Review by Shogain

"A fairly average game with flaws."

Originally for the PC, it was later ported to the PS2 and was a pretty big hit. With acceptable sales, and praised by critics, it was one of the best action games during the time. Unfortunately, 8 years later, your opinion for this game would change when comparing it to the games released now.

Story - [7/10]
The game begins with Max Payne atop a building, surrounded by a raging snowstorm. He tells the audience about his past, and how it all started. Max Payne is your typical undercover cop, living his daily life. One day, he arrives at his house only to find out that his baby and wife were murdered by assailants. Framed for murder, he begins to investigate secretly by himself and gets involved in typical gang wars. Although the story may sound cheesy, it has several good points and bad points about it. The real shine to the story is how it's portrayed like a graphic novel. With great dialogue, it brings out the personality of the characters and the atmosphere.

Even so, the story will continue to drag on as you play through the game, and eventually you'll realize that the story doesn't matter any more and you'd rather beat the game.

Gameplay - [6/10]
What could've been a fun and engaging gameplay is ruined by bad framerate lag and unprecise aiming.

As a third person shooter, you move Max around the area and blast your enemies away. Many weapons are scattered throughout the game, including a grenade launcher and a sniper rifle. You'll also have bullet time which slows time for you and your enemy. Although the bullet time is a good idea, it just doesn't leave an impression on you. As soon as you begin your first firefight, you'll begin to recognize slow frame rates and how bad the aiming system is. The bad frame rates occur to about 70 percent of your total firefights, which ruin the mood and setting. Even though they go away after about 2 seconds, you'll just realize how better the game would be without the constant slow frame rates. Another bad thing is the aiming system. It feels too loose and you'll begin to shoot everywhere and hope the enemies die.

Moving Max throughout the game may feel clunky and slow, but it still has it's moment. During your firefights, you can roll over to the side or take out all of your enemies with bullet time giving you the feeling of an action star. You can also jump, but it is pretty much useless! I don't know what they were thinking when they made him jump so... silly. There ARE a few platforming elements but with the horrible jumping, you'll feel that tumbling forward is a much better choice than jumping over the missing gap of a floor.

Even though the gameplay had it's moment, it definitely wasn't the highlight of the game.

Sound/Music - [8/10]
Ah, it's probably one of the best things in the game. The sounds are very well done, and gives a realistic vibe when there's action involved. You'll hear repeating bullets and Max's grunt as he rolls over to the side. What's even better is the voice acting. The voice acting is superb, and brings life to the story. As for the music, it's pretty good. Whenever you hear music, you'll know that your gonna be ambushed by your enemies, and it certainly livens up the action.

Graphics - [7/10]
Eh, for it's time, the graphics were remarkable. It's 2009, and anyone's opinion for this game's graphic wouldn't be too impressed. Even so, I thought it's pretty good. The environments have some destruction elements. For example, you'd jump for cover behind a bar counter, and hear several slot machines getting pummeled by bullets. Overall, the graphics were good for it's time, but the graphics will seem too outdated for the year 2009.

Final Word -
If you feel like playing a decent time waster, and if you crave for third person shooters, you should definitely try this game out. It definitely has the feel from the movies of "The Godfather" and "Scarface", but your the cop and the mafia is your enemy.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

Originally Posted: 06/08/09

Game Release: Max Payne (US, 12/06/01)

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