Max Payne is a third-person shooter that sees you taking on the role of the eponymous rogue cop in a gritty, noir-styled crime drama. Released in 2001, the game pioneered the use of a slow-motion 'bullet-time' mode that would go on to be used in many later games. The violent neo-noir story concerns Max's attempts both to avenge the murders of his wife and child and to get to the bottom of a mysterious drug ring.
Grit, guns and shades of grey
Gameplay in Max Payne is pretty simple -- if you've played other third-person shooters, you'll be familiar with the basics. Using your bullet-time ability is key to winning the gunfights; although your movements are slowed, having the time to think is valuable. Most of the time you'll be using pistols, but as the game progresses there will be more weapons to choose from. There are some platforming and puzzle-solving elements, but they're minor. As the story develops, Max is plunged deeper into psychedelic horror. Max's hard-boiled narration can sometimes feel a little over the top, but this, together with the comic-strip panels that appear in the cutscenes, creates an appropriately noir atmosphere.
Set out on your quest for vengeance
If you like third-person shooters and enjoy the grey, grimy neo-noir aesthetic, Max Payne is a classic game well worth revisiting.