Ryan Davis writes: Rockstar Games faced no small feat in taking on Max Payne. With nearly a decade since Finnish developer Remedy--long since busy exploring the dark wilderness of the subconscious with Alan Wake--parted ways with the series, the challenges were manifold. After that much time, did the John-Woo-inspired gun ballet still play? And what of the comic-book-noir aesthetic, which leavened Max’s blackstrap pathos with fleets of self-reference and absurdity? Rockstar, of course, addresses both of these issues with no small amount of its own usual panache, discarding large swaths of Max’s established aesthetic and asserting its own set of influences in the process.