Finally, the latest instalment of slow-mo, run-and-gun mayhem from legendary games-makers Rockstar – of Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption fame – is hitting our shelves.
Max Payne 3 layers on the awesome like a sweet, oozing violence sundae. The recipe: take a balls-to-the-wall, third-person action game and top it with cinematic gameplay, a top-notch storyline and super-smart enemies.
Oh, and casually sprinkle with the ability to jump sideways in bullet-time holding two guns at once and cap three goons before you land. BEFORE YOU LAND!
The first two incarnations were two of the best shooty games ever made, and this update drips with the same noir style and devil-may-care attitude of its established older brothers.
Also, it's much, much prettier. Shame the same can’t be said of ol’ Max, who's started to look a bit, well, homeless of late, what with his filthy-vest-and-massive-beard approach to fashion.
But to be fair to him, Mr Payne is a little too busy to head down to Topman at the moment, what with him being shot at by baddies everywhere he goes.
Luckily, he – or rather, you – get to shoot them back, and every time you clear an area of ne'er-do-wells, the action slows down and dynamically creates a suitably awesome “Kill Camera”: depending on your choice of weapon, direction of movement and position, it'll be different every time you play.
It's like having a tiny John Woo sat in your console, calling the shots and being all tiny and John Woo-ish. Woo!
And now, in glorious multi-player.
Max Payne 3 is out May 18 on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC
Max Payne 3 (Xbox 360)