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Remedy Entertainment is Busy Between Alan Wake, Max Payne, More

Remedy Entertainment is Busy Between Alan Wake, Max Payne, More Image
  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 19:30 PM

Remedy and Rockstar are working on remakes of the first two Max Payne games, but Remedy has a lot of other things on its plate right now.

p>It's been a long time since either Remedy Entertainment or Rockstar Games have interacted with the Max Payne franchise. In recent memory, Remedy has mostly been busy with expanding the universe of its acclaimed paranormal action-adventure title Control. Meanwhile, Rockstar Games has been hard at work supporting the Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption games, both of which have flourished in the last several years. Now, however, the time has come for the return of Max Payne. Remedy just announced that Rockstar plans to fund remakes of both Max Payne games, which will be released on next-gen consoles and developed with Remedy's own Northlight Engine.

The announcement of the Max Payne remakes is remarkable, and not just because Remedy hasn't worked on a Max Payne game in more than a decade. The announcement also comes at a time when Remedy has a lot going on. While it's working on the Max Payne remakes, Remedy will be juggling a few important projects that belong to Alan Wake and Control's shared universe, as well as a mysterious shooter simply known as Vanguard. It's great to see Remedy working on so many promising projects, but the studio has to avoid biting off more than it can chew.

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Alan Wake and Control's Mutual Growth

There's a lot of growth happening around the supernatural universe that Control and Alan Wake both inhabit. Not only did Remedy just release Alan Wake Remastered, but it's currently working on a second attempt at Alan Wake 2, which is slated for release in 2023. Remedy didn't provide many details when announcing Alan Wake 2, but apparently it'll lean into the survival horror genre, and players won't have to have played the first Alan Wake in order to understand the sequel. The latter claim could be a tall order, given how Alan Wake lore has changed recently, but Remedy's storytelling skills are cause for optimism.

While Alan Wake flourishes, Control is building towards major growth too. Considering how beloved the first Control was, it's no surprise that Remedy plans to make a Control sequel. The first game's ending leaves plenty of story threads to pick up in a sequel; it's merely a matter of deciding what cosmic force or human threat to the Bureau motivates Jesse Faden to take action once again. Regardless of the game's plot, with the help of a direct sequel to Control, Jesse will cement her place as a leading icon of Remedy's video game catalog.

Notably, a direct sequel isn't all that Control fans have to look forward to. Apparently Remedy is also working on a multiplayer Control spinoff, which is codenamed Condor for now. Remedy hasn't indicated anything concrete about the game, but since the game shares the Alan Wake and Control universe, it wouldn't be surprising if it casts players as operatives for the Federal Bureau of Control, investigating supernatural creatures and Altered World Events. That type of multiplayer co-op has a lot of potential for both interesting storytelling and compelling gameplay within the Control universe, but since the game's announcement is fairly fresh, it could be quite some time before fans find out if that's what Remedy has in mind.

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The Return of Max Payne

On top of all these Alan Wake and Control games, Remedy still has Vanguard in development. Vanguard is a multiplayer co-op PvE shooter that will be free to play and has ties to video game investing giant Tencent. Remedy is apparently interested in making Vanguard a game as a service, but gameplay doesn't get much more concrete than that. All in all, it sounds like Vanguard is yet another ambitious project, in spite of its supposedly small development team, meaning Remedy has a lot on its hands in total.

Somehow, Remedy intends to develop remakes for both of its Max Payne games in the midst of all this other work. Financial support from Rockstar ought to go a long way, and that support could mean that Max Payne's return is an opportunity for Remedy to expand even more than it already has in the last few years. What's more, if the Max Payne remakes do well, then it could give Rockstar and Remedy cause to collaborate on a fourth Max Payne game, or even to create spinoffs that expand the game's universe. There's a lot to be gained from these remakes.

Still, Remedy needs to be careful. The studio has accomplished a lot in its lifetime, but it isn't accustomed to working on so many things at once. It'll need to make sure that every one of its projects has the right amount of support, or else many of its promising games could falter. It would be a shame if the Control sequel's quality faltered because Remedy needed to pull staff away from it to support the Max Payne remakes, or vice versa. Remedy's next few years will be a careful balancing act.

Remedy Has a Bright Future

There are definitely risks involved in working on so many important projects at once, but if Remedy can pull it off, then it stands to gain a lot. Not only could it bring on a new generation of Alan Wake and Max Payne games, but its younger IPs could flourish into powerful franchises of their own. With its hands on so many well-loved franchises, Remedy could become more of a heavy hitter in the game industry than ever. It's just a matter of execution.

Beyond the big picture, it's simply good to see Max Payne make a comeback. The original Max Payne games are still striking titles with strong gunplay and storytelling framed through a noir graphic novel lens. Those elements are more than worthy of being celebrated with remakes, especially in a time when so many dormant franchises are making comebacks. Remedy and Rockstar haven't provided release dates for the Max Payne remakes just yet, and due to Remedy's other projects, it wouldn't be surprising if it takes a couple of years for these games to come around. Nevertheless, the Max Payne remakes ought to be solid additions to the PS5 and the Xbox Series X when they finally release.

Max Payne and Max Payne 2 remakes are in development for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.

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