Mobile Gaming Month: Max Payne (iOS)
As part of Mobile Gaming Month, BWP will be bringing you reviews of our favorite games on the Playstation Vita, 3DS and iOS platforms from the last year, and even beyond with Retro Reviews! Click here for a continuously updated list of links to the reviews, and what to expect in the coming days!
When I saw that the original Max Payne had been ported to iOS, I could hardly contain my excitement. More than ten years after its initial release, Remedy's noir epic remains one of the finest single player experiences I've ever had.
I'm not sure if anyone out there is still unfamiliar with the game - and if you are, just stop reading and go play it right now - but just in case, here's an idea of the plot: After his family is gruesomely
murdered by junkies looking for a fix, NYPD detective Max Payne accepts a transfer to the DEA. Three years later, while investigating an attack on the NYC subway, Max is set up with the murder of his partner. Unfortunately for the bad guys, Max Payne is not the type to go away quietly as he comes knocking around every mob hotels in town in an attempt to uncover the truth and ultimately get revenge.
Obviously, whenever you play an 11 year old game, you're bound to find some of the game's mechanics to feel a little outdated. Max Payne's gameplay is as straightforward as it gets, as you find yourself walking into more and more bad guys as level progress, as if all everyone had to do that day was to wait for your character to show up to brutally execute them. Rockstar (who was the publisher on the original game) did a great job making the third person shooter playable on mobile, but you might have to resort to auto aim to make the shooting experience less frustrating.
Even with that advantage, the game remains challenging to play from beginning to end. Max Payne is most remembered for introducing John Woo-inspired action to PC gaming with "Bullet Time", Max's ability to slow time down to dispatch of multiple bad guys at once with improved accuracy Bullet time is just something that never gets old, and even though the game is very repetitive, it never stops being fun.
What really set Max Payne apart in 2001 - and what still sets it apart today, including the recently released Max Payne 3, although it's changed since Rockstar took over - is the game's incredibly engaging narrative. The noir graphic novel style fits the story perfectly. Add in wonderful voice acting that arguably still hasn't been matched to this day and you get a complete storytelling experience.
My fingers are crossed for a Max Payne 2 port, although the more advanced game engine might make it a challenge.
Max Payne on iOS gets 9 painkillers out of 10. Check it out on iTunes for $2.99 (universal app).