It's hard to deny that Rockstar Games have been full of surprises this year, whether it was the GTA 6 announcement or the introduction of GTA+. The latest reports confirm that Max Payne 1 and 2 will be remade by Remedy, the original creator of the games, and published by Rockstar.
This is great news for both fans of the games and Rockstar. In fact, most players who have played more than one GTA game are likely to have played Max Payne 1 or 2, or both. Here are all the details that have been revealed so far.
Max Payne 1 and 2 remake announced by Remedy, but it might not launch before GTA 6
Players should note that this isn't another remaster like the Definitive Edition GTA Trilogy. Max Payne (2001) and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (2003) will be completely remade in the Northlight engine. Control, which is currently one of the most graphically intensive video games available on the market, has been made with this engine.
The two games will be merged into one and will be released exclusively for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. The game is currently in the concept development stage and might take years before it's officially launched. It will have a massive budget, much like a modern-day AAA title, and will be financed by Rockstar Games.
It was Remedy themselves who approached Rockstar with this idea, and the latter were quite enthusiastic about it.
“We were thrilled when our long-time friends at Remedy approached us about remaking the original Max Payne games...” — Sam Houser, Rockstar Games founder.
What to expect
This game is unlikely to launch before GTA 6, which is expected to be released sometime in 2024 or 2025.
While Grand Theft Auto 6 is already in the later stages of development, the Max Payne remake hasn't even entered development. This game will be made entirely by Remedy, with Rockstar overseeing the development.
Remedy's latest third-person shooter, Control, was met with critical acclaim, and as such, most fans have similar expectations from the upcoming game.
However, Max Payne 1 and 2 are two of the most unique video games ever made. Their neo-noir theme and storytelling, coupled with stellar gameplay elements (bullet time in particular), have made them timeless classics.
The bullet time mechanic has since been incorporated into various games, both directly and indirectly, such as in GTA 5.
It will be interesting to see how they manage to strike a balance between the two games by merging them. The first Max Payne game was more horror than neo-noir, while the second felt a bit more realistic.
Both games transitioned between reality and dream-like states, sometimes leaving the borders unclear quite intentionally. The result was an artistic masterpiece.
The third game, however, was completely different. Being developed by Rockstar themselves, it felt much more grounded, just like the GTA series.
Hence, it remains to be seen what direction Remedy will take and how they will manage to fit the late-90s to early-2000s neo-noir ambiance in a modern-day title.