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24th December 2018
Remedy on the Go: Max Payne
[Advent Calendar 2018]

On The Go is a new feature which tests Remedy products while travelling. Perfect for your commute to work or accompanying you on holiday. This could be a mobile game or book, anything small enough to be part of a journey. Today we're looking at an old Remedy title that was brought to mobiles back in 2012, Max Payne.


The History

After proving their talents with Death Rally in 1996, Remedy quickly expanded and got to work on their next adventure. Inspired by graphic novels and John Woo movies, Max Payne took five years in development but was a massive success upon its release in 2001.

Released two months after the launch of Rockstar's Max Payne 3, Max Payne was later brought to mobile in July 2012, ported by Florida-based developer, War Drum Studios.. The game received a redesign of its control scheme with on-screen buttons, but the in-game experience remains faithful to the classic.

Over the years a number of classic titles have made the jump from console to mobile including the first two Tomb Raider games which came to iOS and Android in 2013. Unfortunately those games have since been discontinued with the publisher reporting that they were taken down from stores due to it being incompatible with the latest devices. Fortunately the MP app is still available and looks to be regularly kept up to date with the latest update being 18th October 2018 which saw bug fixes and additional support for iPhone X.




The Premise


The Story
Max Payne's life is going well, too well. He has a new baby girl, and is living in the suburbs with his wife, Michelle. That is until he comes back home one evening to find a group of gangsters hooked on the drug Valkyr, had murdered his family. The event launches Max to join the DEA and going undercover in one of the toughest areas of New York, but the murder of friend and DEA agent throws Max into the limelight as a fugitive.

The Levels
Similar to the original Max Payne game, the game is split up twenty two chapters which are divided into three acts.

Gameplay 


The Look
If you've played Max Payne before, the first thing you're going to notice is how authentic it looks. There are slight graphical changes to make it run smoother on mobile devices but not as much as you might think. The levels are packed with detail and Max can explore and interact with the world just as much as he can in the XBOX or PC versions of the game. It underlines how far technology has come that an huge classic game can be ported onto a small device and capture everything that the original version had.

The Feel 
The biggest criticism of third personal action games ported to mobile is usually the controls, and... I'm going to be upfront about this; it might take a while to get used to. If you have any prior experience with on-screen analogue sticks it's going to be much easier than jumping straight into Max Payne. Personally, I became familiar with them through Death Rally (2011) and it wasn't too bad to get used to, but it might still take a couple of chapters until you get comfortable with them.

I recommend checking out the training level and moving the location and size of the buttons in the option menu until you feel like they're in a good place.

I will also say that I've completed the game on tablet, so while the controls can be a little tricky at first, when you're immersed in the experience, it doesn't really matter.


Accessibility 


Platform Availability
The game is available on Android and iOS devices. A full list of compatible devices can be seen on the Google Play store, but for iOS the latest update was posted on 18th October 2018 which included additional support for iPhone X. It's a title that often gets regular updates to allow it to be compatible to the latest devices, and for iOS it's received almost yearly maintenance.

Cost
The cost for the app is fairly inexpensive costing just £3 for a solid mobile game. The cost is for the complete experience, allowing you to bring the original 2001 title with you wherever you go. The game can be purchased through the App Store or through Google Play.

Time
For just £3, you'll be getting a complete triple A game which howlongtobeat.com reckons is in the area of around 7-8 hours, which is the approximate play length of most modern games.



Overall Mobile Verdict


If you enjoyed original game I definitely recommend checking out the mobile version. It perfectly captures the fun and fast paced action that the original game was loved for. It's a faithful port, with its main strength in being a solid recreation of the 2001 title, and is guaranteed to make your travel a lot more interesting. While the controls may take a little while to get used to at first, a dip into the game's training levels allows players to set up the control layout best suited to their style before trying out the actual levels. Although if you find yourself needing a change, you can reposition the layout at any time throughout the game.

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