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Playstation 2












M (Mature)



December 12, 2003



- Engaging Story
- Intuitive Control
- Excellent voice acting



- Disappointing graphics
- A tad long



Max Payne (PC) Review

Max Payne (XBox) Review



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Max Payne

Score: 7.5 / 10


Hard to know where to begin with a title like Max Payne. Surely I am tempted to invoke a discourse on the many ways in which the medicinal community could market hemorrhoid tie ins with Rockstars' mercenary ("You got Max Pain in your backside? Get Preparation H! Kill hemorrhoids dead, and in Bullet time!"). But this would be futile, for then an even more juicy anecdote would be lost, like the one about the Valkyr crazed antelope, yet I digress. 


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When Max Payne was initially introduced as a benchmark tester for Nvidia's last graphics chip ( I think that's right) it got many folks stoked. It showed a grimy claustrophobia faced madman leaping back while blasting unfortunate mobsters with twin desert eagles, and in slo-mo no less. Who could resist the hysteria?! Since the initial hype the title has proven itself on PC (check Omni's review) and on the X-Box, so we must ask, how does it fare on the lowly PS2? It's Aaiight (spoken with a slouch and droopy lip).





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As far as story boards go Max Payne operates in the upper realms reserved for the Metal Gear Solids (part 1 that is), and the Xenogears (though entirely different). Very gritty from the beginning, Max enters his house to discover a ghastly scene which I will not divulge (though Omni does if you're interested). Onwards is more ghastliness and conspiracies and what not, centered around the drug Valkyr. While on his journey Max pops pain killers for rejuvenation 


so we know its not a D.A.R.E crusade that he's embarked on. The mood is always dark and somber yet the ice is occasionally broken by the excellent dialogues between the mobsters. A game with a story of this quality deserves excellent voice acting and it gets it here.


Truly the story is incredibly well thought out and entertaining. It's also long, it seems to go on and on, stumbling here and there with mediocre twists that seem to be thrown in to increase the overall length. I would be totally happy with a solid 15 hour romp, yet on my first go around it crawled to the 24 hour mark (I'll chalk most of this off to my ineptness). However, one mustn't get one wrong, it was a fun 24 hours spent with Max, much more so than the one spent with Kiefer Sutherland last Tuesday night. Gameplay wise, Max Payne is very competent, equipped with your standard five control schemes. I always opt for the one closest to Goldeneye, my sweet sweet Goldeneye, and I am content. Bullet Time, the gimmick sure to spawn a thousand clones never gets old and neither does pausing the game mid-shot to get a fully detailed 360 of Max firing. 


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The only real knock to this game are the graphics. Poor, weak graphics, vulnerable to every game affliction under the sun, clipping, slow down, pop-up, jaggies etc.. etc. Rockstar must have fired it's QA lineup in order to pay for the law team needed to defend GTA3. Though not criminal, the graphical faultiness plants seeds of discouragement that has you waking at night only to restrain your self from bringing the hammer down on your PS2. It is troubling to know that an equal priced competitor can get so much more from it's machine that Sony can get from theirs (I speak of course of the X-Box). I had a great time with Max Payne, though I would have rather spent it while on a different system. When a title is released across multiple platforms, its always depressing to have to play the worst of the bunch, and that's what you'll have to do with the PS2 iteration of Max Payne. Depressing.


- Tolkiemingway

(February 2, 2002)

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