Max Payne Mobile Review
- It's Max Payne... on a mobile device; this should be enough for most gamers.
- Plenty of customization options to ensure the game feels smooth.
- Visceral bullet-time based combat; dive, roll, shoot and pummel enemies while defying the odds.
- Clever story writing with a modern-noir spin.
- Healing and weapon swapping can be awkward in battle situations.
Time hasn't dulled Max Payne's wit and explosive action by any appreciable amount - given how stable, fast and easy to play it is on the iPhone, there's no reason not to grab and enjoy (or replay) this classic shooter.
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Much like when Rockstar released GTA3 for the iOS platform, I feel the best thing I could say for most gamers is that Max Payne Mobile lacks almost nothing of the original PC and console releases. In fact, while later games may have refined the bullet-time shooting mechanics, the game looses almost none of its fun-factor and charm.
Poor Max is at the center of a conspiracy that first claims the life of his wife and child and eventually comes to a head years later while working as an undercover cop in the Mafia. From its tongue-in-cheek 'gritty' Noir storytelling, to its gleeful, but clever use of meta-references, following Max in his revenge fueled killing-spree is never dull.
The key to Max Payne Mobile's success isn't so much in delivering the same game fans of the series already know and love, but rather how its controls manage to stack-up given the game's frequent and intense firefights. Interestingly War Drum Studios, the lads behind this adaption have added a lot of customization, from being able to move most of the interface to your liking, to selecting how strong the 'auto-aim' features are. Better still, the game's 'bullet-time' combat feature helps a lot when it comes to getting the most out of aiming as you can sweep the room of enemies, while taking cover at the same time.
Sadly the game doesn't come away completely unscathed as the health restoring pills and weapon-selection prove to be awkward to use in the heat of battle, but if you take stock of your environment ahead of the fight you should be able to find somewhere to safely top yourself back up.
Echos of Max Payne's third-person shooting elements have come to define the expectation of these sorts of games; not only is the combat visceral, but it mixes up the gameplay with puzzle elements that go hand-in-hand with the ever-twisting storyline.
Action fans would be mad not to pick up Max Payne Mobile - it may not be as pretty as your modern shooter, but it still manages to go toe-to-toe with them and remain a strong contender.