Remedy has revealed that they are bundling the remakes of first two Max Payne games together into one big project.
In an interview with Video Games Chronicle, Remedy’s creative director Sam Lake explained:
“It is a significant undertaking in the sense that even if they are old games, just thinking about bringing them up to modern standards and combining them into one, you can see that it’s a big, big project.”
Sam has not shared any release date, but confirmed that Max Payne 1 & 2 Remake will be releasing on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.
While Remedy were the creators of these games, they sold their rights to these IPs to Rockstar Games’ parent company Take-Two Interactive in 2002. In this capacity, Take-Two republished the two games in 2008 to Steam. As noted by Delisted Games, the games were then pulled from Steam in 2021 in some regions. Rockstar and Take-Two provided no explanation.
The games were also delisted from the Xbox 360 store in 2019, and then added back in in 2021. Today Max Payne 1 & 2 are available on the Xbox Store, and Max Payne 1 is available on the PlayStation Store.
Rockstar also took the opportunity to make Max Payne 3, with Remedy serving as consultants only at the final stages of development. Max Payne 3 featured writing from Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser, and was produced by Steve Martin (neither of the celebrity Steve Martins). The game was released in 2012, alongside mobile ports of the first two games.
It’s been over a decade since we had seen any new Max Payne games in any capacity, so Rockstar seemed quite serious when they decided to contact Remedy about working with them to remaster these games.
The Max Payne franchise features the eponymous NYPD detective, who becomes a vigilante after his family is killed by the mob. The franchise made its mark over twenty years ago by introducing a bullet time mechanic. Emulating John Woo and The Matrix movies, the player can make the game slow down when Max pulls out his pistols, to ensure he aims at his enemies properly before shooting at them.
Max Payne happened to have had its impact and hit its stride in the industry just a few years before Call of Duty would adopt and popularize aim down sights for shooter games. This remaster will have to take into account all of the set conventions gamers are now used to when playing modern shooters, including optional additions like gyro control.
Outside of that, it will be interesting to see what Sam Lake and the team with post-Control Remedy do with their remaster of Max Payne.