Why Bring Back Max Payne?
As previously mentioned, Max Payne stands out from the other Rockstar projects as having a fairly serious narrative, grounded in mortality and real consequences.
The games do feature some goofy stuff, like why are all the gangs from the first and second game all about Norse mythology? And why can Max slow down time and dive around like a desperate goalkeeper?
To put it simply, these mechanics just made the games that much more fun. The games take influence from those legendary slow-motion moments in action movies first done in a now hilarious scene from 1962’s Zotz! Since then, The Matrix, Wanted, and one brilliant moment in Spaced have pioneered the technique and Max Payne puts that cinematic power in your hands.
Sure, you could just go the whole game using the satisfying third-person shooting but using Bullet Time to put extra spice on that final kill is something else. The use of Bullet Time makes every use of it feel like something from a John Woo film, an artist the series pays a lot of homage to.
What made those moments all that more satisfying was the gritty noir-like narratives that thrust Max into some seriously dark scenarios. Max has loved, lost, and loved again… and then lost again in a vicious cycle of violence he just can’t escape from.
By the third game, Max has nothing left. Once an esteemed cop, he spends his time bodyguarding some rich Hollywood types while struggling with depression, suicidal thoughts, and crippling pill addiction.
That’s right, this is a game series that actually tackles what horrible effects spamming health pickups and the grueling notion of constant loss might have on someone's mental health. It is a time-old tradition that the hero of the story must overcome great hardships in their valiant rise to overcome evil.
However, Max Payne explores what would happen if a pretty average joe was forced into that role.