The History of Max Payne

The History of Max Payne

The bloody and bullet-filled history of one of gaming's most iconic characters.

Read Full Article

You would think Max Payne would eventually catch a break.

I just finished Max Payne 2 yesterday, and I still can't decide whether the writing is terrible or excellent. This is largely the effect of a well-delivered private eye monologue, McCaffrey could be reading the phone book and it'd be compelling.

It took an enthusiastic group of Norwegians to nail that uniquely American mix of modern action and classic noir, but even they underestimated Max's enduring appeal.

Norwegians?! Finland doesn't have that many claims to glory, so please stop taking away the few we have managed to produce.

Mabster:

It took an enthusiastic group of Norwegians to nail that uniquely American mix of modern action and classic noir, but even they underestimated Max's enduring appeal.

Norwegians?! Finland doesn't have that many claims to glory, so please stop taking away the few we have managed to produce.

Derp...you are completely correct. Apologies - that should've been caught in fact checking. Fixed!

I've been a fan of Max Payne since the first game but I'm hesitant to buy the latest installment. It doesn't feel like him anymore. I think the sequel was as much as my mind was willing to suspend disbelief in the re-living and re-telling of his story.

As an aside, I caught two typos: "Bbring" and "decent" when you meant descent. Good article otherwise.

[Edit: of course, I had typos of my own]

I love this series.

But the trip-out sequences ruined me for my daughter's pack'n'play mobile.

So... will three assume the "happy" ending happened, or no?

Some poor editing on this article. Misspellings, and poor spacing abound. Should be re-edited for clarity and precision.

Some bad info as well, Remedy worked very closely with Rockstar on the story and other elements as well. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTwgBrUK4ng

Susan Arendt:

Mabster:

It took an enthusiastic group of Norwegians to nail that uniquely American mix of modern action and classic noir, but even they underestimated Max's enduring appeal.

Norwegians?! Finland doesn't have that many claims to glory, so please stop taking away the few we have managed to produce.

Derp...you are completely correct. Apologies - that should've been caught in fact checking. Fixed!

To continue on that, it's NORSE mythology, not NORWEGIAN. There's a big difference, trust me.

Interesting stuff. Death Rally is such a classic game.

The first one in Finnish game development to really break through. Followed by FlatOut 1 & 2 by Bugbear, and now, Angry Birds by Rovio. The latest franchise is not at all likely to be sold though.

I must say that this was interesting topic for me because I just saw two months back a document about Finnish game developers and of course Remedy guys who was involved with first Max Payne was on it. I must say after the first Max Payne Remedys story has been really sad, I mean what happend inside Remedy (I can't really remember it so well anymore so I'm not going to go over the details).

But well I really want this game to work. I mean me and my old friend used to play 1st game all the time. I don't know what happened on 2nd. It was good but then again, it really wasn't anything new so it didn't have shock value (and I hated that slow-mo reloading where the camera spinned around).

So I hope this 3rd game gives me back some of that old feeling that I had when I played the 1st game, on story and gameplay.

also I really laughed when I read this "Sami Järvi -- better known by his professional name, Sam Lake". So I'm from Finland and when I saw this... I really didn't know that they call him like that and I found it really funny because: Sami is obviously same as Sam, but then: Järvi = Lake translation from Finnish to English.

I was wondering what Sam Lake's involvement with Max Payne 3 was. Cool to know that he approves of it, this is probably a day 1 buy for me now. Sam Lake is one of the few writers/ writing team in game that I really enjoy and he does most of the writing himself - if I remember the credits correctly in Alan Wake and AW: American Nightmare I believe he was one of 2 writers and the other writer was different in both games.

I dunno, Remedy in general- kudos.

As someone who counts Max Payne one and two in their best games ever list, i'm both extremely excited and extremely nervous about Max Payne 3.

On the one hand, when it comes to game development and story Rockstar are some of the best in the business, better than Bioware as far as I'm concerned. If anyone deserves a shot at making the next installment of Max, it's them. They've definitely got the chops to do it right.

On the other hand, Remedy has a very specific style in their games that i'm worried might not make it into 3. It's something I noticed in both Max Payne and Alan Wake. Their narration has a kind of poetry to it that really sucks me into their story and really helps me to connect with the main character, Alan and Max respectively. Another is the comic relief Easter eggs, like the television shows and npc banter.

I have no doubt that Rockstar will make a fantastic game; they've never made a game I didn't love. But i'm worried that they might overlook some of those things that were integral to Max's storytelling. Without Max waxing poetic and occasionally running past a TV playing the latest episode of Lords and Ladies, i'm worried that it wont really feel like Max Payne to me.

Time will tell I suppose, as this is already a guaranteed purchase for me, but I do hope that my fears will prove unfounded.

Excited for Max Payne 3 to come to me in 3 weeks. Sad the PC release got pushed back, but its only 2 weeks and I got D3 to play until then

I would bed James McCaffrey instantly just for the voice. His voice made the game's story so compelling. Without him the story would not have been so good.

Can't wait for 3, I had serious doubts in the beginning but now...oh man.

Susan Arendt:
Derp...you are completely correct. Apologies - that should've been caught in fact checking. Fixed!

Thank you kindly. If you take Remedy from us, we're pretty much left with Angry Birds -- not a happy place to be in.

The trailers for Max Payne 3 look really awesome, I will definitely buy the game at some point.

For me, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is one of the best games of all time since its portrayal of Doomed Love is something you don't see everyday. The whole game is just superb from start to finish in all aspects and has aged gracefully in terms of graphics and overall presentation.

I was overly skeptical about Rockstar taking the lead with Max Payne 3 but it seems those fears were unfounded (seeing how the game feels and looks). Couple more days to go...!

Well, the author of this article seems to think that it's the shooting and bullet time that was the draw of Max Payne, not even close. They could have had pretty crappy shooting and no bullet time and it still would have done just as well. The draw of Max Payne is and always has been the noir story, particularly the metaphor laced dialog, without that Max Payne has nothing. In fact, the only reason I ever play either game anymore is to hear the dialog again, not the gameplay.

The writing in the Max Payne games (as in all Remedy games) has veered very much between decent and awful. For every nice character moment with Mona, Max Payne 2 was full of horribly convoluted writing, bad characters and plotting. Alan Wake took those even further, but I can't see how Rockstar could write any worse of a plot for the game than Remedy already had.

Now, actually playing those games? Fun. No question about it. Repetitive, sure, but fun all around.

And then they made pre-order bonuses which give unfair advantages to people in the multiplayer. Good one, guys.

There may be too much gray and brown in modern gaming, but Max's ugly Hawaiian shirt may be taking it a step too far in the other direction.

I'm curious to see if the "noir" feel can be effectively recreated in São Paulo.

It's been a while since finishing Max Payne 2, I kind of remember that the story was pretty well wrapped up albeit in a bittersweet gritty sort of way. I can't imagine what Max Payne can do without becoming a parody of itself.

Axyun:
I've been a fan of Max Payne since the first game but I'm hesitant to buy the latest installment. It doesn't feel like him anymore. I think the sequel was as much as my mind was willing to suspend disbelief in the re-living and re-telling of his story.

sadly, a great story is being destroyed by the greedy companies.

max payne, we know and love, was a great noir detective story. now it turns into "mexican cartel style" boring action game. new generation doesn't know game/movie genres like Noir, so they have to turn the game into this style just to appeal young Call Of Duty gamers.

I really wish to have a "Max Payne 3", but this is not a "Max Payne 3".

Bonecrusherr:

Axyun:
I've been a fan of Max Payne since the first game but I'm hesitant to buy the latest installment. It doesn't feel like him anymore. I think the sequel was as much as my mind was willing to suspend disbelief in the re-living and re-telling of his story.

sadly, a great story is being destroyed by the greedy companies.

max payne, we know and love, was a great noir detective story. now it turns into "mexican cartel style" boring action game. new generation doesn't know game/movie genres like Noir, so they have to turn the game into this style just to appeal young Call Of Duty gamers.

I really wish to have a "Max Payne 3", but this is not a "Max Payne 3".

Wrong, actually. On a few different levels.

First off, your definition of noir is either lacking, or you've never understood the genre ever. Either way, a remedial literature course, and maybe a film history course, might be in order.

Second, I don't think you've played the game, seen footage of the game, or even paid attention to the game.

davisjones1287:

Bonecrusherr:

Axyun:
I've been a fan of Max Payne since the first game but I'm hesitant to buy the latest installment. It doesn't feel like him anymore. I think the sequel was as much as my mind was willing to suspend disbelief in the re-living and re-telling of his story.

sadly, a great story is being destroyed by the greedy companies.

max payne, we know and love, was a great noir detective story. now it turns into "mexican cartel style" boring action game. new generation doesn't know game/movie genres like Noir, so they have to turn the game into this style just to appeal young Call Of Duty gamers.

I really wish to have a "Max Payne 3", but this is not a "Max Payne 3".

Wrong, actually. On a few different levels.

First off, your definition of noir is either lacking, or you've never understood the genre ever. Either way, a remedial literature course, and maybe a film history course, might be in order.

Second, I don't think you've played the game, seen footage of the game, or even paid attention to the game.

This. So much.

Getting pretty tired of people acting like Max Payne 1 and 2 were the pinnacles and only representatives of noir in gaming - not even close.

Like DavisJones said, a remedial film course, now, do it.

SpiderJerusalem:

davisjones1287:

Bonecrusherr:

sadly, a great story is being destroyed by the greedy companies.

max payne, we know and love, was a great noir detective story. now it turns into "mexican cartel style" boring action game. new generation doesn't know game/movie genres like Noir, so they have to turn the game into this style just to appeal young Call Of Duty gamers.

I really wish to have a "Max Payne 3", but this is not a "Max Payne 3".

Wrong, actually. On a few different levels.

First off, your definition of noir is either lacking, or you've never understood the genre ever. Either way, a remedial literature course, and maybe a film history course, might be in order.

Second, I don't think you've played the game, seen footage of the game, or even paid attention to the game.

This. So much.

Getting pretty tired of people acting like Max Payne 1 and 2 were the pinnacles and only representatives of noir in gaming - not even close.

Like DavisJones said, a remedial film course, now, do it.

TransMet is effing awesome, btw.

SpiderJerusalem:

davisjones1287:

Bonecrusherr:

sadly, a great story is being destroyed by the greedy companies.

max payne, we know and love, was a great noir detective story. now it turns into "mexican cartel style" boring action game. new generation doesn't know game/movie genres like Noir, so they have to turn the game into this style just to appeal young Call Of Duty gamers.

I really wish to have a "Max Payne 3", but this is not a "Max Payne 3".

Wrong, actually. On a few different levels.

First off, your definition of noir is either lacking, or you've never understood the genre ever. Either way, a remedial literature course, and maybe a film history course, might be in order.

Second, I don't think you've played the game, seen footage of the game, or even paid attention to the game.

This. So much.

Getting pretty tired of people acting like Max Payne 1 and 2 were the pinnacles and only representatives of noir in gaming - not even close.

Like DavisJones said, a remedial film course, now, do it.

No need to get so hostile. No one in this thread has said Max Payne was the pinnacle of anything, noir or otherwise. No point in bringing this strawman into the conversation.

Second, MP3 could be noir but nothing that has been said alludes to it being so.

No one in this thread has posted anything that indicates they do not understand noir. It is not a difficult concept. Quit being a wanna-be film hipster.

It's not a difficult concept, though, and if you don't see allusions TO noir in MP3, you're either not paying attention, or don't grasp even a little bit of the concept.

Axyun:
MP3 could be noir but nothing that has been said alludes to it being so.

Yes, yes it has been said. In fact, the trailers make it exceptionally clear that this is in the same noir tradition as the previous games.

No one in this thread has posted anything that indicates they do not understand noir. It is not a difficult concept.

Clearly it is, because people:

Bonecrusherr:
now it turns into "mexican cartel style" boring action game. new generation doesn't know game/movie genres like Noir, so they have to turn the game into this style just to appeal young Call Of Duty gamers.

I really wish to have a "Max Payne 3", but this is not a "Max Payne 3".

Don't seem to understand even the basic concepts of Noir and dismiss what they don't get as "call of duty" gaming.

SpiderJerusalem:

Axyun:
MP3 could be noir but nothing that has been said alludes to it being so.

Yes, yes it has been said. In fact, the trailers make it exceptionally clear that this is in the same noir tradition as the previous games.

No one in this thread has posted anything that indicates they do not understand noir. It is not a difficult concept.

Clearly it is, because people:

Bonecrusherr:
now it turns into "mexican cartel style" boring action game. new generation doesn't know game/movie genres like Noir, so they have to turn the game into this style just to appeal young Call Of Duty gamers.

I really wish to have a "Max Payne 3", but this is not a "Max Payne 3".

Don't seem to understand even the basic concepts of Noir and dismiss what they don't get as "call of duty" gaming.

For gods sake people, stop arguing about whether Max Payne 3 is Noir.
There is no set definition of what makes something noir. There are a bunch of elements that people claim make something Noir, but others claim completely different things. Depending on your point of view, Max Payne 3 could either be the most noir story ever or the least, but you could probably say the same about just about anything else.

Shocksplicer:
For gods sake people, stop arguing about whether Max Payne 3 is Noir.
There is no set definition of what makes something noir. There are a bunch of elements that people claim make something Noir, but others claim completely different things. Depending on your point of view, Max Payne 3 could either be the most noir story ever or the least, but you could probably say the same about just about anything else.

While the Noir genre is under near constant debate on exactly what should go into it and while some (read: wankers) argue that it's not even its' own genre, there's a few very clear distinctions that go into Noir which are apparent and very present in Max Payne 3. Most people just can't seem to understand some of these basics and the abilities to expand Noir into seemingly different locations and genres without breaking the set distinctions.

The first two Max Payne's were such pastiche's on the genres that they almost were parodies onto themselves, what Rockstar is clearly doing is taking the definitions into the far more cynical ends of what Noir has been defined as. Some would call it neo-noir, but even that's just because of the setting and use of color to emphasize the brutality and sexual aspects that go with the violence in the flavelas.

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here