[drop_cap type=”1/2/3″]M[/drop_cap]ax Payne’s smile, that heart-wrenchingly painful grimace of his, has been etched into the minds of every PC gamer who had the pleasure of playing the original in 2001. That smile has been as much of an enigma as the Mona Lisa’s, an expression that never changes, no matter the situation and while this was a by-product of the technical limitations of that era, that fixed expression has just become synonymous with that character and will never be forgotten.
The only reason Max Payne 2, and Max Payne 3 after it, didn’t really catch on with the fans of the original (there’s no denying that they were excellent games of course) was for just that reason. The smile was missing. And that’s exactly what’s missing in the 2013 remake for mobile.
Max Payne on mobile must have seemed like a brilliant idea at the time, a chance to bring that classic to a newer audience. Sadly, the experience is just not the same. While the game has been meticulously recreated in its entirety and is probably running at a higher resolution today than it did in 2001, the tiny screen and tinny speakers of a smartphone or tablet just don’t do justice to what always will be a fond memory to us (old school?) PC gamers.
Max Payne was a good game, but what really made it special was the foreboding atmosphere, that mournful violin, the dark humour of the TV shows and even Baseball Bat Guy. Everything on a mobile phone just comes in the way of the experience. The controls are clunky (chasing Vinnie Gognitti was more of a chore than an exhilarating experience, you’ll need headphones to truly appreciate the atmosphere, aiming is a pain, bullet time is not as fluid to implement and, the biggest crime of all, you just can’t see Payne’s smile!
Max Payne was a great game on PC, still is actually, but on mobile, steer clear. If you’re a veteran of the good ol’ days of PC gaming, cherish those memories or pick up a fresh copy on Steam. If you’re new to the franchise and maybe Max Payne 3 was your first introduction to it, well, get the original on PC and play it there. Anything less is sacrilege.
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