Max Payne 1 and 2 Remakes – 10 Things We Want

The in-development remakes of Max Payne 1 and 2 definitely need to address these 10 points to modernize these classics the right way.

Posted By | On 06th, May. 2022

Max Payne 1 and 2 Remakes – 10 Things We Want

Remedy Entertainment has recently announced that it would be developing full-fledged remakes of Max Payne 1 and Max Payne 2 in partnership with Rockstar Games. Given the massive popularity of this IP, it seems fair to assume that more than a few fans are waiting with bated breath for these remakes. And with anticipation always comes expectations. On that note, we present 10 things that Max Payne 1 and 2 Remakes definitely need.

Return of Comic Panels 

max payne comic panels

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first. The comic panels are easily the most recognizable aspect of Remedy’s breakout success and are one of the most unique ways games have told stories in the last couple of decades. While the decision to go with comic panels instead of in-engine cutscenes was mostly driven by budgetary constraints, they have now morphed into an irreplaceable part of the experience – so much so, that its absence is genuinely felt in Max Payne 3. So it would make complete sense to update these panels with high-resolution images and maybe some post-processing, but not completely replace them with in-engine cutscenes.

Sam Lake’s Model For The Original Game 

Max Payne

Most fans of the games might know that Max Payne‘s character model is built after Sam Lake, the lead writer on most of Remedy’s games. Much like comic panels before, this decision was a direct result of the lack of funds at Remedy’s disposal. The team actually captured themselves and their friends and family members to create comic panels for the first game. Fun fact: The character Nicole Horne who the final boss of the first game was modeled after Sam Lake’s mother. The second game has a changed face, modeled after actor Timothy Gibbs and according to the lore – the change in character model reflects how Max sees himself after the events of the original game. As such, keeping Sam Lake’s model for the original incarnation of Max Payne should be a non-debatable affair – both from lore and fan-service standpoint.

Return of TV Shows In Max Payne 2 

max payne 2

Remedy used TV shows to draw fictional parallels to Max’s personal life in Max Payne 2. For instance, the TV show episodes would reflect the game’s overarching narrative with each passing episode. Seeking out these optional pieces of lore was an enchanting prospect, and was also an important piece of the puzzle in establishing the twisted noir atmosphere of the game. As such, we are hoping with crossed fingers that they make a return for the remake.

A Connection To The Remedy Connected Universe

Control - Ashtray Maze

With Control‘s post-launch DLCs, it has been confirmed that Remedy’s 2019 game shares the same universe as Alan Wake. While the two games have some easter eggs and references to Max Payne here and there, there’s no confirmation about whether the games exist in the same universe or not. Of course, the fact that Rockstar owns the Max Payne IP now also plays an important role in this particular situation. However, it would be really exciting to see some sort of connection to Remedy’s other games established in the remakes.

Proper Platforming Mechanics 

Max Payne - Jackhammer

The first two Max Payne games didn’t have the most polished of platforming mechanics, but the first game did have quite a few traversal puzzles – including but not limited to the Nightmare sections where you had to make some precise jumps to get across to the other side. Suffice to say, the lackluster platforming mechanics made some of these sections a needless hassle to get through. For the remake, we would like to see some updated platforming mechanics and possibly, updated puzzles that allow for more interactivity with the environment. While an update to the in-house Northlight Engine practically guarantees better mobility options, we are still mentioning it here nevertheless.

Return of the Poets of The Fall 

max payne 2 mona max

Poets of the Fall is a Helsinki-based alternative rock band that has provided music for many of Remedy’s games such as the likes of Quantum Break, Control, and of course, Max Payne 2. Fans of the game would have fond memories of listening to Late Goodbye, a melancholic track that plays during the game’s end credits.

Fun fact: the song made its way into the game almost a whole year before it was released as a single.

Given the friendship that the band frontman and lead writer Sam Lake have been sharing for so many years, it seems fair to say that re-licensing the track for the remake shouldn’t be an issue. And while they are at it, why not make some more music to add to the first game as well.

Updating Difficulty Of Max Payne 1

While not the hardest of games released in the early 2000s, Max Payne 1 does suffer from problems with regard to the difficulty. Enemies would hide in the unlikeliest of spots, which starts to become a major problem in the later parts of the game as heavy weapons can easily wither down your health in no time – even with the time-slowing bullet-time ability at your disposal. As such, surviving these unbalanced encounters becomes a game of memorizing enemy placements rather than mastering the game’s combat system – which as you might imagine quickly becomes a frustrating affair. For the remake, we hope to see a difficulty level that alleviates these issues while still retaining a fair level of challenge. And while they are at it, Remedy should also pay the required attention to adding accessibility options to the remakes.

Return of the Original Inventory System 

Max Payne 3

Much like the many first-person shooters that dominated the 90s, Max Payne and its sequel allowed players to essentially carry a full arsenal of weapons in their pockets. Sure, it might not be the most realistic of inventory systems by modern standards, and Rockstar changed it up for a two-weapons system for the third game. But the freedom of choice it offers within enemy encounters far outweighs the negatives – and as such, we hope that Remedy keeps the original inventory system intact for the remakes.

Ragdoll Physics

Max Payne 2 was one of the very first games to utilize a proper physics system for environmental objects and enemy bodies – courtesy of the Havok engine. As a result, players would often be treated with hilarious death animations of enemies and Payne himself flailing around the environments with crumbled bodies. While these oddities were a direct result of the primitive technology of the time, it holds an irrefutable charm that most fans would really want to return for the remakes.

Return of Original Voice Actors 

Much like the case with David Hayter as Solid Snake, David Bateson as Agent 47, and Michael Ironside as Sam Fisher – Max Payne isn’t complete without the iconic voice of James McCaffrey. His husk and heavy vocals are perfect for the cynical, cold-blooded killer that is Max Payne. The first game’s voice acting does sound rather shallow and low-quality by modern standards, and it would be really appreciated if Remedy re-records the original scripts for the remake with all the original voice actors coming together for one more performance.

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