 3’s gameplay.

Could Max Payne 3 be one of the best third-person shooters of this generation? Will Rockstar maintain the roots which gave birth to Max Payne, with a Max Payne 3 PC release? Until then, we’ll all be taking to XBL and/or seeking advice on how to run the first two games on our modern PC’s.