Rockstar Games has announced that Max Payne 3 will be out in March 2012, with support for a host of new multiplayer options.

After years of waiting – eight long years for some of us – Rockstar has finally given Max Payne 3 an official launch date, sort of. It’s not exactly pinpoint-precise but at least it’s something you can circle on the calendar: March 2012 is the big month, which will eventually be narrowed down to a big day, when the fatter, balder, not-a-New-York-detective-anymore Max Payne will finally make his return to videogame screens everywhere.

The connections between the previous Max Payne games and this one seem, at this point at least, more than a little tenuous. Instead of a painkiller-addicted NYPD detective haunted by the murder of his family and the unspeakable magnitude of his revenge, he’s working as an overweight, under-dressed bodyguard for a wealthy family in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The only real link is that the stalwart Max is still haunted by his demons and will once again descend into an orgy of mass murder to try to rid himself of them, once and for all.

The new Max Payne will also bring multiplayer to the series for the first time ever, with support for “traditional multiplayer modes” – deathmatch and CTF, I guess – as well as “a deep reward and leveling system, persistent clans and multiple strategic load-out options.” It’s a long way from a fugitive undercover cop with nothing to lose, but hey, it might be good anyway. So remember: Max Payne 3. March 2012. PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Everything ripped apart in a Sao Paulo minute. Don’t miss it!

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