A Masterclass In Narrative Gaming
The city was cold and the dreams in his head had become dark nightmares, prolonging his pain. The desire to pulverise anyone or anything that came into his vicinity heightened. Every minute was crucial, and the gun was his catalyst, taking down junkies hooked on a potent drug that was so widespread.
It was supposed to be a great life, but that was all dashed in minutes, even seconds. That house, that ministry of pain, soaked in blood, and all he could do was cry and mourn.
In 2000, Remedy Games released an experimental video game that showcased style and substance. It came like a lightning bolt. Gamers were awestruck by its graphical power and how a relatively small company could create something so coherent and slick. Max Payne was the powerhouse game of the time and it changed the landscape of the industry on such a massive level.
Max Payne was a violent game, catering to gamers who were looking for a shooter with a riveting plot-line. Remedy Games didn’t disappoint with the story that was designed like a comic book. Throughout this masterclass in narrative gaming, players got to read snippets of what the character of Max Payne had been through. They discovered he had been grieving after the death of his wife and child, and that he had become hellbent on taking down the biggest mob organisation in New York.
New York was depicted brilliantly well, as the cold snap burrowed deeply. The city broke under the weight of drug addiction, and Payne fell knee-deep in the commotion and rush of hopelessness. He shot the enemy down to receive closure from his sins against the stench of the city that never sleeps.
At the time, Max Payne was a revelation, with game mechanics that were original and studded with realism. The slow-motion element was completely unconventional and it revolutionised gaming.
However, it was the storyline which blew minds. The dialogue redefined gaming too, with Payne speaking in his gritty tone, churning out words like a poet. This poetic dialogue read like a banned novel, completely unadulterated and unfiltered, but that is what made the game so likeable.
The dark atmosphere slightly unnerved gamers, but some lapped it up. Yes, Max Payne’s violence may have been dark-edged and bloody, gory and unorthodox, but all the bloodshed and the profanity made the game stellar.
Remedy games had taken a chance, and it paid off convincingly. Max Payne’s originality broke boundaries, as it wasn’t just a standard blood-fest. Thanks to the gripping story, the game was compelling and diverse.