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Max Payne 1 And 2 Remake - What We Know So Far

When it comes to generation-defining games of the PlayStation 2 era, what games immediately spring to mind? Likely, gamers will cite blockbusters like "Grand Theft Auto 3," "Halo," or "Final Fantasy X" as some of the most popular and influential games of the early-2000s. But one that is sometimes overlooked is "Max Payne." Developed by Remedy Entertainment and originally published by Gathering of Developers (before Rockstar Games got a hold of it), "Max Payne" was released in July 2001 for the PC to very positive critical reception before being ported over to the PlayStation 2 and Xbox that December.

"Max Payne" quickly stood out from its contemporaries due its neo-noir style, its graphic novel-like cutscenes, and its action-centric gameplay, which adopted the slow-motion "bullet time" gunplay popularized by "The Matrix." The game's story was actually lifted from a screenplay Sam Lake, the main story writer, penned in college. It followed the titular Max Payne, a New York City detective who has transferred to the DEA in order to uncover the mystery behind the murder of his wife and infant baby, which is connected to the designer drug Valkyr (or V).

The success of "May Payne" saw it spawn a sequel, "Max Payne 2," in 2003. "Max Payne 3" would eventually come out in 2012, but was developed in-house by Rockstar. Since then, however, the series has largely been left on the backburner with fans clamoring for a fourth title to be developed. However, it seems Remedy and Rockstar have decided to do the next best thing: remake the first two games. Here's what we know so far.

The Max Payne remakes are still in early development

In a press release posted to the developer's corporate website, Remedy Entertainment announced that it had reached out to Rockstar Games for the rights to develop remakes to the "Max Payne" series' first two games, "Max Payne" and "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne." According to Rockstar co-founder Sam Houser, allowing Remedy to remake two of the most popular titles in gaming history was a no-brainer. "We were thrilled when our long-time friends at Remedy approached us about remaking the original Max Payne games," Houser said in the press release. "We are massive fans of the work the Remedy team has created over the years, and we can't wait to play these new versions."

However, don't expect the remakes of the first "Max Payne" games to be arriving any time soon. According to Remedy, the project is still in the concept development phase of production. This likely means that gamers are some years away from seeing anything close to a final product on the market.

The game will utilize Remedy's Northlight game engine

While it's still unknown when gamers will be able to get their hands on the remakes of "Max Payne" and "Max Payne 2," we do have a good idea of what it could potentially look like. In the press release, Remedy announced that the game would be developed using its own Northlight game engine. This is the same game engine that was used to create some of Remedy's more recent games such as "Quantum Break," "Control," and "Alan Wake." Northlight was also used in the single-player mode of "CrossFire X," though the game used the more standard Unreal Engine 4 for its multiplayer.

Given the capabilities of the engine, it isn't beyond the realm of possibility that the "Max Payne" remakes could be given the full next-gen treatment when it comes to visuals and its control scheme. Given how the engine is advertised, one could also expect the inclusion of photo-realistic (or close to it) cutscenes that will be include motion tracking.

The Max Payne remakes will be exclusive to the next-gen

With the remakes to "Max Payne" and "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" likely years away from release, it's only natural that Remedy and Rockstar focus their abilities on getting the most optimal product they can. After all, these are two of the most beloved games of the early-2000s. And if the two companies want their release to go over smoothly and without smelling like a cash grab, the games need to be worth the reinvestment for players. In that regard, it seems that both remakes will be exclusive to the next generation of consoles.

Per Remedy's press release, the remakes of "Max Payne" and "Max Payne 2" will be developed for the PC, Xbox Series X|S, and the PlayStation 5. This omits the older generation Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles, while also leaving out the Nintendo Switch. The two games will also be bundled into one title, as opposed to being sold as individual games.

Rockstar will be funding the Max Payne remakes

Upon announcing Remedy's new agreement with Rockstar, it appears both parties are extremely excited for the "Max Payne" remake project, and it seems that Rockstar is particularly keen on it. The project's announcement revealed that the company would be funding Remedy's remakes of "Max Payne" and "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" in full. This includes not only the games' development, but marketing, distribution, and publishing as well. Remedy will begin collecting royalties on the games' sales after Rockstar has recouped its investment.

According to the press release, the budget for the games will be "in line with a typical Remedy AAA-game production." For comparison's sake, Remedy's "Control" was completed with a budget of $30 million, as revealed in an interview with GameIndustry.biz. As noted by @bogorad222 on Twitter, "Quantum Break" had a budget of anywhere from $10-20 million. This could put the remakes of the first two "Max Payne" games at a budget of somewhere around $20 million, give or take. Then again, it's not like Rockstar Games can't afford it following the recent success the company has had with "GTA Online" in recent years.