Bring on the Payne
Outstanding. Game play, graphics, sound, music, story, this game has it all and some tricks throw in for good measure. The Bullet Time effect is amazing and I would not be surprised if a lot of games start mimicking this ability. For those of you who haven't read anything about Max Payne. It's a FPS from a 3rd person perspective. What is revolutionary is that Max has the ability to go into slo-mo mode briefly ala your favorite John Woo movie. A fraction of a second can seemingly go on and on, you see individual bullets racing towards you, the gunshots sound hollow like you are in a cave and the sound of your heart beating is ringing in your ears. Bullet Time in and of itself would have made this an interesting game, but there is more ... much more. Beside the fluid game play there is a completely immersive story. The voice acting is top notch. The graphics are superb, albeit you need a hefty video card to get the full effect. However my GeForce DDR 64 handled a high resolution at a good frame rate quite well. The 3D models are amazing and the textures are great. I also liked the realistic guns. I am rather sick of made up weapons like nail guns or rocket launchers. Another nice touch are the cinematic shots. When some difficult task is performed ( taking out a room full of bad guys or sniping someone from a distance ) the camera moves to where the action is. You see in slo-mo a bad guy getting cut down or you follow a bullet to it's intended victim.
It's short. I was able to finish Max Payne in about 14 hours. I admit had I gone to work, ate or slept in those 14 hours it may have streched it on for days. When you finish Max it opens Hard Boiled and New York Minute modes. Though the plot doesn't change it adds more of a challenge to the game.
The plot could of been less linear. Unlike Deus Ex which was a very open ended game Max is spoon fed the plot and must move from point A to point B. There is no real choice. Because the plot is so linear there is not a lot of puzzle solving. Max doesn't use his brain so much as his lightening fast reflexes.
Neither of these two points really detracts from the game all that much.
The Bottom Line
It kicks major butt. Remedy also includes Max-FX tools with the game allowing people to add additional content. Hopefully we will see the same sort of development that Half-Life did.