Players: 1 Player Game | Release Date: 07/23/01 | Genre: Action
A friend of mine handed me a CD saying I should go home and try it out. He called the game Max Payne. Following his advice, I went home and tried it out. I thought it would be just like every other point and kill shooter out there. Being the avid gamer I am, I tried the baby out. The first thing that hit me was the graphics and the presentation of the game. The graphics were nice and smooth and worked nicely with my AMD ATI Xpert 2k video card combo that is always good. Approximately three hours later, I was pried away from the computer from my mom saying enough was enough. I can seriously say that even though I did nothing productive for those 3 hours, I had one of the best gaming experiences one can have. Max Payne will leave a mark. If you do not believe me yet, wait for the rest of my review.
First step of the way you are introduced by a graphic novel that is in the form of a comic book. Looks sharp... the lingo sounds like that of the mob... all is good. Then you are dumped into your house after the brief intro. First thing you notice is that half your house is turned upside down and furniture is in all the wrong places... you note something is wrong... as you progress you find your wife and 6 month old baby have been murdered by druggies. That starts your angry journey through the world of NYC. Typical good cop gone bad for vengeance of harmed family clich?©. Throughout the game, you are always doing something. The graphic novel gives you hints and seamlessly merges with gameplay, which is always a good thing. I can say there are many games that can seriously have awesome gameplay and have a plot that has nothing interesting about it. *cough* QUAKE *cough* The storyline is amazing and could make to be an interesting movie.
The gameplay itself is unique to some extent but not groundbreaking in others. It is still point and kill to some extent but hey, it's still good.
The most unique feature put in would have to be the bullet time set of maneuvers. Hey, most of us have seen The Matrix. Who wouldn't want to be able to dodge bullets on the fly... with Max Payne that dream is a reality. With simple click, you can dive through a door while everything, including yourself, slow down to the point where you can still aim and shoot or attempt to dodge bullets that can now be seen in their transit. That makes for a lot of "ooo's" and "ahhh's" for those people who happen to be watching you in your fragfest. The bullet time effect fits in flawlessly. Max Payne would honestly suck without it... but don't let it fool you. It is an essential move to use. It serves as a balancing factor when you have large amounts of people and only one Max to use. The gameplay may get dull at some point but that's a rarity. A good tip would be to save often. There are many ways to run through levels. Some leave you with more health then others so it is nice to try your hand at an area multiple times before you advance. You are normally running around doing something, it tends to be very intuitive, and you have the idea that you are doing something right. The graphic novel also clues you in as well. The game also merges in some nice scenes of comic relief, which I'll leave you to find. Finally, the question you are all thing.... What weapons of destruction do these people let me use.
This arsenal is something to boast about. From Dual Beretta 9mm's to a Grenade Launcher, Max is ready to negotiate with extreme prejudice. But alas... there are always downsides. Multiplayer is nonexistent... but that is justifiable. If someone can show me how it's done ill give them 50 bucks (not really). The bullet time factor just can't be put in which would take away from gameplay. The characters are also somewhat stupid at sometimes but the AI is generally really smart and tough to work against. A good note of this is when you must take out a bunch of people who have big guns with just a bloody baseball bat. It can be done. Not a real downside but more of an amusing point. Max is fragile...but don't you think there can be something wrong with inhaling a bottle of Painkillers in a short period. Those must be something... stopping blood wounds and miraculously healing Mr. Payne. Hey as mentioned in a previous review... You look like Carson Daly...which can be horrifying. To be even worse... my school photographer looks like the dude too... The graphic novel has some scary people too... Max's smile is not something to be proud of the final downside is the lack of length to the game. It has a short time frame of playability...I t makes a great game for the time you play it. An offset to the short gameplay is the modding. I haven't seen many but I hear it can change many of the things in the game, which is always cool. Max Payne has a lasting impression that won't be easy to forget. Let's hope they make Max Payne 2 a little bit longer!