IMG Archives
Archives  Reviews  Max Payne  



Publisher: MacSoft    Genre: Action
Min OS X: Any Version    CPU: G3 @ 450 MHz    RAM: 128 MB    Hard Disk: 900 MB

Max Payne
August 21, 2002 | Patrick Leyden

Click to enlarge
Since its initial release for Windows-based PCs in 2001, Remedy Entertainment’s Max Payne has reinvigorated the 3rd person action genre. Combining Tomb Raider-style game play with Quake-inspired action, this story of a framed cop’s quest for ultimate justice has captivated PC, Xbox and PS2 gamers. Finally, Mac gamers can experience the dark and captivating world of Max Payne.

Even though the Macintosh gaming community has had to wait a long time for the release of this title, Max Payne remains as fresh today as it was when it hit the shelves last year. The reason for this longevity is simple. Max Payne’s enthralling storyline, relentless action and striking sound and visuals make it game with lasting appeal. The only shortcoming of this game is that its demanding system requirements could leave Mac gamers with older machines having a less-than-optimal game play experience.

The Story of Max
Tragedy, betrayal, and revenge; these are the pillars of the Max Payne universe. While this kind of dark world would send most of us into a deep depression, it fuels the character of Max. After the seemingly random murder of his wife and child, and the later assassination of a colleague, Max Payne’s world is turned upside down. Accused of a crime he did not commit, he is hunted by the cops and the criminals. Max Payne is a good man with his back against a wall, rampaging through New York City to punish the people who destroyed his life.

For many gamers, (myself included) the principal appeal of Max Payne is losing one’s self in the game’s well developed plot. Classic elements of pulp crime fiction are combined with the modern ‘good cop with a bad attitude’ stereotype to create a truly absorbing setting for the game. Playing through Max Payne feels more like an action movie than a video game. This title is also paced like good action movie, only slowing down long enough to allow players to catch their breath.

Breaking with game development convention, the game does not use rendered cut scenes to stitch the story together. In their place, Max Pane utilizes voice acting over Graphic Novel-inspired still images to tell the story. These stylized still images have a gritty but realistic look that becomes an essential part in setting the mood of the game. The over-the-top monologues Max delivers during the Graphic Novel story sequences are at the same time compelling and silly. His poetic musings and reflections are a perfect fit for the unique flavor of this game.

Being Max Payne
Third-person action gaming was truly reinvented when Lara Croft burst onto the gaming scene in the Tomb Raider series of adventure titles. These games featured interesting stories and had their fair share of action, but were more about puzzle solving than anything else. As a gamer, I desperately wanted to love the Tomb Raider games, but more often than not became fed up with moving boxes and shooting wildlife.


Archives  Reviews  Max Payne