Gameplay-wise, the Max Payne titles get remembered for a few things: bullet time, the iconic shootdodge and using painkillers to refresh health. But things have changed since we last saw the hardboiled cop in Max Payne 2 eight years ago.
Rockstar knows this and is tweaking the Payne formula a bit — but not too much — for the upcoming threequel. Two interviews with Gamespot reveals that there will be a cover mechanic in Max Payne 3 but that the grizzled ex-cop won't have regenerating health as is so common in shooters nowadays. Says Rockstar VP of Product Development Jeronimo Barrera:
We also wanted to encourage players to be strategic in their approach to combat spaces and not to rely on cover as simply a point to sit and regenerate health. Max Payne is about the beauty of the gunplay itself, in knowing when to launch yourself into an area, finding the right lines of attack, and perfecting bullet time kills. Regenerating health would have an impact on the game's natural rhythm.
Barrera also talks about new melee moves Max can use and how they're planning to present bullet time so that it feels fresh for both folks who are new to Max and those who count him as an old friend.