Max Payne Image

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

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 663 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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 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. 90
    While it only takes about ten hours to complete Max Payne, it will be ten of the best hours you’ve spent on a computer in a long time.
  5. There is enough repetitive, standard fare about Max, coupled with its short play time, that makes it hard to flat-out recommend.
  6. An instantly accessible, visually stunning and technically impressive tour de force. It's also immense fun to play.
  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: 88 out of 94
  2. Negative: 5 out of 94
  1. May 12, 2012
    This has got to be one of the hardest games I have ever finished... but it is also one of the greatest.
    Remedy made a masterpiece, they
    brought us Bullet Time in Max Payne which is a mechanic that works perfectly and it's totally **** awesome!
    The game has one of the best storylines I have ever saw and the way the game tells the story is one of the most original ways I have seen in a long time.
    The game has no mercy; difficulty wise and story wise, I had many times that the game made me drop my jaw or just smile at how awesome the game is.
    The sound design is excellent, the graphics are amazing for it's time and the art style is very nice.
    This is now probably one of my top favorite games.
  2. Sep 23, 2011
    the greatest noir game ever made!!! such immersion remains unparalleled in video game history. waiting excitedly for its 3rd part which i hope will the boundaries even more from this genre. Expand
  3. Feb 12, 2013
    story well the game is called 'max payne' so it centers around his life story, he is a detective in nyc. basically, he tries to find out who killed his wife and why.

    gameplay the controls are solid in the game like all 3rd person shooters. it first introduced the 'bullet time' which was inspired by the movie' hard boiled'. it did a great job with it. most everything is pretty fast paced you use painkillers to heal on the go and lots of guns to use. video the graphics are great for its time. great animations and detail. audio the music sets the mood and gun effects are great.

    overall a great game one of the best released. and it introduced some new gameplay. it has lots to give for being an action 3rd person shooter. usually these types of games don't give good story but this one is different.
  4. Jun 14, 2012
    This is the best third person shooter ever! At least for me. If you are attempting to play the game first time, you may find graphics of the game somewhat hilarious (specially relative the nowadays's graphical standards) at first. But after few minutes, you will be so soaked up in the game that you hardly want to stop playing. The story is too deep and I loved the art design even imperfect one. This is the best game of the series (although i haven't checked out the third one i'm dying to try it out). This game is a true classic and it deserves to be decorated in a museum as a classical piece of art. (probably it's too much! ;) ). Anyway, If you haven't played this game, i suggest you to be little patient and give it a try. Expand
  5. Jan 8, 2013
    New York usually is a main setting for FPS shooters and stuff but Max Payne delivers the best. The Bullet Time strategy is as good as the Slide-shoot technique in Crysis and the graphics are gorgeous and make Grand Theft Auto IV look something like a pixelated background. Th difference between the Max Payne series and the Call of Duty series is that it delivers a better campaign and a better system in shooting. Expand
  6. Apr 13, 2011
    Nearly ten year ago the snowy rain fell on Hull like all the angels in heaven had decided to colloquially urinate at the same time. And so opened this innovative action adventure for me: I had a weekend to kill, it was snowing outside, and I had no heating. I didn't want the intellectually intensity of a strategy game, nor did I want to frenetic multitasking of a RTS. With a blanket on my legs, I sat down and completed this game in 10 hours without even a toilet break. And the first thing I did? Began again. After a toilet break.

    Max Payne pitches perfect progressive difficulty. Action games can shouldn't - in my busy world - kill you more than three times at the same point more than three times in a game. You shouldn't be slugging through a game with a face as pained as Payne's permanently constipated expression. Instead you should be smiling appreciatively at just how awesome it feels to burst horizontally through a door (in slow motion) and expertly twisting through your hips as you innerringly shoot three baddies with your John Woo pistols before time jolts back into the present and all three baddies fall down at the same time. Whump.

    This is not a serious game, but it is seriously evocative. The weapons, even now, feel powerful. I can remember a scene where a baddie hideing behind an apartment door unfortunately proclaims that he intends to shoot you as you come in. He doesn't, but you should, expect to leap towards him while simultaneously opening said door while unleashing a full shotgun blast to his chest that lifts him several feet in the air. You can almost hear Chuck, I mean Max, saying, "not today bozo."

    These scenes occur tirelessly throughout the game. Face an impossible situation. Engage bullet time (copied from the Matrix). Shoot all enemies. Read film noir comics.

    While the game itself is not so serious, what should be a series consideration is the known (and ongoing) compatibility issues with steam. Unfortunately the download can open fail to name the weapons file correctly which can result in the game simply not starting. While I managed to get it work (on occasion) you cannot expect Steam to help you out on this one. Much better to buy on amazon.

    Fortunately the game gleefully leads you on a deeply humorous (if a little silly) adventure once you have got the thing working. The dialogue between the baddies is priceless. Not to mention the subplot of the Lords and Ladies TV series - "My Lord! My Lady! My Lord!" - which goes on for about twenty minutes if you halt your carnage to watch the many analogue TV sets scattered throughout the game. Take this game for what it is - a romping film-noir - and you'll find an outstandingly crafted adventure that is also a piece of gaming history.
  7. Aug 14, 2014
    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.



See all 94 User Reviews