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Max Payne (PC cover
Game Box forMax Payne (PC)

Max Payne

Max Payne is a third-person perspective action game developed by the Finnish studio Remedy Entertainment. The protagonist is an undercover DEA agent whose task is to locate the source of Valkyr - a deadly new drug.

Action | TPP | TPS | shooters

Max Payne Release Date

















Max Payne was released on PC and PS4, among others. It's a a third-person thriller action game. It was developed by Finnish studio Remedy Entertainment, known before mainly for the arcade racing game Death Rally from 1996.

The original version of the game was released in 2001 on the PC and 6th-gen consoles, and two years later, thanks to Mobius Entertainment, got a simplified version for GameBoy Advance. Eleven years after the release of the original, Max Payne Mobile, created by the War Drum studio, debuted on mobile devices, offering a refreshed graphics, and textures brought up to HD standards. In the same year, as part of the PS2 Classics service, a digital reissue of the original from 2001 became available to PlayStation 3 users. In spring 2016, Max Payne also became available to PlayStation 4 owners, enriched with achievements and graphics scaled up to 1080p.


Finnish writer Sami Järvi (also known by the pseudonym Sam Lake), who also gave his appearance and voice to the main character, is responsible for the script of the game. The plot of Max Payne, presented as a retrospect, centers around the character of the eponymous New York police officer leading a private investigation into the brutal murder of his wife and daughter, committed by gangsters under the influence of a mysterious drug Valkyrie. The circumstances are dramatically complicated when he is accused of killing his friend, a DEA agent, which brings on him the heat of the entire NYPD, led by Commissioner Jim Bravura. Forced to hide from his former colleagues, Max must enter the underworld of New York, trying to catch the trail of the drug mafia responsible for his personal tragedy. He soon discovers that the aforementioned drug is part of a secret government project of Valhalla, the purpose of which was to investigate the effects of the drug on the morale and combat capability of soldiers.


From the point of view of mechanics, Max Payne is a third-person shooter, and a sensational thriller, in which the hero conducts an investigation and rather often faces armed opponents. Max can use a dozen weapons, and is able to endure the intense shootouts thanks to painkillers, which work like regular med kits. Against the backdrop of other games of the genre, the production from Remedy Entertainment, is set apart with very original storytelling and climate reminiscent of the film noire, popular in the 1950s.

One of Max Payne's main, distinguishing features is the groundbreaking bullet-time mode, inspired by John Woo movies or the cult Matrixtrilogy. When it's activated, time slows down, and the movements of the opponents and our main character slows down. You still can, however, aim at normal speed, allowing, for example, easier finding of targets. It is also possible to perform a leap forward, backward or sideways and fire at opponents during the jump, which at the same time makes the character less vulnerable to possible hits. This solution has become almost a mandatory element of all subsequent shooter games.

Game modes

Released on the PC, PS4, etc. Max Payne is created for single-player only and does not allow any form of multiplayer.

Technical aspects

Max Payne is based on Remedy's proprietary graphics engine, which ensured high level of detail, unique lighting effects, smooth animations (even clothes move), as well as realistic simulation of weapon and projectiles physics, or facial expression of the characters. A distinctive feature of the game is also the original, cut-scenes stylized for comic book pages, showing the storyline as memories of the protagonist.

Among all the hardware platforms for which Max Payne was released, the version for Game Boy Advance stands out quite clearly – due to the significantly lesser capabilities of the device, the entire perspective is shifted for isometric, and many elements were somewhat simplified. At the other extreme are the versions for mobile devices – with a modified shooting model, overhauled, HD graphics, and integration with Rockstar Games Social Club, which has bonus game content and the ability to share the achievements with others. The PlayStation 4 console version offers even more – 1080p resolution and achievements.

Last updated on 16 February 2016

Game mode: single player  

Media type: 1 CD

User score: 8.8 / 10 based on 7361 votes.

PEGI rating Max Payne

Age rating. The PEGI rating considers the age suitability of a game, not the level of difficulty. Game contains depictions of violence.

Max Payne System requirements

PC / Windows

PC / Windows

  • Recommended:
  • Pentium II 400MHz
  • 64MB RAM
  • graphic card
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