Episode 13: Max Payne

Max Payne’s story was incredibly fresh on its release in 2001. Taking its cues from neo-noir cinema, it pitted you against the real life monsters of our world instead of demons or aliens. It liberally lifted environments, dialogue and ideas from the wave of crime films that popped up in the 80’s and flourished over the next 20 years. This extends even to the gameplay - clearly inspired by John Woo action films and being the first game to feature the now commonplace bullet-time feature from the Matrix. Do the stylistic trappings and influences make Max Payne boring and forgettable, or does it’s self aware irony elevate it into something brilliant?

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On this episode, we question:

  • Does cheesiness and cliche ruin a story, or does Max Payne chugging down Pain Killers make for comedy gold?

  • Did the adaptive difficulty give the game a smoother difficulty curve, or did it remove any hope of a good challenge?

  • Are the nightmare sequences a terror for Max or the player?

Listen in to find the answers to these questions and many more on the 13th episode of the Retro Spectives Podcast!

Intro Music: KieLoBot - Tanzen K
Outro Music: Rockit Maxx - One point to another
Max Payne OST: Composers: Kärtsy Hatakka, Kimmo Kajasto

Pat’s Article on Max Payne