Max Payne

Max Payne review — October 2001, US edition

PC Gamer at

Every Sunday, Tyler publishes a classic PC Gamer review from the '90s or early 2000s, with his context and commentary followed by the full, original text from the archived issue. This week, Max Payne is reviewed in the October 2001 issue of PC Gamer US. More classic reviews here.

I played Max Payne again recently, and it's still great. It also looks really, really goofy: it's a lot funnier now than it was then to see Sam Lake's grimace plastered onto Max's head as he shoot dodges face first into goons. Max isn't quite "cutting-edge" anymore, I'm afraid, and looking at the graphic novel bits again reminds me that a lot of the panels look like photographs slathered with Photoshop filters.

Nvidia Shield review

Logan Decker at

Everybody knows that if you try to get a cat to do what you want—sit up, fetch a stick, search for explosives—it will do nothing more than stare at you with contempt. That’s why console pitches to PC gamers tend to fall flat: we’re generally not as interested in hearing how a bunch of suits want us to play our games. Nvidia took a much different approach with the Shield, on the other hand, that seems to account for what PC gamers have in common with cats: give us great hardware and the freedom to do whatever we feel like doing, and we’ll show ourselves a great time.


Max Payne and Alan Wake writer delivers answers in Reddit AMA

Perry Vandell at

The creator and writer of Max Payne and Alan Wake, Sam Lake, shared a few words with the internet denizens of Reddit in an “Ask Me (Almost) Anything” thread. There, he shared his process for game writing, what changes he would make for Alan Wake 2, and what he had for breakfast that morning


Former GTA dev vowed never to work on a violent game again

Ian Birnbaum at

An emerging theme in the games industry is developers engaging the idea that games may be disproportionately violent or too derivative. Deus Ex creator Warren Spector spoke out about the latter recently, launching off the reveal trailer for the new Wolfenstein: A New Order. Joining the conversation now is Jeremy Pope, a veteran of Rockstar Games and former production manager for Grand Theft Auto 3, Vice City, and Max Payne. In an interview with GamesIndustry International, Pope explains why he will never work on a violent game again.


Max Payne 3 classic skins are hilarious, Captain Baseball Bat Boy cartoon is awesome

Tyler Wilde at

We still have a couple weeks to wait before Max Payne 3 is spilling whiskey all over our keyboards, but while we’re busy fighting a demonic horde of server errors, analog stick soldiers are getting drunk on bullet time right now. Making us even more jealous, our friends over at GamesRadar have sliced together a video showcasing a couple of great throwback Easter eggs: Max Payne 1 and 2 skins, and a complete Captain Baseball Bat Boy cartoon. See the magic above.


Max Payne 3's Rockstar Pass DLC baldly goes

Henry Winchester at

Games about grumpy old slo-mo ex-cops are few and far between, which is why we're looking forward to Max Payne's third outing. But what if there's just not enough game?

Fortunately, Rockstar have alleviated our worries by announcing Max Payne 3's DLC plans. Over the summer and autumn of this year multiplayer DLC will trickle into the game, just as the rain trickles in through a leaky roof during the British summer time.


Sacred Cows: Killing Your Darlings, Vol 1

Richard Cobbett at

Games. Most of them land with an explosion of excitement, only to burn out quickly and shuffle off into our memories. Occasionally though, one takes root in our hearts and becomes something more - a game that defines a generation, a genre, a memory, or the warm feeling of falling in love for the first time.

But bottoms to that touchy-feely crap! Today, we're taking five games you think you love, and driving the boot into their smug, over-rated faces. Prepare to watch your darlings be murdered, or at least get their toenails lightly ripped out. Nostalgia? That's just another way of saying 'too damn soft'.


Max Payne: then and now

Tyler Wilde at

I loved the first Max Payne, and I still appreciate Remedy's ambition today. It's a great game. That said, after playing it again recently, I realized that some of my fond memories of realistic physics and ultra-lifelike characters might have been contaminated with just a teensy drop of nostalgia since 2001.

If you're bothered by the "new" Max Payne of Max Payne 3, with his varying amounts of hair on varying bits of his head, the series' original cast is at least a reminder of how much 11 years of technological progress can do for a guy's looks. The video above is my tribute to the smirking Max Payne who once was (who certainly looks good for the time), as remembered by the new, not-smirking-quite-as-much Max Payne.


New Max Payne 3 trailer reveals story details

Chris Antista at

Baldness and Brancos! That’s your takeaway from today’s new Max Payne 3 gameplay trailer. In it you’ll find multiple Maxes, another glimpse at the setting, which spans New York and Sao Paulo, and plot details concerning Payne’s employer and the kidnapping of his trophy wife.


Max Payne 3 release date pushed back to May

Tom Senior at

Rockstar have announced that they're pushing back the release date for Max Payne 3 from March to May 29 in the US and June 1 internationally. "We do not take changes to our release schedule lightly," said Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick in a statement. "This short delay will ensure that Max Payne 3 delivers the highest quality, groundbreaking entertainment experience that is expected from our Company."

Maybe Take-Two are taking the time to polish Max Payne 3's multiplayer mode, new territory for a series that's so far been entirely obsessed with the life and times of its gurning protagonist. The third Max Payne looks like it'll try to merge the shadowy film noir stylings of the first two games with the sun-baked slums of Brazil, and will be bringing some of Rockstar's impressive animation technology to Max's graceful dives. See some of that animation in action in this Max Payne 3 trailer. Check out our Max Payne 3 preview for more information on Max's latest adventure.


Max Payne 3 screenshots show multiplayer combat

Tom Senior at

The latest Max Payne 3 screenshots give us our first look at the new multiplayer mode, as season favourites MaxPayneDev3, 4 and 5 take on blue team underdogs MaxPayneDev7, 8 and 9. It's weird to see nametags floating over people's heads in a Max Payne game, but it looks as though we'll be able to dive through things and over things with the same dexterity as Payne himself in multiplayer

The closest comparison I can think to how the whole thing might work is John Woo's Stranglehold, and that was completely bonkers. You could swing from chandeliers and run up and down dinosaur spines in slow motion shooting each other. Max Payne 3 is likely to take a much more serious tone judging from the screenshots below.


Max Payne 3's Gang Wars multiplayer mixes things up

Henry Winchester at

In an age of tacked-on multiplayer modes, Max Payne 3 aims to be different. Developers/publishers Rockstar have added a “Gang Wars” multiplayer mode which adapts to the play style of its players.

According to IGN, Gang Wars will feature the standard capture-the-flag style scenarios, with the twist that new scenarios are created on the fly. For instance, complete a drug-deal-gone-wrong (they always go wrong, don’t they?) mission as the dominant player and you’ll find a bounty on your head in the next mission. Win some territory in one round, and you’ll find yourself defusing bombs on it in the next.


Max Payne 3 screenshots show Max's many faces

Tom Senior at

Things have come a long way since Max monologued his way through the first game wearing this facial expression. Three of the four new screenshots show close-ups of Max's three new looks. There's the youthful Don Draper Max, washed up beard-of-sorrow max and Stone Cold Steve Austin Max, all looking mean, all firing guns. What do you think of the new Max? Get ready to judge his face. Three, two, one ... GO!


Max Payne 3 preview

Craig Pearson at

This article originally appeared in PC Gamer UK 233.

Mull this over: it’s been eight years since we last saw Max rip a raw, bloody wound through the New York criminal underbelly. Eight years. That is old (staff writer Rich was 17 when Max Payne 2 came out). But no one has managed to take his place. Kane & Lynch tried, and they’re still trying, but for grumpy, hyperviolent third-person action, we really need some more Max.

Despite a new haircut and the sunnier setting of Sao Paulo, as I’m shown the new game in Rockstar’s offices it’s clear they’re sticking to the well-worn path that Max sourly trod before. In fact, we’re in New York. Brazil does feature a lot, but this wouldn’t be the same game without a dingy, Big Apple corridor to tear up.

Rockstar's Dan Houser gets nostalgic about Max Payne

Henry Winchester at

Rockstar's Dan Houser has been shedding a little light on the creative proces behind the gruff, manly second sequel to Max Payne. Speaking to Gamasutra he rightly points out that the rose-tinted glasses often blur out older game’s deficits - a challenge that Rockstar faces with Max Payne’s legions of dedicated fans. “I think the challenge of nostalgia is a more profound one, because one thing about video games is your memory tends to remove the horrendous,” said Houser. “You want to appeal to the fans of the original and bring in a new audience.”

When asked about Max Payne’s hair rotation (bald with beard), Houser commented that the issue was a contentious one. “We saw a lot of people questioning our parentage, and our right to be doing this and, you know, our right to even exist,” said Houser. “There is a lot of love for this property. The fact that there's a huge rabid fan base is something that is very much in our favor.” It sounds like Rockstar is taking Max Payne seriously, and has a huge amount of respect for the franchise. We’re so excited that the four months until its launch in March 2012 might as well be taking place in bullet time.


Max Payne 3 screenshots take flight

Tom Senior at

Being able to dive around like a loon firing automatic weapons is brilliant, but both Max Payne and Max Payne 2 failed to sensibly figure out what happens when the player dives head first into an adjacent wall. The previous "solution" was to have Max's forehead phase slightly into the concrete while his entire body hung horizontal in midair for a moment. He'd then slide down to the floor and continue as normal. We'll have to wait and see what Rockstar do when Max Payne 3 comes out next year.

It's clear from the latest screenshots that Max will be airborne quite a lot, hopefully for the majority of the game. See him diving, posing and exploding things in the four new screens below, spotted on the Max Payne 3 site.


Max Payne 3 screenshots dive in, kicking crooks and starting fires

Tom Senior at

An new batch of Max Payne 3 shots have come crashing in through the window, shooting us in the face from point blank range with an uzi. "Why Max?!" we cried, "we always loved you, even when your face was stupid back in Max Payne 1!" Max doesn't care. He has too much gritty back story to care. He's the kind of guy who starts fires just so he can stand in front of them posing with his pistols and staring sideways into middle distance while someone carefully takes his picture, just like this...


Max Payne 3 trailer goes bald, monologues

Tom Senior at

[bcvideo id="1158703869001"]
 
Max is back. The debut trailer has landed, giving us a first look at moving pictures of Max Payne 3. That familiar cello riff sets the melancholy vibe quickly, and that's before Max starts narrating. He's older, balder and a bit flabbier than he once was, but his predicament is familiar. Another protection detail gone wrong, another excuse for a hard-boiled monologue, and another reason to let rip with the automatic weapons. We'll get to play through the next angst-ridden chapter in Max's sordid but awesome life when Max Payne 3 comes out in March.