Max Payne Review

,Hello gang, I dedicate this Max Payne review to nice guy AJ who convinced me to buy this game and play it, even though it is not turn based and involves shooting real guns rather than summoning monsters.

Max Payne 1 PS2 Cover

Console: PS2
What other games in this field have you played? The only games I’ve played that handle like this would probably be BloodRayne, Goldeneye (I’ve only really played the multi-player) and the game based off the film Underworld (which was an awful game).
Verdict? I enjoyed stepping out of my comfort zone, but really need the comfort of a JRPG now.

This is Max Payne. His name is a pun, much like Wiston Payne and Max Power combined.

Max Payne 1 Face


We start by learning that Max Payne lives in a world of graphic novella New York.

Max Payne Comic

I could see the captions over my head, the panels surrounded me

I really like that for this game, instead of using the awkward PS2 graphics to work emotion into the cutscenes, they used this really cool graphic novel style. The only other game I can think of with something close to this style is my favourite game ever for the DS and even so, it’s not really anything like Max Payne’s bold American comic book style.

The World ends with you TWEWY cutscene

Speech bubbles, no panels

For a PS2 game, the voice acting was actually pretty decent. Max Payne’s voice in particular was very well chosen for the well written script. My only gripe was, the way Payne spoke to other characters was the same way his inner monolouge worked, which is… not really how people speak. But hey, I could let that slide.

The story is pretty simple, but it grabs your attention from the get go. Why? Well, the very first level shows you this:

Max Payne Dead Wife


It’s very attention grabbing – he comes home from work one day and BAM his wife and kid have been murdered by druggies.

And so he’s out for revenge. His revenge mostly looks like this:

Max Payne 1 Screenshot

Shoot them, whoever they are

Just shoot everyone.

I felt a bit bad about this at the start, because I don’t like killing people for no reason. However, they have guns and they’re all out to kill me anyway.

This game as an interesting difficulty setting which means “if you’re good at the game it gets harder, if you’re bad, it gets easier”. To me that meant “Game gets easier, game gets harder, game gets easier, game gets harder”. Some levels seemed like a breeze, but others took a lot of doing to get through. Especially closer to the end.

Max Payne has a lot of guns. If you run out of guns (this will probably never happen) you have a trusty baseball bat. You are only forced to use the baseball bat once or twice in the whole game.

Similar with stealth and the sniper rifle. You don’t have to use them if you don’t want to.

Max Payne 1 Final Level

The final level basically forces you to use the sniper rifle

I didn’t really like the sniper rifle. It was only really useful if you were far away from something that wasn’t moving. And most likely, that didn’t happen. And in the time it would take me to snipe someone, they would snipe me first. Being hit by a sniper is a one shot kill.

And stealth? Screw that. Just wait for someone to come to narrow passageway, beat them with your bat, grab their gun and gun everyone else down while chomping pain killers.

Ah yes, Painkillers. This is how Max Payne restores his health!

Max Payne 1 Painkillers

These cabinets are like lifesavers

In my game, Max Payne was essentially a pain killer junkie, because I used them so often. This is pretty funny because the antagonists of the game are drug manufacturers and junkies.

Something that really stood out to me was the amount of Norse Myth references they worked into this:

  • Valkyr – the drug
  • Ragna Rock – A club
  • Valhalla – I forget, but it was there. I think it was an operation be lead by the bad guys?
  • Aesir – The “Big Bad” corporation
  • Loki – One of the Gods that this drug dealer/mob boss/cult dude prayed to
  • There was probably more. But when you watch the end credits, this game was mostly created by Finnish people, so I thought that was cool.

    In the end Max Payne was enjoyable. Frustrating at times (because I sucked) but it had a good plot, nice visuals, good gameplay and didn’t drag on for too long. I’ll eventually play Max Payne 2 but first I really need to play a Final Fantasy game to feel like I’m playing a game I’m good at.

    One comment

    1. […] second game in a series that cool guy AJ told me I should play. I liked the first one, so please enjoy this Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne […]

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