Despite the hopeful note upon which Max Payne 2 ended, Max is looking mighty rough in an early promo image for the new sequel. The third chapter of his story finds Max retired from the New York Police Department but still "embroiled in a world of corruption, turmoil and intense violence."
"We're starting a new chapter of Max's life with this game," said Rockstar Games Co-Founder Sam Houser. "This is Max as we've never seen him before, a few years older, more world-weary and cynical than ever. We experience the downward spiral of his life after the events of Max Payne 2 and witness his last chance for salvation."
Max has walked away not only from the NYPD but from New York City entirely - but bad luck and dead bodies seem to follow him like a long shadow on a frost-bitten February morning stretching across the hellishly black pit of despair that once was his heart, until the murders of his wife, his daughter and everything he loved turned him from honest family man to blood-soaked instrument of vengeance, hollow and dead inside. "Since leaving the NYPD and New York itself behind, Max has drifted from bad to worse," Take-Two said in a press release. "Double-crossed and a long way from home, Max is now trapped in a city full of violence and bloodshed, using his weapons and instincts in a desperate search for the truth and a way out."
For those who don't know, and shame on you for it, Max Payne was an over-the-top noir shooter that pioneered the concept of "bullet time," allowing players to react in real-time while events around them move in slow-motion. Released in 2001, the game became as well-known for its melodramatic narrative as for its intense action and violence and spawned a sequel, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne, in 2003.
The only potential downside is that it isn't being made by Remedy, the studio behind the original games that's been struggling with Alan Wake ever since. Max Payne 3 is being developed by Rockstar Vancouver instead, for the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and is scheduled for release in winter 2009.