STAFF REVIEW of Max Payne (Xbox)

Friday, January 4, 2002.
by Stephen Cameron

Max Payne Box art Now I?ve played the PC version, and the Xbox version is cleaner, smoother, and better looking. Bar none. Besides having a weird save game feature on the Xbox version, Max Payne should be added to your game collection if you like games like Halo and Munch?s Oddysee (yes, I said Munch?s, for it?s story-like gaming experience). For those of you that are new to this title, be warned, it is NOT for kids?take my word for it. The story of Max Payne is very appealing and mysterious, which in my opinion makes a good game. But, if you?ve played it on the PC before you?ll get bored fast.

The story in Max Payne is your typical ?Hey, someone killed my wife, now they must die? type story. This is all good, but the complete game sucks you right in and keeps that little Xbox controller in your hands right until the end. It's a near perfect title.

The interaction with EVERYTHING in the game makes Max Payne a fantastic title. You can open taps on sinks, open lockers, buy something from a vending machine and much, much more. The developers have thought of everything, you could even turn the TV on and off! The controls on one hand are nice, but take a little getting used to. I?m a ?mouse/computer first-person shoot?em up? type of guy, so doing all of this with the Xbox controller took some heavy practice, but it?s not that bad.

The one thing that really got to me was something that had nothing to do with the game itself, but with saving your game while you are playing. It is not like the PC, it only allows you to save to the Xbox?s hard disk, and you only get to save about four games. In addition, there are no options to save to a memory unit.

The ?Bullet Time? feature in this game, is as most of the reviews below state, is straight out of ?The Matrix?, it comes awfully handy when a room full of thugs need to die and you only have a Beretta. (-:

The other pet peeve I had with Max Payne was the ?Gone Crazy? part of the game, where Max has to walk on this white line and get out the craziness environment. I kept falling off the edge, with the Xbox controller this part was a pain because the character doesn?t go in a straight line very well. But again, this minor glitch can be overlooked as it doesn?t damage the game?s fun ness.

The graphics look pretty much the same as on a PC with a GeForce 256 card and a 800Mhz Intel machine. They are extremely smooth, and this puppy only dropped a frame or two during a movie animation?but not during gameplay. The storyboard/comic book style was very interesting to see in a game, it would clearly outline what was going on.

Overall, I was very impressed with the graphics.

The sound is better than most games on the Xbox, the detailed sounds of the environment, the guns, the people, the music; and it is all put together in one nice package. The wife crying, and the baby crying, all these different sound set the mood perfectly for the game. Overall, the sound rocks and it won?t let you down. Especially, in Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound.

Fix the game saving section. Other than that a sequel will be most invited.

Overall: 9.0 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 10.0 / 10
Sound: 10.0 / 10


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