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A review/ comparison of the mediocre PS2 port of Max Payne 1

Content of the article: "A review/ comparison of the mediocre PS2 port of Max Payne 1"

Note: I am going to be reviewing and comparing Max Payne 1 for the PS2. I will not be reviewing the game itself, only how it stands against its PC brother.

Controls: Saying the controls of a rushed console port of a 2001 PC game are outdated is a little bit cheating, so instead I’ll say they can be fixed. For starters, there is no full analogue movement, instead you move as you would on a keyboard, through 8 directions. This might seem fine, but in practice it makes everything clunky considering with a keyboard you can make small adjustments easier than with a controller. You will constantly be diving in the wrong direction, or hitting walls you knew you didn’t run into. Despite the poor movement, I never had an issue with button placement, everything is placed in a logical position and I never confused one button with another.

Graphics: The graphics of an old PC shooter, that arguably didn’t look the greatest for its time, are very little concern for most people, and obviously that’s true for the developers of this port. The graphics are noticeably worse than in the PC version, textures constantly either look out of place, muddy, or extremely low res. Although I have not noticed any smaller details missing in this version, such as bullet marks in objects, objects breaking while shot, or effects, it’s all there. Despite the low textures, the loading times are atrocious, ~if~ when you die, expect a good half a minute or longer load time. Another horrible part of this game are the extremely frequent frame rate drops, if you’re fighting more than 2 people in an area, the frames shoot all the way down to single digits, making controlling Max akin to asking an amputee to move a boulder.

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Gameplay: Gameplay is largely the same as its PC counterpart, although being on a different system, it’s a tad bit strange. For one thing, there are no quick load/ saves, when you die you get to restart the chapter all over again, which sounds like a pain, but the developers knew that. To counteract this difficulty, they gave the player a heavy auto aim. This auto aim works extremely well, almost too well, and you now don’t have to shoot at the person you want to kill, but at the air around them. I’ve had points where when I’d shoot someone, the person next to them would die before they did. This works well at balancing the game, and I never found very many parts to be too difficult.

Benefits: No need for PC fixes, I needed to download a fix that put audio back into all cutscenes, and one that stops the skipping. If you’d rather sit back and play a game rather than sit in a chair and play a PC game, although you still can with a controller mod and an HDMI cable.

Cons: Bad movement, awful FPS constantly, worse graphics than PC, long load times, no quick saves but easier than PC.

Conclusion/ TLDR: Don’t bother with this if you have a PC and know that sometimes old PC games require a bit of fixing. Do play if you love Max Payne and want to play it on a different console, or if you like outdated PS2 shooters like I do.


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