OK, when I took this game home and installed it, the only problem I found is that you can't use the arrow keys to turn, you have to use the mouse. But soon I adjusted and it turned out to be very useful and more effective than the keys. Now onto the game itself. Max Payne is a DEA cop whose wife and baby were brutally murdered by junkies high on the fictional street drug Valkyr. The game starts with a cinematic sequence of Max standing on top of a tower block in New York holding a sniper rifle. He starts explaining how he ended up there. The game levels are seperated by graphic novel type pages. I first thoght this couldn't be as good as 3D cutscenes, but I was wrong. The comic book pages add depth and grittiness to the story. During gameplay, Max has access to a nifty little feature called Bullet-Time. There are two ways of using this- by pressing ALT while standing still- this will slow down time and enable you to dodge enemies more efficently. The second way is pushing the right mouse butoon while moving in a direction. This puts you into a slow motion dive in that direction, enabling you to dodge bullets otherwise called shoot-dodging. While in shoot-dodge mode you can move the mouse, turning you in real-time therefore pulling off amazing rolls. The in game enemies are quite smart, they hide from you and throw grenades. The only glitch is that they sometimes shoot there teammates- which is quite funny. The damage inflicted on enemies ny you is quite realistic- with only the beefed up characters and later game-enemies that require more punch. This mistake is made in almost EVERY game with 'boss' characters, although some Mods (modifications) of games correct this mistake. When comparing Max Payne to other action games- Half-Life, Unreal and Quake. It is more realistic-if you get shot at close range with a shotgun you die, it's graphics are better- I suppose this is true about (almost) every new game but Max Payne's graphics are superior compared to Half-Life, in some bits of Max Payne, when you kill an enemy, you will see a cinematic shot of him dying with great facial expressions and you can shoot just about anything in the game environment and it will be destroyed- in one level an alarm is going off and if you shoot the alarm, it breaks and Max says 'Thank you'. Max Payne ships with 3 level editors- a level editor, a character editor and an effects editor. Although the manual states these are easy to use, they aren't really and you will have to find a tutorial on-line. The only downside to Max is that there is no multiplayer, the reason for this is that bullet-time in multiplayer would confuse other players. All in all, Max Payne is a brilliant game with good graphics and gameplay, a little on the short side but great levels. However, Max Payne is not meant for younger players, the drug scenes and blood/gore is particulary graphic. I hope that helps anybody deciding weather or not to buy this game.
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