Here’s some news that genuinely caught us off guard today: Remedy is remaking classic third-person shooters Max Payne and Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne.
The remade Paynes will be distributed as a package and likely won’t be released anytime soon: Remedy says the project is in the “concept development stage”. For now, it’s nice that Remedy was able to move forward on the project, which wasn’t a given. Remedy created the two original Max Payne games, but Rockstar published them and still owns the copyright to Max Payne.
According to Remedy’s announcement, the company approached Rockstar with the idea of remaking the games, and Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser was “thrilled” by the idea. Rockstar is funding the development of the remakes, whose budget will be “in line with a typical production run of AAA Remedy games,” says Remedy. No surprise: Remedy plans to use its Northlight game engine, which was most recently seen in Control.
Max Payne’s first game released a few years after The Matrix hit theaters, and it was the first game to actually nail the slow-motion gunfight popularized by the film; this influence can also be seen in Max Payne’s dirty levels in New York, especially in the subway station where it starts.
The similarities to the Matrix usually end there; Max Payne is an ultra-melodramatic noir thriller about an ex-cop seeking revenge. His story was delivered with comic book-style interludes and what remains one of the best VO works in all of video games. Think True Detective, but it increased a few points: I don’t know about angels, but it’s fear that gives men wings.
Max Payne 2 was also notable by your physics Havoc, which were pretty innovative at the time – I spent hours shooting and running buckets just to make them fly. And, of course, there’s Max’s face: a grimacing photo of Remedy’s creative director Sam Lake taped to a low poly head. I think we all hope Lake models for the remakes as well. (He hasn’t changed much!)