These 3 features will make Max Payne 1 & 2 remakes a hit

The 'bullet time' gaming classics will be better than ever 20 years later - here are 3 reasons why

Max Payne 1 and 2 remake
(Image credit: Rockstar Games)

Max Payne 1 was released in 2001; the sequel, The Fall of Max Payne, in 2003. So if you're under the age of about 35 then chances are you've never played these 'bullet time' classics (indeed the closest you may have come is the 2008 Mark Wahlberg movie - and the less said about that the better).

Now the game's original publisher, Rockstar, has dropped a surprise bombshell: both Max Payne 1 and 2 are getting a remake, courtesy of Remedy Entertainment, for release on PS5, Xbox Series X & S, and PC. 

We know what you're thinking: "Why now, 20 years later?" Here are 3 reasons the Max Payne remakes will be a storming success.

A new game engine

These Max Payne 1 and 2 remakes aren't going to just be higher resolution. Nope, forget about blocky graphics and textures, as there's an updated gaming engine - Northlight Engine, which has already been used for Alan Wake Remastered - to elevate the visuals to modern standards throughout.

Indeed, Rockstar has made it clear in its press release that this isn't a lackadaisical remake project: it'll be financed by Rockstar Games, with stacks of cash "in line with a typical Remedy AAA-game production". So we'll be expecting some pretty spectacular graphics.

Xbox Game Pass & PlayStation Plus

Buying games these days costs a pretty penny. But with increasing numbers of subscribers to Xbox's and Sony's subscription models you won't have to be stung by a £50 or $60 asking price for the pleasure of playing these incoming Max Payne 1 and 2 remakes. 

This might well be the most important factor to success: because, let's face it, Max Payne 1 was far from a long game. That's just how things were back in the 2000s. That the sequel arrived 2 years and 3 months after shows just how quick turnarounds were back then. 

We don't expect Rockstar or Remedy to tinker with the formula too much, so don't anticipate hours of new gameplay. Therefore your best way to play will be using an annual console subscription.

A whole new audience

As alluded to up top: a whole generation of gamers missed out on Max Payne 1 and 2 the first time around. Who would dig into a 20-year-old 3D PC game in the present day, right?

Well, now presents the perfect chance. Both titles were really good games in their own right, with gritty storylines, never-seen-before 'bullet time' slow-motion epic gameplay (ripped straight from The Matrix movie, clearly), and comic book-like cutscenes and voice acting that really worked. 

In their remade format the lid will be lifted for a new generation of gamers to grab that experience, albeit with a more up-to-date lick of polish to make everything appear just, well, more now

Gamers are hungry for new experiences - even if, conversely, those experiences are old. How long we'll have to wait, however, is unknown right now - as no release date has been set just yet.

Mike Lowe
Tech Editor

Mike has been writing about consumer technology for 15 years and is T3's Tech Editor. As a phones expert he's seen hundreds of handsets over the years – swathes of Android devices, a smattering of iPhones, and a batch of Windows Phone products (remember those?). But that's not all, as a tech aficionado his beat for T3 also covers tablets, laptops, gaming, home cinema, TVs, speakers and more – there's barely a stone unturned that he's not had a hand on. Previously the Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint for a full decade, he's also provided work for publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Metro, and more. In addition to his tech knowledge, Mike is also a flights and travel expert, having travelled the globe extensively. You'll likely find him setting up a new mobile phone, critiquing the next MacBook, all while planning his next getaway... or cycling somewhere.