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Max Payne By John "Award" Del Percio,
August 14, 2001
Developer :Remedy
Publisher :Gathering of Developers
Release Date :Late July 2001
Demo Available : No
Table of Contents

· Introduction
· Closer Look
· Facts
· Final

The Words Dragged On Indefinitely, Though I Saw their Meaning through the Obscurity Like a Light in the Subway Tunnel...

There are a few short-comings in the game, though one especially ruined the fun a bit. The game is extraordinarily short. I managed to beat the game on normal skill in under four days. Certainly a four day thrill isn't exactly worth the high prices of today's games, especially considering the game has no multiplayer mode at all. Fortunately the higher difficulties provide a bit of a challenge and keep the game lasting a bit longer, not to mention the high replay value in the game for the sheer fun-factor, regardless of the storyline.

Another problem is the lack of an ending. The whole game builds up the storyline, and while one chapter is closed, you are left off with a quasi-unobvious "to be continued..." for an ending. On the other hand, that's the good news; there are plans to continue the game, which means more thug pounding fun should be on the way someday.

The game also experienced some stability problems. Out of the box, I couldn't even get it running, it would crash when loading the third or forth level. After patching the game, I found I was getting a different crash loading the same level. It turned out that the save games were incompatible with the new version, even though that was not documented in the patch readme. Even after the patch, I experienced occasional crashes to the desktop, though, oddly, it's one of the least buggy games I've seen in some time aside from that.

Finally, there is one thing that happened a few times in the game that really bugged me. The game is subdivided into three parts with multiple chapters each. At the beginning of acts II and III, Max is sent into a "nightmare" like in movies where all the walls are warped and everything is exaggerated to show the horrific state of events. That is fairly cool. The problem, though, lies in the middle of each, where you are forced to navigate a series of balance beams over a pit. This sort of gameplay can be more than highly annoying, and always seems to be plugged into games for no logical reason. It is a definite frustration point, and makes it far less tempting to replay the game when thinking of those sequences. Another annoying thing in a similar vein is an event that happens later in the game. Without giving spoilers, suffice it to say that you must quickly find exits to a series of rooms. The trouble is that navigating the rooms becomes difficult, and the exits are not always easy to find. This can also lead to a lot of "die, restart, die, restart" type of gameplay.

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