Max Payne is the PC game that everybody wanted. Now Xbox owners can get in on the action.
Update: Nov. 2, 2001
After getting a new batch of Xbox screens, we decided to incorporate them into the preview. Older screens can be found here.
Max Payne generated a significant amount of buzz before it's release on PC earlier this year. The story of a New York cop on the run seeking justice (and to clear his name) is the stuff of Hollywood blockbusters. Turns out, the story will be a Hollywood blockbuster. With stories increasingly getting more and more complex as the hardware is increasingly capable of handling more information, it isn't any wonder.
It is the story of Max Payne that truly stands out. Max, a New York City policeman, came home one night to find his family killed by some junkies on a rampage. The drug under which they were under the influence of, Valkyr, a new synthetic drug, is now running rampant throughout New York City.
Not only does Max seek revenge upon the distributors of the drug, there are other complications in this man's life. Finding out his boss murdered doesn't help when he is framed for the deed. Max becomes not only a cop on a mission, but a hunted cop as well.
Story is only half of what makes Max Payne a must have for any action enthusiast. Max Payne is the story of a man with nothing left to lose, who goes in with both barrels blazing. And how those guns blaze.
The action in this game is very true to life, giving the game an ESRB rating of "M", and deservedly so. But just putting guns in the control of the player doesn't set this title apart. It is the way the guns are used, in tandem with the environment. Tip that table over and use it for cover. Jump over it and surprise your opponent.
The visuals in Max Payne are a treat as well. Striving for realism, the game employs what is termed photo-digitized textures. The backgrounds and characters will be some of the most photo-realistic ever seen in a videogame.
Max Payne may be the perfect blending of John Woo style action with film noir story telling. The game will arrive shortly after the Xbox videogame console in November. Action fans should take note - this game sold like hotcakes on the PC when it was released earlier this year. Games that suck don't shoot to the top of the sales chart that quickly.
Daniel "monk" Pelfrey
Expects controversy to erupt around this title.