Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Max Payne is a third-person shooter computer game developed by Finnish company Remedy Entertainment, produced by 3D Realms and published by Gathering of Developers in July, 2001. Ports later in the year for the Microsoft Xbox and Sony PlayStation 2 were published by Rockstar Games.
The Max Payne series has two major cinematic influences: the Hong Kong action movie genre, particularly the work of director John Woo, and the slow-motion, nearly balletic violence of The Matrix films. The stylish cinematography and choreography of both of these are combined with heavy film noir and pulp fiction influences in characters and dialogue. Accordingly, Max Payne is rife with artistically orchestrated, often strangely graceful gunplay. The games are dark and noir-style, following Max Payne, a troubled cop with internal and external conflicts in a dark sinister New York City.
Within the games, there are mini-plots in the form of television shows that the player can follow. Several of the shows are based on other, real-life shows.
The prime emphasis of the series is on shooting. Almost all of the gameplay involves utilizing bullet-time to gun down foe after foe. Levels are generally straightforward, with almost no key-hunting, puzzle-solving, or platform-jumping. Ammo is in constant supply, as all enemies drop ammo when killed.
The original Max Payne at times can be a highly difficult game. Even on the easiest difficulty setting, Max is extremely fragile and dies after only 5 pistol bullets, 3 assault rifle bullets, or 1 shotgun blast. Contrary to most FPS games, most enemies are actually more durable than the player character, with later enemies being able to survive 2 or 3 times as much damage as Max. Survival is highly dependent on the use of bullet-time, but bullet-time is limited and can run out if over-used (although every enemy you kill earns you a little more bullet-time). It can be difficult for many gamers to get through the later levels without quicksaving and quickloading multiple times.
The game's A.I. is heavily dependent on pre-scripted commands. Most of the apparently intelligent behavior exhibited by enemies, such as taking cover behind obstacles, retreating from the player, or throwing grenades, is 100% pre-scripted. Thus, when replaying a level, you'll notice enemies performing the exact same behaviors over and over again.
The gameplay of Max Payne revolves heavily around bullet-time. When triggered, bullet-time slows down the passage of time to such an extent that the movements of bullets can be seen by the naked eye - it is a form of slow motion. The player, although his movement is also slowed, is still able to aim and react in real time, providing a unique advantage over enemies. This makes avoiding being shot easier and enables Max to perform special moves, such as shootdodges where Max leaps sideways through the air while continuing to fire his weapon.
Max Payne (Game Boy Advance)
The Game Boy Advance version of the game was developed by Möbius Entertainment Ltd , now known as Rockstar Leeds. Since it was developed on a far less powerful platform, the GBA version differs greatly from the PC and console versions: The game is based on sprite graphics and is shown from an isometric perspective. The gameplay features have remained mostly the same, however, and is actually almost exactly like the original, aside of the perspective change. The story also remained the same as in PC and console versions, though some levels from the original are omitted. The game even includes quite a large part of the original's graphic novel sections, complete with voice-overs.
The character of Max Payne for the first game was modeled after Sam Lake, the writer of Max Payne. It is often joked that Max had a constipated expression; a joke that would find it's way into the sequel. For Max Payne 2, however, Lake was unavailable, therefore forcing Remedy to use actor Timothy Gibbs to be the model for Max Payne. The voice of Max Payne was played by actor James McCaffrey in both games. McCaffrey is probably best known for playing the lead role in the TV show Viper (1994-1996).
"A fugitive undercover cop framed for murder, and now hunted by the cops and the mob. Max is a man with his back against the wall, fighting a battle he cannot hope to win. Prepare for a new breed of deep action game. Prepare for pain..."
It started three years ago; Max came home after a long day at work. No one answered when he came in the door of his home. Upstairs he found his wife and daughter murdered at the hands of junkies high on a new designer drug called Valkyr. He swore revenge against the drug that drove people to this. He joined the DEA as an undercover cop, infiltrating the Mafia and the underground world of New York. But he was framed, accused of killing his long time friend and partner, Alex. Wanted by the cops and with no other options available, Payne goes on a blood-soaked thrill-ride through New York, working his way from lesser thugs to the bigger crime bosses to get to the top, and expose the true identity of those responsible for the induced hell that is Valkyr.
When we last saw Max Payne, he was being led away in the back of a police car, about to face charges for his two night killing spree in which he killed upwards of 600 people, even though they all had criminal records. However, Max was eventually cleared of all charges, thanks to his relationship with a very influential member of society, Senator Alfred Woden. A few years have passed, and Max has returned to work for the NYPD as a homicide detective. However, during a routine murder investigation he finds himself face-to-face with the fugitive Mona Sax, a woman he thought dead. Max and Mona team up to solve the answers to Max's past that left his wife and child dead. Between them and the answers they seek rests an army of scum and murderous thugs in New York City's underground.
Max Payne 3
The ending to The Fall of Max Payne teases with a message at the end of the credits proclaiming, "Max Payne's journey into the night will continue", but the story itself seems to be over. Perhaps the reason to this is that the original development crew, Remedy Entertainment is not going to continue working with the Max Payne franchise.
Names from Norse Mythology
Most of the major characters and elements in the game (except for Max) are named for figures from Norse mythology, a nod to the Scandinavian heritage of the game's Finnish development company, Remedy Entertainment:
- Project Valhalla
- The Valkyr drug
- Senator Alfred Woden
- The Ragnarok club
- Aesir Corporation
- DEA Agent Alex Balder
- The Asgard Building
- Yggdrasil network on a computer in the military base
- Nicole Horne may be named after Honir
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