“I lied to myself that it was over. I was still alive. My loved ones were still dead. It wasn’t over.” The stoic, gnarly voice of James McCaffrey echoes through my mind with every quote I see of our beloved videogame. This quote hit home today after news broke Remedy and Rockstar Games will remake Max Payne 1 and 2. Yes, you’ve read that right, my friends. The world is out of joint. Am I hallucinating?
The news broke yesterday evening as a complete surprise. Remedy announced via press release it signed a partnership agreement with Rockstar Games to remake the classics. Both Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne will be remade by utilizing Remedy’s Northlight engine. Technology that has previously been used to create Quantum Break and Control. The games will come as a single package for PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S. The project is still in the concept stage, meaning it’s probably still years away from release.
For the fans, this is a dream coming true. Gamers around the globe have been begging Remedy for more than a decade to return to the franchise. Until now, that seemed impossible. Rockstar Games is the rightful owner of the franchise rights and chose to develop Max Payne 3 without the help of Remedy. Admittedly, Rockstar approached Remedy to provide feedback on the game, but the Finnish studio was not involved in the actual development duties. Sidenote, Max Payne 3 will turn ten this year. Are you feeling old yet? Max might be able to manipulate time, but for us, time moves forward with relentless speed.
Writing this feels surreal. A remaster or remake of the older Max Payne games was long overdue. Getting the older games to run on modern hardware is a challenge. Not only will the remakes introduce Max Payne to a whole new generation of gamers, but it’s also the perfect way to preserve a piece of gaming history. Max Payne raised the bar for third-person shooters, and thus it will be interesting to see what the remakes will bring to the table. Max Payne 3 introduced us to a host of gameplay advancements, from targeting and hooting to fluent animations and cover. However, compared to developing a new game, touching on classics is a much more difficult ordeal. Sure the blueprint is already there, but there is a fine line between nostalgia and making sure these games have their own identity.
Whatever Remedy might come up with, there couldn’t have been a better studio to be at the helm of this project than the creators themselves. We couldn’t be more excited. I’m still pinching my arm, is this really happening?