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Max Payne (Windows)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.2
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Scott Monster (919)
Written on  :  Jul 23, 2009
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars4.43 Stars

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful

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Summary

Ages Well and Still Fun!

The Good

No aliens, robots or demons here. Just the gritty, snowed in streets of New York. The story and the game owe a lot of inspiration to the "Die Hard" movies, complete with the renegade cop that can survive the impossible.

Here we start with bullet time that was possibly borrowed from "The Matrix" and implemented in almost every FPS immediately following it. A great feature that lets you aim in slow motion whilst killing the bad guys.

All the action is set against very realistic architecture, with missing tiles, dirty floors, boarded windows. The introductory subway level was especially enjoyable.

The sound was top notch too. The guns had distinctive sounds that let you know what the bad guy was firing at you. Voicework was great too. It was so well done that you never got the sense of bored actors reading a script in to a mic. The music was minimal and well done, providing that additional sense of the solitary figure against the world.

Storywise, It was a little contrived, but with memorable characters. Instead of your usual stereotypical wiseguys, you have different people representing different factions that are making a play for power in the Big Apple. Max finds himself having to take most of them all on at one point or another as allegiances fail.

Gameplay is awesome. I have never had so much fun with a 3rd person shooter before. The random bits of loopiness provided a much needed reprieve from the endless shooting, like the Pink Bird TV show. Using painkillers instead of health packs adds that additional sense of absurdity as Max is being continually shot up.

The graphic novel was an innovative touch, even if it was used to save the developer time and money instead of using ingame scenes. It let the player skip or review completely at their own leisure.

The end game? Fantastic and challenging with a grand payoff. I like that you really don't know who the really bad guy is until the very end.

The Bad

Got to be honest, Wasn't so crazy about the maze parts of the game. I didn't like the blood trail mazes, which were mercifully left out of the sequel.

Otherwise, It was just simply great.

The Bottom Line

Great gaming for low end machines at a budget price. I liked it so much that I bought it again in 2009 after buying it in 2001.

Very much a gaming experience.