Neo Software
Take-Two Interactive

Max Payne

Max Payne, originally a PC title, is the story of an ex-NYPD cop whose family is murdered by a group of drug junkies. After having his life destroyed by these junkies, Max decides to take revenge, and joins the DEA. By doing so, Max can use his arsenal to massacre his way to the source of evil which killed his family. So begins Max Payne, a bloody masterpiece which holds many plot twists and turns.


Max Payne's graphics are stunning, however many of the token XBOX special effects are not found in this game. Although it's clear Max Payne doesn't push the XBOX to its limits, it is still an excellent looking title. It's the best PC port I've seen to date, looking identical to its PC counterpart along with zero slowdown.


Max Payne boasts an incredibly atmospheric DD5.1 soundtrack. Fitting music, great sound effects, and good voice acting make the sound on Max Payne top notch. Only complaints here are that you cannot use your own custom soundtrack, and that the sound pauses while "flipping" pages during the comic-book cutscenes.


Max Payne controls like an first person shooter, despite it being third person. You move Max with the left thumbstick, and aim with the right thumbstick. Controls are ultra-responsive, and you don't feel restricted by the controller at any time, which again is impressive for a PC port. Max's weaponry includes a collection of guns and melee weapons with which Max can slaughter his enemies. Max Payne's biggest draw is its use of its Matrix-like "bullet time", Max's ability to temporarily slow down time. This gives Max the ability to dodge bullets, make perfectly aimed diving headshots, and blow away rooms full of enemies without getting hit once. The game itself plays like a first person shooter as well - you run through levels killing bad guys and solving minor puzzles. Plot is mainly told in static comic-book style cutscenes in between levels, though occasionally plot is revealed in level. Overall, the gameplay in Max Payne is fantastic, and works great as a console game, despite its PC roots. The only problems with Max Payne's gameplay is that the game is mission based, relatively short, and may not be as much fun the second time around.

Bottom Line:

If you like first person shooters, you'll love Max Payne, despite the fact that it is a third person shooter. And, by getting the XBOX version you can be assured you aren't getting a shoddy port.

-Pete Calderwood