Firming up the foundational fiction of Max Payne 3, the game's first trailer shows no hesitation in exploring key themes of Rockstar's previous work: violence and sacrifice.
Ex-cop Payne, troubled by personal tragedy, has left New York and now works security in Sao Paulo for a powerful Brazilian family.
Just a few weeks into his new career, a kidnapping prompts Max to set out on a destructive rescue mission, attempting to atone for past mistakes and forge a new identity.
Such sentiments aren't too far away from those found in previous Rockstar productions Grand Theft Auto IV, Red Dead Redemption and, in some respects, the most recent LA Noire.
It's the first time Rockstar has taken on the Max Payne mantle. Series creator Remedy Entertainment came up with the first two, but is now working on its newer franchise, Alan Wake.
Max Payne 3 is expected on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in March 2012, the same month that both Mass Effect 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken have been pegged for launches.