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Max Payne (Windows)

Mature
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
90
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.1
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  MasterMegid (900)
Written on  :  Nov 10, 2009
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars5 Stars

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Summary

Max Payne Is More Fun Than Television

The Good

Wow, has it really been nearly 10 years since Max Payne was released? The game that blended the grittiness of pulp and graphic novels, with the John Woo inspired gunplay. And tied it all together within a shiny 3rd person action shooter?

I have only reviewed Max Payne 2, at this point and after viewing the horrendous film adaptation, and replaying the game to rid the bad taste of the film from my mouth. I decided to throw my two cents into an already over-reviewed game. So here goes.

“They were all dead… the final gunshot, was an exclamation…”

Max Payne is a New York City cop, whom upon arriving home one day, stumbles into a nightmare. There are armed men in his house, and they are crazed on some new designer drug. In the ensuing chaos, Max’s wife and daughter are murdered. Flash forward some years later, and Max is working deep undercover, in the seediest hellholes. When his partner, Alex is killed, a crime for which Max is blamed, he goes on a rampage against New York’s underworld.

Max Payne is supported by a lot of other interesting characters. Like the whiny Vinnie Gognitti, the psychotic Jack Lupino, and the femme fatale assassin, Mona Sax to name a few.

Also there is the Address Unknown, back-story which mirrors Max’s plight. As well as the silly Captain Baseball Batboy. All of these elements come together, to make a more interesting narrative, and make the game world seem more realistic.

And how can I forget, the great graphic novel panels, that move along the story?

The gunplay is a blast. Literally. It’s like being throw headfirst into a heroic bloodshed film.(Look it up.-MM-) Max runs and guns, and can go into bullet-time, in which everything slows down around him, allowing him to easily take out his foes.

There are lots of guns and explosives to collect. Pistols, machine guns, rifles, etc. And in one particularly cool effect, when fired, the sniper rifle zooms in of the bullet and tracks it as it connects with an enemies head.

Max Payne, is a very adult game. Not only with it’s graphic violence, but also it’s mature themes, that would be lost on younger players. Be warned, Max Payne is a very violent game. Especially when it slows down, as the bullets riddle the bodies of the gangsters, and blood pours from their wounds. (Take that PG-13, BS film!-MM-)

The graphics are still pretty good. Not as much as say Max Payne 2, but they still get the job done, and only look a little dated.

The music is great, as are the voice overs. Particularly, the voice of Max. And some of the dialog with the enemies when they are just hanging around is laugh out loud funny.

The Bad

This game can be very challenging. I finished it on all the modes, and would not care to do that again. Max dies very easily, especially on the higher difficulties.

If you do not want or like a challenge, then you need not apply.

Some of the boss fights are insanely hard. Like the one with Jack Lupino.

There are also some “filler” levels. The only purpose these levels serve is to make the game longer, they could have easily been cut.

The Bottom Line

So here we are 10 years later, and Max Payne is still a blast to play. What you haven’t played it? You have to play it.