Rockstar Games has announced that the third installment in the Max Payne third-person shooter series will launch in March 2012 for PC, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. The new title was originally scheduled for a late 2009 debut but was met with multiple delays.

Unlike the first two chapters that were set in The Big Apple, Max Payne 3 takes place in South America. The former New York City detective heads to Sao Paulo, Brazil to protect a wealthy family as part of his new job at a private security firm. Despite the relocation, Max is apparently still haunted by the memories of his traumatic past.

"Max Payne 3 gave us an amazing creative opportunity to evolve one of our most iconic characters," said Rockstar founder Sam Houser via press release. "We're excited to show fans a modern version of Max that pulls them back into his dark and twisted story."

max payne max payne 3 rockstar games

The Rockstar press release says the game incorporates the latest advances in Natural Motion physics as well as a brand new iteration of the Rockstar Advanced Game Engine, resulting in highly-refined gameplay, a new intelligent cover system and sophisticated Bullet-Time mechanics.

Max Payne 3 will also feature another first for the franchise: a multiplayer aspect. The mode is said to dynamically alter maps and mode progression and include a leveling system, clans and gear loadout options.

The award-winning franchise debuted in July 2001 for Windows and was ported to consoles later that year. According to Take-Two Interactive, the game had sold more than seven million copies as of 2008. Team Xbox reports that a trailer for the third installment is due on September 14.