Max Payne delighted and surprised many gamers and critics alike when it was released back in 2001 for the PC with its blend of solid 3rd-person shooting and gritty noir-style presentation. The introduction of Bullet Time--which allowed players to slow time to a crawl while dodging and returning enemy fire--was brand new, and quite a huge deal at the time. Comic book-style cut-scenes and some appropriately melodramatic voice-over narration blended with the revenge-themed story to create an experience brimming with as much style as gunplay.
Many of us who loved Max Payne when it first came out played through it multiple times, despite its linear storyline and gameplay. Shacknews user friedram echoes this sentiment, stating, "I really loved this game. My girlfriend (now wife) bought it for me, I must have played through it 5+ times."
Max Payne's popularity also spawned some fan-made mods, the best of which was called "Kung Fu 3.0," which empowered Max with some crazy slow-motion martial artistry. Shacknews user Xulu decried our failure to mention the popular mod in our initial post, which you can see in-action, below.
Shacknews user erdstapa recollects the addictive nature of the gunplay, recollecting how he and some friends played the game into the wee hours of the morning. "Two friends came over with the game to check it out just after the release. We played it until 3 A.M., when two of us dozed off," he explains. "In the morning, we found my other friend still in front of the PC barely sitting up and desperately clutching the mouse in his hand and whispering 'Must... play... more...' That's how addictive it is!"
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Check out the original Chatty thread for more stories and memories from Max Payne.
Max Payne was a police officer of the New York City police. On one terrible day, his wife and newborn daughter were killed by three junkies, who broke into his apartment after having ingested a new designer drug known as Valkyr. After the tragedy, Max quit the police force and joined the Drug Enforcement Administration. Three years later, during a raid on a mafia compound that was reportedly trafficking Valkyr, his best friend and fellow DEA agent Alex is killed, and he becomes the prime suspect in his murder. Now Max is all alone in the cold, snowy night of New York. The mob is out to get him. The police are out to get him. The only way out is with guns blazing, because he has nothing to lose.
Max Payne is a third person shooter stylistically influenced by film noir, "hardboiled" detective stories, and Hong-Kong action cinema. Max can perform rolls and leaps to try and dodge enemy fire. The weapons at his disposal range from baseball bats to Ingram sub-machine guns, grenades, Molotov cocktails, and others. A unique feature of the game is the usage of the so-called Bullet Time - a time-slowing ability that was popularized by the first Matrix movie.
Moby Games Classic is our chance to look back at the games that helped shape the video game industry with the help of our sister site MobyGames.com. It combines a short history lesson on the title and anecdotes from the Shacknews community.