Written by  :  Snover (21)
Written on  :  Aug 20, 2001
Platform  :  Windows

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A 3-year ride completed in under 7 hours.

The Good

Max Payne is one of the most innovative games since Deus Ex, bringing a new level of gaming with the MAX-FX engine and bullet-time animation. The game had a well drawn-out story that could have easily been adapted from a movie. The care used to bring everything together helped make the story more believable. The saving/loading system was very well done; instead of reloading the map, all the entities, the enemies, it kept everything in resident memory which took the load time almost down to zero.

The Bad

Despite the rave reviews and general coolness of Max Payne, it still has its shortcomings--and they're not small. Firstly, the game was disappointingly short. The ending was horribly unspectacular and, while providing for sequels (which Remedy has already said they are making), left way too much unsolved. It [the ending] also caused my GeForce256 card to strain, even at low-medium detail (we're talking 1FPS). Secondly, and most importantly, there is a HOLE on level 2.7(?) that allows enemies to be spawned outside of the map, shoot through the wall at the bottom of the stairwell, and kill Max during a short cinematic that involves walking through the conference room door. After 20-or-so deaths, I found the only way to overcome this (without loading a game saved on a different level) was to, as the door was opening (before the controls locked), shoot wildly and hope that I killed enough of the off-map enemies before I died. Finally, the movie when you started the game was TOTALLY un-necessary. I'd rather have some bonus stuff on the disc instead of a useless movie when you opened the game (the game didn't even preload in the background while it was being played!).

The Bottom Line

Max Payne is a solid shooter, and is a good buy. When Remedy releases further "episodes" of the game, it will (hopefully) become an excellent buy. All said and done, I was kind of disappointed when it turned out that the lobby demo in 3DMark2001 wasn't in the game. ;)