Let's all give it up to Rockstar and Max Payne, because the truth is, there is not one game that is more responsible for the massive change of direction that action genre has received than Max Payne. Essentially pioneering the art of gun-fu in modern day shooters, Max Payne created numerous gameplay techniques that have become staples of nearly every action shooter, bullet-time being one of them. After a six year absence, Rockstar finally revealed the third game in the series back in June 2009. And much to the surprise of many, Max Payne 3 looked almost nothing like a Max Payne game…
Gone are the dim and drab settings of New York City, replaced with the lush and beautiful setup of Brazil's Sao Paulo. Gone is a leather jacket wearing mad man on the hunt for vengeance for his wife's murder; replaced by a madder man who's now sporting a beard, a bald head, considerable weight gain, and an all new job in the private sector for a wealthy family he is hired to protect. Max Payne 3's story takes place 12 years following the events of the last game, and will center around a double-crossed Max, triggering the mad man inside to burst.
Rockstar's Sam Houser has stated that for the third game, Max's personality has "drifted from bad to worse." Yikes. With that in mind, we can expect to see Max's painkiller addiction to carry over to the third title, as they will continue to act as his healing system within the gameplay. Much like other action games these, such as Uncharted, Rockstar will be implementing a bit more realism to the mechanics of Max Payne 3. One such implementation is a balance of weaponry, allowing Max to carry only two weapons at once: a handgun and a larger rifle or automatic of some sort (including shotguns, and such). But never fear, if you drop a larger weapon, that enables you to simultaneously dual-wield two handguns in a blazing glory.
When not using weapons, Max can take cover in a variety of ways, one of which of using a human body as a shield. Furthermore, Rockstar has stated that there will be an all new cover system in the game, but that it won't be an integral aspect, unlike many other action shooters out there. To us, that means Max Payne 3 is going to be so full of non-stop action that you'd rather storm through your enemies, as opposed to stalling and playing it safe. Furthermore, because things like crates and other objects will be destructible, you can only use cover for so long. Lastly, if Max is at the end of his life bar, he can gain a shot of adrenaline and immediate rejuvenation if he manages to kill the opponent who's depleted his life before the opponent can kill Max.
A visual style similar to the graphic novel approach of the first two games will be used in order to link the story together from act to act. But aside from that one similarity, Max Payne 3 looks entirely different from the franchise, and in this day and age where moody and drab settings are all too common, it's a nice change of pace to see Max end up in locale with lush qualities to it.
Rockstar has said that Max Payne 3 will arrive anywhere between March-June 2010, and most certainly no later than July 2010. So it isn't that far off.