| The Good
Bullet Time and Shoot Dodge are both fun
Story and voice acting are well done
| The Bad
Way too much loading
Gameplay is limited outside of the special features
Gritty. Violent. Intense. Max Payne's story is ripped
out of your average cop/detective crime novel and then pumped
full with gunplay, seedy underlife and a slopping amount of
ambiance. Max is a cop who, after his family is killed by
drugged out punks, goes undercover to bust the crime family
that is linked to the drugs that led to his family's murder.
When his contact to the police is murdered and he is framed,
Max starts putting holes in criminals by way of a variety
As an entertaining story-driven package, Max Payne
delivers in spades. The story is well written and pulled off
magnificently by the top-notch voice acting. The ambiance
alone really drives the story, which is told in both engine-run
cut scenes and through a comic-book like approach. Sound effects
and music compliment the cutscenes, giving the game an almost
movie-like feel. The voice of Max Payne himself is well done
and his own commentary feels like its dragged straight out
of your average gumshoe tale. You'll probably laugh at some
of the comments that come out of his mouth. I know I did.
As a action-packed John Woo style thrill ride, Max Payne
has all of the tricks and perks. During gun battles, you can
use one of two techniques to aid you in combat: Bullet Time
and the Shoot Dodge. Bullet Time allows you to put everything
in slow motion for a limited amount of time while you shoot
the criminals. This is great for areas packed with enemies.
Shoot Dodge is a technique where Max Payne will jump in the
direction he's running, causing the action to slow down as
he shoots. This is excellent for dodging gunfire in tight
places or shooting people while coming around the corner.
Either technique is fun to watch as you play and adds greater
depth to the basic gameplay.
As a solid built action game, Max Payne stumbles and
nearly falls flat on its face. To be honest, without Bullet
Time and Shoot Dodge, Max Payne is an average action
game where you move from one room to the next, shooting people
along the way. There is rarely any need to do anything other
than look for more ammo and painkillers. Even worse is the
fact that every chapter is broken up in small portions. When
you start an area, expect to wait some time for the level
to load, then a few more seconds while the game auto-saves,
then you can proceed through a few rooms, killing the handful
of enemies available until you reach the next area and the
process starts all over again.
Graphically, Max Payne doesn't really flaunt anything
spectacular. The areas are often bland, simple rooms with
only a few things littered about to make it feel like a hotel
room or bar. The character models aren't overly detailed.
Texture maps on the walls and characters are decently done,
but for the most part everything looks like it was built for
the Playstation a few years ago.
In all, Max Payne is a decent rental, especially if
you want to find out what made Max Payne such a hot item when
it came out for the PC. To be honest, if you have a powerful
enough PC or an Xbox, you might consider playing it on one
of those platforms to get a higher quality game graphically.