Review by HisDudeness
"The greatest action movie...er...game...to come out in quite some time."
In the words of Staind, “It’s been awhile.” 3 months since I did my last review. It’ll probably be another 3 months before I get another review out. But, after 3 months of sitting on my ass all day, endless laser tag games, and about 2 mild party hangovers later (don’t ask), I decided to write a review. Now, I wondered what game I should review? Well, I had gotten Max Payne just a week earlier, and wanted to share my opinion about it. Well, my opinion is just 4 words. This. Game. Kicks. Ass!
Rarely ever have I come along a story as compelling as this one. True to its action roots, this is a story that will keep your grubby fingers gripped to the keyboard for a long, long, time. You’re Max Payne (duh!) an undercover police officer who came home from work one day to find his wife and baby horribly slain, and a few thugs in the house that were on a drug called “Valkyr”. A better name for it would be Krazy Stuff. Now, three years later, we see max on a rooftop. He begins to tell the story of what he had gone through the last three days. That being, gaining vengeance on the mafia group that killed his family, and ending the Valkyr rampage. Having it be in New York City, at night, and snowing like a beyatch doesn’t really help, either. I won’t reveal any more of the story, because it would truly be a crime if I would. You really have to experience this yourself.
Ever since 1997, Remedy Entertainment has been working on creating a graphical masterpiece, one that would stick in someone’s mind for quite some time. After 4 years, they truly have managed. The first thing to notice is the great quality of the level design. You’ll really feel like you’re in the big city that never sleeps. The second thing that really caught my eye, and I’m sure will catch yours, is a new move called “bullet time”. Think The Matrix, but with a more realistic feel to it. This bullet time mechanic helps you to aim better with your weapons, and really just looks damn cool.
Yet another graphical wonder is the fight scenes. First off, at any time, you can pause the action, and see single bullets, each rendered its own way, flying at you, or at your enemy. And, if you get in a good shot, it’ll zoom in on your enemy getting his ass blown away. Even more special with this special “good shot” reward is the Sniper Rifle. If you get a good shot off with that, you’ll see the bullet as it goes right into the guys body.
The only problem that I have with this game is that if you have bad eyes, you basically just wasted 50 bucks. Even though you spend 70 % of the games inside dingy old motels and old factories, you can’t see worth crap, even with the brightness up to the top. They should’ve at least put a flashlight for you to carry or something. But, other than that, great!
Max Payne would normally just be a game with regular control, but instead, Max Payne can do Kung FU! Well, sort of. You see, the control scheme for Max Payne is incredibly simple. You move with the arrow keys, fire with the mouse, and pick your weapon using the roller in the middle of your mouse. Now, the biggest part of the game is, of course, the bullet time. This also fits in fairly seamlessly. You can select one button for just slow motion, and a button for a bullet time/jump combo, which is basically like the moves you see in The Matrix. You know, lots of diving and shooting at the same time. The only problem I have is that jumping and landing is kind of hard. Other than that, this game moves as smooth as a Lamborghini cruising down the highway.
This game doesn’t just have you play an action movie, it puts you in it. You can hear every little bullet being fired, and this is especially evident as you’re fighting in slow motion. Also, Max’s footsteps sound different in every room. By saying that, I mean that if you’re in a small room, the sound is compressed, and if you’re in a big room, they echo. Another cool feature is how you hear the sound. For instance, if you’re hearing a radio, if you face towards it, it’s louder, but if you face away from it, it’s softer. This obviously took a lot of work, and it definitely payed off.
Where A game needs a good score most, this one comes through with flying colors. This game is one of the best games to come along in quite sometime, and just can’t be missed. As Chris Wilde said, if this game doesn’t kick you in the ass, then you don’t have an ass. If you’re either fairly forgetful, or are mentally retarded, I’ll tell you once again that you’re Max Payne, special undercover cop d00d, and you’re mad! How mad? Well, you’re so mad that you’re going to go on a romp through the streets of New York City through 21 different Chapters, separated into three sections. Basically, this game is like a John Woo movie that’s about twice as long as any regular movie out there. These chapters are spread out over three nights, and they range from going through a defunct disco club that’s really home to a group of occult gangsters, trying to find a man that will help you escape from the police in the subways, or running through an old factory trying to escape a fire that’s right at the edge of your heels. Through your quest, you will meet Mafia thugs. These guys don’t like you that much, so they’re going to try and kill you, because dats wut deir boss told em’ ta do! And trust me, these guys are hard to beat, and have a wicked AI. Luckily, you have a wide range of weapons on your side, ranging from a baseball bat, to berettas and Molotov cocktails.
Lets just put it this way. This game is the most advanced game ever, and throughout the game, you can tell that. You can interact with hundreds of objects along the way. This includes being able to turn on those shaky beds that rattle across the room, breaking boxes for ammo, and turning on and off TV.
One last little tidbit that makes this game so cool is how the story is told. Taking a page from American tradition, every part of the story in between levels is told using comic strips, each beautifully rendered. You gotta play this. That’s pretty much all I have to say.
Fun Factor: 9/10
This game is hella addicting. You’ll have tons of fun blasting away the enemies in the game, and a cool thing that I did was after killing a bunch of enemies, I would reload to the last scene, and do some bullet time jumps again to take them out. It’s just damn cool to have that power right in front of you. Although, after playing through it on all difficulty levels, it starts to get a bit tedious, especially when at the end all you get is a level in which you stay in bullet time for the entire level.
If you only want to beat this game once, it’s going to be pretty easy. If you want to try and beat it again, well, that’s another story. It basically goes from being too easy, to being too hard. Younger gamers probably wouldn’t be able to play this very good, and even seasoned gamers will have a doozy of a challenge if they want to get to that prestigious last level.
Replay Value: 8/10
After you beat it, you probably will want to play through it again, but after that, it gets to be fairly tedious, as I said before. What really lowers this aspect is the fact that there is no online component to it, so you can’t play against others. But after seeing this game through a few times, you should be satisfied.
End of review plus scores = RECAP! Of course!
Overall, we get a score of: 9.1 out of 10!
To fit that to the newfangled system here, 9 out of 10.
So, should you buy this?
Yes. You owe it to yourself to see this. This is easily one of the best games this year, and the best action game to come out since Deus Ex. I put my certificate of a good game on it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some John Woo movies to be watching! Peace out, yall!
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/07/01, Updated 10/08/01
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