The History Of Max Payne

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.

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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.

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Comments

    Some sort of remaster that works on PC would be nice. Or a GoG version that magically works.

    0:30, lol at the guy sitting on the tipped over filing cabinet as a chair.

    Bit of a shame that he didnt cover anything for #3 and only showed gameplay of #2.

    Will agree though, it is a dark game with a fairly dark story. Its a 10/10 game for me

      I think focussing on the original game is fine. MP2 is brilliant, but mentioning MP3 will usually just derail a video. Fans of the originals tend not to like the 3rd one (massive generalisation) and that's become the focus in the few videos I've seen that discuss the whole series.

    The first Max Payne was brilliant. The whole noir vibe was on point.

    10/10.

    I love Max Payne. MP2 is my favourite game.

    I was caught by surprise when he mentioned not being able to activate bullet time without dodging. Looks like I must have changed the controller settings every time I played, because you definitely can bind bullet-time-only in the options.

    The mobile version is not a great way to play Max Payne. It's OK if you have a controller, but it's pretty terrible with touch screen controls. Especially the final level and the elevator run up to the roof.

    This was a great game at the time and pretty good looking too. The fire was lovely. It had a brilliant long campaign too. Never played the sequels but 3 was meant to be great.

      2 was great. It had some good writing and a story with less padding than the first as well as some fun imrpvoements to the bullet time mechanics.

      3 was divisive. Personally I hated it, but it reviewed very well and has plenty of fans.

        I was in my teens for the first one and enjoyed the length of 1 because it gave more value. I wonder how it would hold up through more critical eyes? I heard the second one was only 2-3 hours long.

          Hard to know how it would hold up. MP1 has a few funny bits like Vlad appearing out of nowhere and saying "hey, come and kill a bunch of guys at the docks", which has no real bearing on the rest of the game or story. It's not bad, it's just killing time.

          I think it really depends on your preferences. I'm frustrated by the way games tend to pad their lengths just to reach some arbitrary duration. I think that you could probably get through MP2 in about 3-4 hours if you were reasonable at it, but there's nothing there that isn't directly relevant to the story.

          These days the games are often on sale for less than $5 each, so if you're even a little bit interested in them it's hard to feel ripped off.

    Was disapoonted with MP 3 but MP 2 is a classic.

    When i finished it i was thinking wow, gaming has really matured (in regards to atmosphere, tone and delivery). Also loved playing it with the Cinema mod.

      The Max Payne games had some great mods. Even now there's a surpisingly active mod community for the game.

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