Cheap and Pretty: Max Payne Mobile Kicks Ass

Max Payne is out now on iOS, and it's pretty damn good.


I have a soft spot for Max Payne. Perhaps it's the nostalgia talking (it could be the three pints and a burrito I had for lunch), but the thought of Max with his growling New York accent, his ability to break the laws of physics, and his complete disregard for human life fills me with joy. Or maybe that's indigestion.

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Still, if there's one thing I love more than anything about Max, it's his face. Look at it, all smug and knowing and resembling Play-Doh smeared over a cardboard box by a preschooler. It's a reminder that back in the day developers didn't need millions of polygons to make an endearing character, but just enough to form a cube suitable for plastering with a gurning texture of a semi-attractive member of staff like Sam Lake.

So imagine my joy when I leapt onto the App Store and discovered that Max Payne in all his block-headed glory was available to download for iPad and iPhone for the princely sum of £1.99. And with Retina display support! I almost did a little wee. Though that was probably the beer again.

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As I soon discovered, it's quite the port. Everything you loved about Max Payne has been faithfully updated and given an HD makeover. On a Retina display iPad or iPhone it looks incredibly sharp. No, you won't be fooled into thinking it's a current-generation game or anything, but it's impressive nonetheless.

Even its touch-screen analogue sticks work a treat. Compared to the mobile version of GTA III, they feel much more responsive. Answering the endless string of phones in the tutorial is child's play, and the layout of the virtual buttons for shooting, jumping, and activating bullet time is intuitive. Their size and position are customisable too, should the default layout not be to your liking. Plus, there's an automatic lock-on system, which makes aiming and shooting that little bit easier.

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So, great visuals, a decent set of controls, and a brilliantly gritty storyline (more on that in our original review) at a bargain price. Really, the only reason not to download it is if you have some weird hatred of Sam Lake. And look at him. Look at Sam Lake's face. Look into those eyes and tell him you don't want to download his game. Impossible.

Max Payne is out now on Android and iOS. Download it now. Sam Lake compels you.


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