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When Max Payne was first released on PC and consoles in 2001, there was nothing else like it. Featuring exceptional voice acting, a gritty storyline that could have been ripped from the pages of a James Ellroy novel, and action-packed gameplay that felt like it was on loan from a John Woo film, it quickly became the blueprint for countless other games. Slow-motion shootouts? Firing two guns whilst jumping through the air? You can thank Max Payne for them both. Now, more than a decade later, it’s finally available for iOS gamers to enjoy as Max Payne Mobile.
Rockstar Games has done an admirable job of converting the aging PC and console favorite into a mobile time-killing sensation. Testing it on an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4S, we found the title offered smooth gameplay, boasting excellent frame rates and no graphical glitches. That’s a good thing, given how dated the game’s textures and models look. Max Payne was a great-looking game for its day, but compared to the graphics seen in a game like Infinity Blade, it looks positively primitive.
Fortunately, the gameplay and gripping storyline more than make up for Max Payne Mobile's dated looks. We weren’t thrilled with how touchy the game’s controls and targeting were, but thanks to the game’s infamous "bullet-time" mechanics, we were able to dispatch the bad guys in slow motion and look like pros doing it. Our only real complaint about the adventure is that after suffering a death, players are forced to repeat the whole level. More frequent auto saves would have been greatly appreciated.
The bottom line. Despite its primitive graphics, Max Payne Mobile can hold its own against any action game out there, making it a must-have for hardcore gamers who play on their iOS device(s).
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 4.2 or later
Strong storyline and voice acting. Fluid and satisfying gameplay that holds up after all these years.
Graphics show their age, even in HD. Controls lack precision at times. Would benefit from more auto-save points.