See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Max Payne

Posted By on Wed, Nov 14, 2001 at 12:00 AM

Vengeance-stricken, the trench-coated beast walks on.

Thus opens the ghoulish narrative of Max Payne, a reckless, pitiful New York detective who strives to make a mark on the city of despair. His pretty wife, young and innocent with child in tow, was bumped off at the hands of a mysterious foe. Worse yet, Payne is framed for murder. So his goal is clear-cut: sweep the streets of the Big Apple clean, brushing away the junkies, pimps, prostitutes and the rest of the criminal element. one body bag at a time.

Utilizing “bullet-time” tech made famous by The Matrix, players guide the ruthless Payne through a film-noir world of corruption, blackmail and ultra-violence. The slow-motion effect is most useful — and extremely cool — when tapping into a warehouse full of scumbags, allowing extreme, sniper-sharp precision. (Don’t be surprised if this hip feature is adopted by dozens of other games come next year.) Players can yield a lowly pistol, sawed-off shotgun, dual-auto machine guns or even Molotov cocktails. There’s a brouhaha of carnage, to say the least.

Adding to the game’s attractive nature, besides a slew of drug lords drowning in their own blood, is an atmospheric story design. Rather than unfold in 100-percent full-motion video, a crime comic approach was plotted. Sinister, dramatic panels fade slowly in pulp fashion, hitting a narrative beat with rhythmic, private-dick lingo.

It’s comparable to the “Resident Evil” series in terms of mood and “Syphon Filter” with its precise, explosive action. But ultimately, “Payne” is in a class all its own.

And if your PC couldn’t handle the “Payne” graphics engine, which tended to gobble memory, the PS2 version will fire onto store shelves in a matter of weeks.

Finally, a game that truly earns its “mature” label.

Read Adam Druckman's Netropolis column about "Max Payne"; he believes its plot-rich, cinematic style may be pointing the way to the future of all computer video games.

Jon M. Gibson investigates the triumphs — and pitfalls — of games and other technological poundcakes. E-mail him at letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Jon M. Gibson

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation