Max Payne Image
Metascore
89

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 765 Ratings

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  • Summary: A story-driven third-person shooter with a realistic weapon setup including over a dozen real-life guns, all fitting the crime-story setting like a bullet in the head. The action is surrounded with more than 80 hand-painted comic-screens that enhance the game's gritty atmosphere andA story-driven third-person shooter with a realistic weapon setup including over a dozen real-life guns, all fitting the crime-story setting like a bullet in the head. The action is surrounded with more than 80 hand-painted comic-screens that enhance the game's gritty atmosphere and attitude, introduce the game's murderous cast of characters, and carry the plot from one location to the next. [Gathering of Developers] Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. The most important action game yet made for the PC. Well worth the long wait.
  2. You leave the experience a little different, and, like a girl that's been burned too many times entering what looks like a good relationship, you leave a little wary as well. You know you've been treated well; you don't feel the scars and scabs that other games have left you with.
  3. At times MP is more movie than game, with stunning camera angles, jarring replays and an involved plot that not only moves the storyline along, it sets the tone for a hardcore action experience.
  4. Indeed the closest contemporary for the game would be "Metal Gear Solid" as it is one of the few games like Max Payne that offers a completely impressive experience from beginning to end, wrapped up in sumptuous presentation and production values.
  5. There is enough repetitive, standard fare about Max, coupled with its short play time, that makes it hard to flat-out recommend.
  6. A stunning techincal (gameplay) achievement that may be lacking a decent script to truly lead the way into the era of interactive PC movies.
  7. 30
    In the style of PC Gamer's David Manningesque vocabulary, Max Payne is the most forgettable action game in history. (I exaggerate, of course. It's only the most forgettable action game of the year.)

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 95 out of 101
  2. Negative: 5 out of 101
  1. MichaelS
    Jul 24, 2008
    10
    I will stand by this forever as the best game I've ever played! An astonishing masterpiece that is frequently ripped off but will never I will stand by this forever as the best game I've ever played! An astonishing masterpiece that is frequently ripped off but will never be topped. Expand
  2. JohnC.
    Jan 17, 2008
    10
    A great game. Better than the Sequel.
  3. JohnnyL.
    Jun 7, 2003
    10
    That's not my real name or e-mail....but i still thought max payne is one hell of a game.
  4. Sep 3, 2013
    10
    A PC staple and perhaps the swan song of shooters. The story is engaging and strikes at the heart of all fans of noir style comics and film.A PC staple and perhaps the swan song of shooters. The story is engaging and strikes at the heart of all fans of noir style comics and film. The linear gameplay diminishes replay value, but that's only immediate. I come back to this game once every 6 months because I'll be home on a rainy day and the pitter patter of droplets on the window reminds me of Max Payne running through a vacant warehouse in bad weather. There's just nothing like it in my opinion. I had the chance of being 13 when this game came out. It was the perfect time to discover this game because it's stuck with me forever. What an impact on PC gaming. Expand
  5. CristianoM.
    May 11, 2007
    9
    A very good game with some very frustrating dream sequences. For once, I can say that one sequel is superior to the original although, of A very good game with some very frustrating dream sequences. For once, I can say that one sequel is superior to the original although, of course, the impact that the first installment of the series could offer to the player is unmatched. Expand
  6. May 2, 2012
    9
    After years I went back and replayed this decade old gem. I found the storyline compelling and the game play was crisp and responsive. It isAfter years I went back and replayed this decade old gem. I found the storyline compelling and the game play was crisp and responsive. It is intresting to see how much games of today have lost. If you can get over the decade old graphics, you will find a solid 8 - 9 hours of game play here. Great game and great storyline. Expand
  7. Aug 14, 2014
    2
    Max Payne has aged horribly, and that's a bad thing.

    Real critics across films, games, and music will tell you that true masterpieces stand
    Max Payne has aged horribly, and that's a bad thing.

    Real critics across films, games, and music will tell you that true masterpieces stand the test of time. Max Payne is not one of them, and certainly never was to begin with.

    The graphics are the worst offender of the aging process. Being a early PS2 title, this is obviously expected, but the art style of Max Payne does zero justice to make this game even remotely appealing to the eye. The "dark and gritty" color pallet combined with the washed out textures make everything look like mud.

    If you're not a fan of the art style, prepare to endure the same repeated textures throughout the entire game. The first hour of the game is walking through the same exact gray and bland apartment buildings with a rusty colored carpet to match. The problem with the graphics and art style also translate directly to the gameplay. The levels have no variety. As I said, the same boring apartment buildings over and over, with a little bit of outside gameplay. Did I mention it's always nighttime and snowing? And if that doesn't already sound unpleasant, toss in a few generic, mindless mafia goons to get in your way of boring environment to the next.

    The AI, predictably, is terrible. Of course, this game was made in 2001 and but it doesn't take much to look back and find plenty of games with vastly superior AI. Doom, 1993, had nine varieties of enemies. They threw fireballs at you, they flanked you, if they got close they would melee you. In Max Payne, there's absolutely ZERO enemy variety except for the standard goon and the buffed up "boss" goons which are the exact same aside from being bullet sponges.

    The story, nearly as generic as they come. Standard story about revenge that you can find in any form of media before Max Payne. It doesn't help the story is told through interactables you have to find throughout the level, if you don't, that's too bad. In one point during the game you're forced to play a "dream sequence" where your patience and frustration are tested. You must wander through a maze of hallways and then finally follow misleading blood trails floating over a death pit. These sections take around twenty minutes to complete and do nothing for the gameplay or story whatsoever.

    Music, did I mention there wasn't any? The voice acting is also as generic as they come. Stereotypical "mafia goon" voices for all the copy and pasted enemies and bosses. It's mediocre at best, nothing to write home about.

    But in the end, it comes down to gameplay. And if the gameplay doesn't stack up, it's not a good game. And in this case, it's one of the worst I've ever played. Bullet time is absolutely useless. You're still vulnerable while using it and it gives you about a 5% chance to dodge bullets. It slows down the action and is never a benefit for the player. It's a gimmick, really. The guns have somewhat variety. There's only really three distinct weapons and they are the UZI, the shotgun, and the sniper. The rest act the same as their counterparts. And to go back to my previous point, all of the action takes place in copy and pasted hallways, bland environments, completely uninteresting levels.

    Max Payne also lacks a checkpoint feature. You must quicksave before every room you open unless you want to be treated to a random, instantaneous death. The game is completely linear with little to no exploration, choices, or variety so replay value is severely low.

    Lastly, the game is a chore to play, and one of the most overrated games/franchises of all time.

    In other words, it's a Payne in the ass.

    2/10

    Lewis
    Expand

See all 101 User Reviews