With cutting edge graphics and bullet time that had just been popularised by the Matrix films, Max Payne was one of the most iconic games of the early 2000's. But not many people know that it was first called Dark Justice when it was first pitched, or how Remedy was able to invest so much into the project in the first place.
They're just the opening facts in the latest video from Lucas Raycevick, who runs a Patreon dedicated to in-depth video game analysis. His latest video is all about the history of Max Payne, which came to life after Remedy's success releasing Death Rally - but more specifically, a benchmarking tool called Final Reality.
From the money that made, Remedy put forward three pitches to Apogee: a follow-up to Death Rally, a space combat sim, and Dark Justice, an isometric game centred around a drug war. It sounded awfully like Syndicate, but the success of Tomb Raider at the time led Remedy to refocus the game with a strong lead character, one that the game would eventually be named after.
It's a good time to mention that Max Payne is available on iOS and Android. It goes on sale pretty frequently too, and the mobile controls aren't too bad, although obviously not as precise as dodging bullets with a mouse and keyboard.
Having lugged around those gigantic 21" CRTs to LANs as a kid, the concept of being able to carry fully-fledged PC games like Duke Nukem and XCOM in my pocket would have blown my mind. But while they're some of the most recognisable games, there are plenty of other classics from all platforms you can grab on iOS and Android right now - and you don't have to deal with a compromised experience or dodgy controls either.