Max Payne

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Max Payne
Studio FinlandFinland Remedy Entertainment (Windows) Rockstar Toronto (PS2) Rockstar Vienna (Xbox) Möbius Entertainment (GBA) MacSoft (Mac) WarDrum Studios (iOS / Android)
United KingdomUnited Kingdom
United StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States
Publisher United StatesUnited States Gathering of Developers (Windows) Rockstar Games (PS2, Xbox, GBA, iOS, Android) Feral Interactive (Mac) MacSoft (Mac)
United StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States
United StatesUnited States
Senior Developer Sami Järvi (Author / Actor)
Petri Järvilehto (Creative Director)
North America July 23, 2001 July 27, 2001 Playstation 2: December 6, 2001 January 11, 2002 Xbox: December 12, 2001 March 14, 2002 Mac OS X: March 22, 2002 GameBoy Advance: December 18, 2003 March 19, 2004 Steam: January 4, 2008 iOS: April 12, 2012 Android: June 14, 2012
European UnionEuropean Union

North America
European UnionEuropean Union

North America
European UnionEuropean Union

North America
European UnionEuropean Union


platform Windows , macOS , PS2 , Xbox , GBA , iOS , Android
Game engine Max-FX 1.0
genre Third person shooter
Subject Neo-noir , thriller
Game mode Single player
control Keyboard , mouse
system advantages
450 MHz CPU , 96 MB RAM , 16 MB DirectX -8 compatible graphics card , sound card , 900 MB storage space, Windows 2000 or newer
medium CD-ROM (Windows, Mac) ,
DVD-ROM (PS2, Xbox) ,
cartridge (GBA) ,
download (Windows, iOS, Android)
language English , German (iOS / Android)
Current version Latest patch: 1.05
Age rating
USK from 18
USK approved from 16
PEGI recommended for ages 18+
PEGI recommended for ages 16+
information The ratings below refer to the Game Boy Advance version.
Indexed in Germany from 2001 to 2012.

Max Payne is a video game from the Finnish game developer Remedy Entertainment about the tragic hero of the same name, and was created in collaboration with 3D Realms . Two more sequels have followed since then. The series was published by Take 2 Interactive , with part one under the Gathering label and part two under the Rockstar Games label. Take 2 Interactive is currently in possession of all trademark rights and is therefore solely responsible for the further development of the series.

The first part was called the Film Noir Story by its creators and was generally classified as a third-person shooter . The original English version was published on July 25, 2001 and was indexed by the Federal Testing Office for Media Harmful to Young People (BPjM) . A defused version was also developed for the German market, but since it was also predicted to be indexed before the planned release date, it never appeared. In 2012 the BPjM removed the title from the list of media harmful to minors. Max Payne was released for Apple iOS on April 12, 2012 and for Android devices on June 14 .


Max Payne's outfit

All of Max Payne's action takes place in contemporary New York City and is largely a flashback that heralds in the opening sequence. Important passages of the plot are conveyed as cutscenes in comic style with voice output.

A key object is the fictitious active ingredient Valkyr, which failed as a military experiment by the United States to improve the performance of soldiers, but is secretly developed further by project manager Nicole Horne and marketed as a designer drug . The wife of police superintendent Max Payne, the protagonist of the game, learns about this project by chance, whereupon she and her daughter are murdered by contract killers in Payne's apartment before she can pass on her findings. Those criminals were under the influence of the Valkyr drug, which is the reason for Payne to work as an undercover agent for the drug squad.

After three years, he is caught in a trap during an investigation into the Valkyr drug, in which his friend and colleague Alex Balder, who only knows Max's identity, is killed and Max himself appears on the authorities' wanted lists as the alleged perpetrator. Max has to hide, but can continue his investigation on his own and identify the Mafia family Punchinello as the mastermind behind the plot about the drug. He is then deceived by Mona Sax on Hornes order, who stuns him and leaves him to a group of thugs. Max escapes and allies himself with the Russian mafioso Vladimir Lem in order to storm Don Punchinello's property together. After providing this, the panicked Don mentions the government's involvement in the Valkyr affair. Thereupon officers in Hornes service storm the villa and kill the Don. Payne meets Horne, who gives him an overdose of Valkyr; after fainting again, he finds himself in a factory. There Payne can reconstruct the course of Hornes project and uncover his wife's connection to the project before he has to leave the building because of a triggered self-destruction mechanism.

Payne later meets Alfred Woden, who by then had already given him anonymous tips over the phone. Woden reveals himself as a member of a secret group which Horne had excluded on the occasion of her drug tests, but which she is keeping inactive with a sex video ; he promises Payne full rehabilitation in the event of Horne's death. Payne can then secure the video and faces Horne in her company building. Payne kills Horne before she can escape in a helicopter.

At this point the flashback ends and Payne is shown as he is caught by police units and led away under the eyes of the smiling Woden.

Max Payne is portrayed as a person plagued by feelings of guilt who, in dream sequences, tries to blame himself for the death of his family.


The gameplay in Max Payne is designed around shootouts with opponents. The game levels are linear. A special feature of these battles is the so-called bullet time , a slow motion effect that can be triggered by the player at any time. The player has a limited "supply" of bullet time, which is refilled again and again by killing opponents. If the bullet time is activated, the action is slowed down, opponents move more slowly and the player can shoot with greater precision and dodge projectiles by jumping. The protagonist now also moves more slowly, but is still more agile than the opponents.

The opponents are usually outnumbered and often survive more hits than the protagonist. The opponents' artificial intelligence appears complex, but actions such as looking for cover, surprise attacks and teamwork are almost exclusively programmed using scripts .

An important part of the games are the various real-life weapons such as shotguns, 9 mm pistols ( Beretta 92 ), the Desert Eagle , Ingram machine guns or the M4 Carbine assault rifle .

In addition to the action mode , Max Payne has the unlockable game mode "New York Minute", in which the player plays against the clock and is very often faced with time difficulties.



Max Payne was developed by the Finnish game developer Remedy Entertainment , in collaboration with 3D Realms . The first part was developed by its creators as a " film noir " -like third-person shooter . The soundtrack comes in part from Kärtsy Hatakka , singer and bass player for the Finnish band Waltari . The associated sound recordings took place in the Finnvox Studios . Two television series appear again and again within the two games: “Lords And Ladies” and “Address Unknown”. These always run in the background and have a strong effect on the atmosphere. This is probably based on "Invitation To Love", a series that appears in "Twin Peaks". Many Easter Eggs were introduced into Max Payne : For example, the player can use a trick to stir up rats armed with pistols or watch parts of a parody of Star Trek . In hidden level sections you can find additional weapons and ammunition, among other things. In hidden rooms can be found, inter alia, stabbed with a stake corpse next to the ground with blood "Buff" as based on the television series Buffy - The Vampire Slayer is lubricated, a box with SM - sex toys and a radio in which give the developers a short chance to speak. After completing the most difficult mode ( Dead On Arrival ), there is a secret finale in which you have to face heavily armed opponents and after which you can look at photos (e.g. from the development team) in a small room.

The original English version of Take 2 Interactive was published under the Gathering label on July 25, 2001. In January 2002, Remedy Entertainment released the last patch 1.05 for Max Payne , and fans later developed unofficial patches to fix incompatibilities with newer hardware and operating systems.

In July 2002, during the development of the successor Max Payne 2 , the American publisher Take 2 took over the trademark rights of the series for ten million US dollars and around 970,000 common shares. Take 2 Interactive is currently in possession of all trademark rights and is therefore solely responsible for the further development of the series.

German version

The game was also published in Germany in an English language version, which the Federal Testing Office for Media Harmful to Young People (BPjM) indicated . It was then a defused version and German dubbing in the works, including with Joachim Tennstedt as Max Payne. However, since indexing was predicted for these even before the planned release date, they never appeared. In the mobile version released in 2012, however, you can see them if you activate the German language setting. There you can also examine the intended grades for the German version: the dialogues in the graphic novels are partially modified; the blood and the baseball bat as a weapon have been removed from these. The game itself as well as the spoken dialog are largely uncensored.


The game sold more than 2.75 million copies by 2002.

Art aspect

Max Payne is seen by many as one of the leading examples of the controversial thesis that computer games are an art form. According to a report by the author Daniel Kreis in the German computer game magazine PC PowerPlay from August 2005, the experience of being able to slow down time at the push of a button and the film-like atmosphere are art-like aspects. This thesis is supported by Henry Jenkins , professor of literature at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology . A characteristic of modern art could also be that the game includes its status as a cultural product in its narrative in some places. In one of the comic strips, for example, after he was injected with drug V, Max said he felt like the character in a clichéd comic, and then even that he felt like the character in a computer game, "hanging over his head with weapon statistics" and "Slowing down time to show my movements" .


The first part of the game series was indicated for two reasons: On the one hand, because of the "aestheticization of violence", as the authorities called it, as a result of the new bullet time, but in particular because of the vigilante act (motive of revenge), due to which u. a. The story-wise similar comic book adaptation The Punisher was also indexed. What also contributed to the indexing decision was the realistic-looking graphics for the time and the authentic death screams of the opponents. The indexing was lifted in 2012: According to a circular dated February 28, 2012, the BPjM deleted the title from the list of media harmful to minors around 11 years after it appeared in Germany. Max Payne was released for Apple iOS on April 12, 2012 and for Android devices on June 14 .

Wrestler Maxx Payne's lawsuit

In 2003, former American wrestler Maxx Payne sued the game's producers for $ 10 million in damages. He claimed that the developers used his name and appearance for the game protagonist without permission. The proceedings were suspended in 2005 after an out-of-court settlement of an unknown amount.


Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

In 2003, Remedy and Rockstar released the direct sequel Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne , on October 24th for PC and in November for PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Max Payne has meanwhile returned to the police force, but he gets caught up in an argument in the underworld in which his friends Vladimir Lem and Mona Sax are involved. The game was advertised as a film noir love story . In addition to Max Payne, the hit man Mona Sax plays an important role in the plot and takes on the role of the noir-typical femme fatale , with whom Max falls in love during the course of the game. In some parts of the game, the player takes control.

The graphics of Max Payne 2 are based on a further development of the MaxFX graphics engine , which was already used in the first part and in 3DMark 2001 and used the transform and lighting function of graphics chips such as GeForce 2 or Radeon . Shadow rendering is made use of pixel shaders . In addition, the Havok physics engine is used in the second part , which also includes a ragdoll engine . The particle effects have also been optically upgraded.

Furthermore, Max Payne's appearance was changed and modeled after the American actor Timothy Gibbs .

Max Payne 3

The end of the second part left a third part open ("Max Payne's journey through the night will continue.", To German "Max Payne's journey through the night will continue."). On September 8, 2011, Rockstar Games announced that the third part is expected to appear in May 2012. The game was developed by Rockstar Vancouver and published by Rockstar Games . The third part takes place in Brazil, more precisely in Sao Paulo. There Max Payne works as a private security guard for the rich businessman Rodrigo Branco and tries to free his wife Fabiana, who was kidnapped under his watch. As the release date of Max Payne 3, which for the first time also has a multiplayer mode, publisher Take Two stated May 18, 2012 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for Germany and June 1, 2012 for PC users.

Motion picture

On November 8, 2007, a film version of the game was officially announced. It opened in the US on October 18, 2008. John Moore directed the action film for 20th Century Fox, which largely takes over the story of the first part of the game. Max Payne was played by Mark Wahlberg ; the portrayal of Mona Sax took over by Mila Kunis . Filming began in Toronto, Canada in early March 2008. The cinema release in Germany was on November 20, 2008.

Web links

Commons : Max Payne  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. a b 3D Realms download page for Max Payne Patch 1.05 ( Memento of the original from October 27, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. a b Max Payne Mobile: New date announced for Android variant , netzwelt , accessed on June 12, 2012
  3. DarkjeThe2nd: Ultimate Max Payne (1) Vista / Win7 Sound Fix . April 4, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  4. ^ Dean: Max Payne 1 Widescreen Fix . April 16, 2013. Retrieved September 3, 2014.
  6. ^ Section report Max Payne Mobile
  7. Hans Joachim Backe - structures and functions of storytelling in computer games
  8. Indexing decision on Max Payne. Online Games Database, June 10, 2005, accessed August 9, 2009 .
  9. ^ Max Payne: BPjM deletes the first part of the index. Gamezone, February 29, 2012, accessed February 29, 2012 .
  10. ^ Maxx Payne Sues his Developers. MegaGames, July 28, 2003, accessed March 30, 2009 .
  11. Dirk Gooding: Max Payne 2: Technique for advanced users
  12. Rockstar Games Announces Max Payne 3 for Winter 2009. Take 2 Interactive , March 23, 2009, accessed August 9, 2009 .
  13. ^ Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Provides Financial Update. Take 2 Interactive , December 3, 2009, accessed December 5, 2009 .
  14. Max Payne 3: Second trailer with details of the plot , Netzwelt, February 17, 2012, accessed on March 1, 2012.
  15. Michael Fleming: Mark Wahlberg to star in 'Max'. (No longer available online.) Variety , Nov. 8, 2007, archived from the original on March 29, 2009 ; accessed on September 9, 2009 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  16. Wahlberg becomes a video game hero. TV Movie , November 10, 2007, archived from the original on December 1, 2008 ; Retrieved August 9, 2009 .
  17. ^ Official homepage for the film ( Memento of the original from December 17, 2008 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  18. ^ Official German-language homepage of the film