Become hardened rogue crime cop Max Payne in this straightforward third-person shooter, psychedelic, neor-noir story
Windows ME / Windows 98 SE / Windows NT / Windows 98 / Windows 2000 / Windows 95
Max Payne is a story-driven, third-person shooter game that was developed by Rockstar games. Many action games attempt to tell their story through in game cutscenes, but Max Payne was different because it used high-quality comic stills to tell its story. The game's story is the driving force behind the game itself.
The player assumes the role of Max Payne. Max's wife and child are found dead, and it's up to Max to figure out what happened to them. The game plays out like a typical story of vengeance, but there are many intriguing twists and turns that make the tale feel engrossing. Max Payne's detective skills lead him to a series of discoveries that include corrupt business policies and a fictional drug that causes people to go insane.
The game takes place in different areas of New York City. The gritty recreation of the city feels similar to many 1970's action movies that took place in New York. The graphics look dated today, but the overall feeling that the game radiates is effectively chilling. Max can dive into rooms by tapping a button, and time slows down during these segments. Max can take precise shots in slow motion to clear entire rooms of enemies. The player can also shoot at enemies without using the slow-motion feature, but this makes the game very difficult. Max refills his slow-motion ability by defeating enemies. He also picks up painkillers that allow him to heal manually.
Max Payne has an ESRB rating of "M" for mature players only. The mixture of humor and violence in this game is reminiscent of films made by Martin Scorcese. The visuals are excellent, but it's important to note that this game is over ten years old. The visuals may not have aged well in comparison to other PC games. The soundtrack is fantastic, and the game is full of dark, pulsing musical themes that add to the overall experience. Max also narrates everything he sees within the game while the player moves throughout the environments. This makes the story feel cinematic and interactive.
This game can be completed across the span of a few hours. There are no multiplayer game modes, but the player can replay the game on harder difficulties to add replayability. The game also has a timed game mode called "The New York Minute." This mode is very challenging. Those who enjoy Max Payne should check out the other games in the series as well.