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Why Max Payne 4 Might Tell A Very Different Story

The Max Payne series deserves some credit for taking the titular character on a satisfying arc. Max's story begins as one of heartbreak-turned-vengeance, as his family is murdered and he turns to murder himself to fill the void. That's only reinforced in Max Payne 2, when he opens up ever so slightly, only to be rewarded with the death of the one woman he dared to care for. Finally, in Max Payne 3, he comes to terms with who he is and what he's able to do. And he finds that he'll always be a killer, but he can at least kill in the service of others.

The history of the series leads to an interesting question: how — if the studio decides to try — would Rockstar Games tackle a Max Payne 4? Where else is there to take this character who has done and seen so much?

Interestingly, the folks at Gaming Bolt have a theory about what a potential Max Payne 4 could look like. And though this take is a few years old at this point, it doesn't sound completely out of the realm of possibility.

According to writer Ravi Sinha, Rockstar could bring the Max Payne franchise back by introducing a son to the equation. That would enable Max to play a different role; one where he's less of a focused killer and more of a protector. Sinha also feels the series could turn to the trope of a grizzled vet who tries to retire from his old life but gets called back into action.

The latter is one we'd prefer not to see.

Sinha even floats the idea of giving Max Payne 4 a Karma system to change things up a bit, and let players ultimately steer where Max goes and what kind of person he is in this next chapter. That sounds like a very interesting idea, but only if Rockstar could commit to Max Payne 4 being the complete and total end of the series. If players can end the game either as good guy Max or bad guy Max, there's no room for another entry to come along and re-institute series canon afterward.

As you can see, there are a number of great ideas for the directions a Max Payne 4 could go in. Now all that's left to do is wait for Rockstar Games to decide the series is worth paying attention to.

If we hear about a potential Max Payne 4, we'll report back.