on 7 May 2002
There have been a number of comparisons to middle of the road, fairly mindless 1st person shoot 'em ups. Missing the point is a mild way to express my point of view.
Simply put, Max Payne is Goldeneye for adults. It is thick with plot and the experience plays somewhere betwen a game and a movie. It's less about enjoying bashing a key pad and more about enjoying an interactive story line.
Bullet time is a fantastic addition to the art of video gaming and I hope I see a lot more of it. If you have ever seen a John Woo film and enjoyed it, you will be particularly impressed when you see one of the bad guys spend a few fractions of a second frozen in time as you riddle his body with 100 rounds from your duel ingrams.
They say they are talking about making a film based on this game. Until then, I'm happy playing my way through it myself and dishing out the revenge.
Feel the Payne.
on 12 January 2002
Max Payne for ps2 is great: The realistic graphics, the slow motion-Matrix style moves and the weapons.There is just one thing that brings it down though:the controls. The controls are confusing and hard to manage, for example R1 is shoot and one analogbutton is for moving and the other is for looking.Once you get used to the controls, this game is fantastic! Its not just shooting though.There is a believable storyline and some puzzles. All in all a must for experienced gamers!
on 23 January 2002
Thank God for small mercies. After listening to my mates talking about how great this game was on the P.C I am so glad it has been released on the PS2.
An excellent conversion of the game, only let down slightly (but not enough to lose a star) by the sometimes difficult controls. The bullet time feature is outstanding, once I got the hang of it and the fact that the bad guys play to your skill level is excellent, that is if you are popping away and hitting nothing they will miss you, but if you are shooting and taking them down with one shot, they adjust to do the same. All in all a great game and one I would highly recommend to anyone who is a fan of the great shoot 'em up.
on 9 October 2002
From the first level this game immerses you into a dark world where the atmosphere is just spot on. Think of the movies Seven and Trainspotting for the dark mood and you're about there...
This was one of those games where it didn't matter what else I had available to play at the time, this was the only disk in my PS2 from start to end.
While the graphics and gameplay are good, they are not perfect. However, this matters little when the plot forces you to play 'one more level' just to see what happens next. Also, the game is challenging enough without being frustratingly so, so you don't need to attempt certain levels ten times until you crack it, not do you need to wander around a level for half an hour before you figure out what you need to do next. Some would say this is too easy, but I play games like this for fun. If I wanted a tax my brain really hard I'd try a Times crossword.
To summarise, Great Game, Great Atmosphere, Looks Good and the unique 'Bullet time' adds a new twist to an old genre.
Go get the bad guys Max. And watch your back!
on 21 March 2002
I'm no the biggest fan of 3rd person Shoot 'em ups, I find the genre a little limited, and as fun as running around shooting bad guys is, it does tend to grow tiresome... until now.
Max Payne has introduced us to an engaging noir story line with suitably cheesy dialogue and stereotypical enemies however this is perfect for the game, and the use of the graphic novel to tell the story works a treat. From the moment you walk into your house discovering your wife and baby dead and from story the action kicks straight in and whilst still getting over the emotional shock of the opening you have to immediately take out a few junkies.
Without trying to give too much away there is a dream sequence, which is unnerving to a point but the crème de la crème in this area is the masterful drugs sequence which played alone, in the dark at 2.00am is truly scary.
Now onto the revolutionary use of Bullet Time. The introduction of this to the game has had a phenomenal effect on the game play, allowing for some of the most imaginative and enjoyable gunplay action ever which has to be played to be believed... very cool.
The sound mix is exemplary, played at best through a surround sound system at full blast, it rules.
Max Payne really has changed a genre and imitation a plenty are sure to follow... there possibly 2 games to beat Max Payne on the Playstation 2 at the moment, being GTA3 and MGS2, so once you've bought those, make sure you grab this... very, very cool indeed.
This is a 3-D action adventure shoot em up game with some puzzle-based elements. You get a wide array of cool weapons to use and a rock hard, moody action hero. the storyline is sheer class and the cut scenes are enjoyable. There is an excellent feature in bullet time where everything slows down like in the Matrix and you get to target your opponents more effectively. However it's a finite resource so don't expect to rely on it too much. One drawback is the aiming cursor which seems to navigate around the screen in clumsy, awkward fashion, this can make combat that much more difficult. The graphics aren't the best on PS2 either. However, this is still an enjoyable game, worth purchasing. The game has loads of levels so you are guaranteed some longevity. Arm yourself with a pair of UZIs and start filling those mobsters with richly deserved lead!
on 12 September 2002
Max Payne is an excellent game for the more mature gamer. It has a very dark feel to it with junkies and devil worshippers as some of your enemies. At one point in the game you can even choose to shoot a friendly policeman if you so desire (although you will have to replay that part of the mission again as you can't progress without his help) Loads of nice touches like shooting open cash registers, getting cans of Cola from vending machines, shooting fire extinguishers and watching the foam spill out onto the carpet. Class. Maybe does get a bit repetitive though going from level to level dispatching bad guys with your impressive arsenal of weapons. Some more cut scenes would have been nice also instead of the annoying Dick Tracy style comic book story, but a great name all round and not one you will finish in a hurry.
on 17 August 2001
Long awaited. Highly anticipated. Was it worth the wait? Take yer pick! Perhaps such an opener is appropriate for a title like Remedy's action shooter though, being the epitome of cliche and melodrama that it is. To its credit, Max Payne walks a courageous tightrope between telling a serious, gritty story and spoofing both itself and the action-adventure movie and game genres in general. But is that a reasonable excuse for daring to include countless corny lines, such as: "He was dead; I could tell by the empty, accusing stare in his eyes" and "The police sirens wailed like the off-key harmony of a manic-depressive choir"? The game's most charming attribute is how it likes to poke fun at itself; henchmen will often be deep in conversation trying to disprove the laws of action movies. For example, one guy on patrol tells his buddy that he's not just a cardboard cutout to shoot down, that he has a wife and kids to feed and needs this steady job with a decent paycheck. Max is also often making less subtle jibes at the cliche of it all. The funniest moment is undoubtedly during a hallucination from a forced drug overdose, which is too good to spoil here (the joke, not the drug trip). Gameplay is perplexingly both innovative and run-of-the-mill. The Bullet Time and consequently real-world physics of the bullets makes for an experience that truly is unlike anything you'll have played before, and is far from a simple gimmick. AI is decent in that the enemies will flee, duck for cover and run to set off alarms, but it's all easy to recognize patterned behavior. Unfortunately, although helped by Bullet Time, the game really does suffer from repetitiveness. Unlike titles like Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force and No One Lives Forever, there's no real variation in gameplay style. With few exceptions and puzzles to solve, it's shoot, dodge, shoot all the way. This is a shame because some of Max's most shining moments are when it gets really creative, like the fantastic and disturbing dream sequences. Another sequence has Max attempting to escape a burning building that is undergoing a chain reaction of explosions -- even though this turns into an almost Dragon's Lair type of experience (go right, die, reload, try the left, etc.), it's a thrilling break from room after room of the same drably-dressed baddies.
Max does offer the usual assortment of rewards to keep you interested, including new weapons to discover and, of course, the graphics, which are their own incentive. The engine's most astonishing accomplishments are the level of detail in the environments, with even the smallest objects being sharply rendered, and the creamy smooth and varied animations of Max and his enemies. Flames and weapon discharge effects are also noteworthy, the latter being especially cool in Bullet Time. It's odd that with so much attention invested into this engine, some moderately important elements, like making character's mouths move when they speak, were omitted -- even the ageing Half-Life fulfilled this obligation to some extent. They try to distract you from this by avoiding close-ups whenever possible, but it's still quite noticeable. What good are the almost photo-realistic faces when the camera's too scared to go near them in case the character has something to say? A few other minor flaws include the lack of discernible locational damage - while baddies go down in less shots when hit in certain areas (yes, very gruesome, I know), their physical reaction is always identical and, oddly, a snipe shot to the foot yields the same result as one to the head. This is a bit of a step back in the shooter field. Also, multiplayer is completely absent; the developer's defense is that all attention had to be paid to the single-player experience, but even a lackluster deathmatch mode (with or without Bullet Time) would have been a welcome addition.
Max Payne leaves us in a slight predicament. As is evident from this review, for every compliment one can bestow on the game, there's an inevitable "but..." that follows. Its predominant flaw is that it whets our appetite for something unimaginably amazing but only fulfills half of that unveiled promise. Nevertheless, that half is better than many wholes, so I'm compelled to slap a "Highly Recommended" badge on this review. The Max Payne experience is exciting, original and enticing enough to warrant the time and money of any dedicated action gamer.
Set in the dark and menacing back alleys of New York during the century's worst blizzard, this is a terrific game that received plaudits on its release. I keep going back and playing it, and even now it doesn't date. What makes Max Payne especially good is the mix of action, a twisting clever plotline told with storyboards and voiceovers, and dream sequences that draw you into the character's despair and inner struggles.
Max Payne is like an interactive action-packed Hollywood movie. Ok, the graphics aren't up to par with the latest computer technologies, but they are of a high standard and exceptional for its time. The story is compelling, if sometimes a little difficult to follow, and once you start playing it, you don't want to stop. You want to know what's around the next corner, and where the story will turn next.
The game encourages loyalty by not becoming so increasingly difficult that you lose the will to keep trying. It's a very satisfying shooter, that is thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended!
By the way, this is actually rated 15, not 18 as it says in the Amazon review.
on 19 November 2003
Max Payne, a broken man upon the slaying of his family. His only thing that can keep him going is the bloodlust that one day he'll find their murderer, and pay!
Max Payne is an absolutely stunning game! When it first came out it was amazing, with it's bullet time and beutifully crafted storyline. Although it looks a tad dated now, it doesn't matter as the gameplay, mayhem and storyline will make you want to play it so you can lay down justice and avenge the family!