A Payneful Introduction


Game: Max Payne (2001)

Developer: Remedy

Publisher: Remedy (2001-2003) Rockstar Games (Present)

Platform Played: PC

Genre: Third Person Shooter

Purchased on Steam for a sale price



Background: I hate third person shooters typically. Max Payne was on sale. I gave Tomb Raider a chance and ended up becoming a fan. Frankly, I’m glad I explored the world of Max Payne. Let me distill this post to a clear meaning. If you see this game on Steam: buy, buy, and buy. Enjoy Max Payne 2 as well which will be a fun time for you.

Although this was not an FPS, this is an immersive single player experience, and that is what I go for in gaming. This immersive experience is conveyed through it’s hardboiled story, characters, setting, and the weapons. Max Payne provides the player a vehicle into 1980s and 1990s action movies like Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, and anything with Schwarzenegger, Seagal, and Lundgren.

I discovered this game during Winter Storm Decima a few weeks ago.





Hardboiled Story: Mickey Spillane could have written the story of Max Payne. That or James Lee Burke, or Raymond Chandler, this is a tale of one man’s world being shattered and being replaced by one where he has nothing to lose. His morals, life, and the city he is sworn to protect is under siege by  Satanists, Italian mobsters, mercenaries, and a nefarious pharmaceutical company.

Along the way Max is framed for murder, rushes out of exploding buildings, and befriends a bevy of strange, vigilantes and criminals. This widowed cop’s world becomes a out of control hurricane that is slamming him against evil forces set against the backdrop of a concrete jungle that is being hammered by a horrible snowstorm.


The Setting: I have never been to New York City. It is on my places to visit, but I aim to avoid the neighborhoods that the titular character battles bad guys in. Graffitti, chain link fences, broken glass, urban blight, and syringes litter the levels. Fans of Deus Ex: The Conspiracy (2000), will be reminded of the Hell’s Kitchen levels. However, the mean streets are not the only field of battle Max fights on.

Industrial facilities like foundaries, warehouses, garages, and docks will be battlegrounds. A mansion of a mobster is a flashpoint as well. The winter storm provides a feeling of angst, woe, and cutting cruelty that gives this game the hardboiled setting it requires to help aid the narrative’s immersive character.

Weapons: Max favors the Beretta 92 as a sidearm in 9 x 19 parabellum. Early in the game some more high powered weapons he employs are a pump action shotgun and ingram machine pistols.  Later on he’ll come in the possession of military M4 carbines, chambered in 5.56 x45mm which are fully automatic unlike an AR-15.

These weapons mentioned above were staples in 1980s and 1990s action movies. A fan of the Die HardThe Terminator, or the Lethal Weapon movies would feel at home playing Max Payne!

Final Analysis: This is a great game. But it is one I did not finish, simply because I was tempted to play Max Payne 2,  which felt like a more polished version of this game rather than a separate installment.


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