It’s been nearly 10 years since a video game pulled us through the living nightmare that was the life of Max Payne. Much to the pleasure of fans worldwide, everyone’s favorite tormented soul is back and so is Bullet Time. Max Payne 3 (PS3, Xbox 360, PC) continues where the second installment left off, with our anti-hero living in Sao Paulo acting as a personal bodyguard to a wealthy Brazilian businessman Rodrigo Branco. Things go bad with Branco’s trophy wife is kidnapped under Max’s supervision, and that’s where ‘normal’ ends.

Despite swapping out the shadows of NYC with the sun of Brazil, this third installment is still violence-drenched noir at its finest. Numerous plot twists and flashbacks help to provide extraordinary depth to a stunningly-vast landscape that captures players from the onset — something Rockstar Games has perfected over the years. John Marston and Niko Bellic come to mind. Admittedly, the gratuitous cut scenes used to dole out the deeply-engrossing story may annoy some, but they unquestionably amplify the cinematic experience of the game.

You won’t be too challenged by the familiar gameplay of Max Payne 3…but you won’t care. Living out the later life of Payne is all the reason you’ll need to pick up this sure-fire hit. And don’t worry, there are no screaming babies and trails of blood this time.

Buy Now: $60