Max Payne is a PC gaming classic, and its gameplay formula of 3rd-person shooter combined with the brilliant bullet-time function is one that never grows old, as proved by the recent release of Max Payne 3. Bringing this infallible formula to handhelds then, seems like a logical move.
Max Payne Mobile is a loyal port of the original PC game. Perhaps they could’ve thrown in a few bonuses or Easter eggs to make it more refreshing, but many of you won’t have played the original for so long that it will pretty much feel like a whole new game.
The game storyline – which sees the eponymous character seek revenge for the death of his family, and venture into New York’s seedy and depraved underworld – is a brilliant Noir tale. Told largely through graphic novel-style panels rather than cutscenes, the story is as dark, engaging and disturbing as ever.
The graphics of the game don’t feel particularly outdated, and the HD coating makes those bullet-time sequences all the more satisfying. On the HTC One X, the whole show runs flawlessly. What’s not quite as satisfying is the touch-screen controls, which simply feel too congested to do the game’s cinematic-style gameplay justice.
You can tamper with the button positioning and sensitivity, but there’s only so much that this compensates for the lack of a physical controller. Of course, hook a bluetooth controller up to your Android, and you’re in for a world of paynefully good fun.
The soundtrack, story and overall atmosphere of Max Payne make it one of the most engaging handheld games you’ll ever play, particularly if you’ve never played it before. It always seems to be the same problem with ports of 3rd-person classics (such as Grand Theft Auto III) that their controls just feel unadapted for the touchscreen, making them flawed beauties rather handheld masterpieces.
We rate this app 4 out of 5 stars.