Max Payne is a third-person shooter in joint development by 3D Realms and Finnish development house Remedy. It's been in the works for a long, long time, and according to Remedy, the game's official release date isn't set, nor will it be until the game is completed. You might be tempted to write off Max Payne as another graphically-intensive action-shooter that's been far too long in development and will likely be disappointing when it comes out... if it even comes out.
However, Max looks like it'll be worth the wait. The current build looks fantastic. Everything, from Max's facial expression, the particle effects on his guns, and every bullet he fires, is meticulously detailed. We got a look at a few of the game's different levels, including a dingy New York subway and a huge skyscraper. Both were not only modeled accurately, each looked incredibly realistic. The game makes fantastic use of shadows, lighting, and reflective surfaces.
In addition, the developers are trying to add a very cinematic quality to the game. Each time Max takes down a bad guy, the game's usual fast pacing changes to dramatic slow motion. The camera can also be manipulated to pan about Max. The demo we saw the other day clearly showed influence from the popular film The Matrix; though the folks from Remedy assured us that they're drawing from all sorts of different action movies as source material. In addition, Max chronicles each chapter of the game he's survived in a graphic novel, which expands as you progress through the game. This isn't a lightweight novel either - there will be room for about 200 images in jpeg format.
At the end of the appointment, the developers from Remedy were anything but hesitant to give out the game's release date. "When it's done," they said. From the looks of things so far, it seems that the current build was worth the wait, and the finished game should be even better. You can take a look at these screenshots and judge for yourself.