In a bid to promote Max Payne 3, Rockstar is giving gamers a chance to relive the game that started it all on their handheld devices. Max Payne has finally made its way to mobile phones and tablets and while it isn’t the best port on the planet, it’s still a trip down memory lane well worth taking.

Slow motion jump dodging FTW!

Slow motion jump dodging FTW!

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first shall we? This is the exact same shooter you played in 2001 so if you didn’t like it then, you won’t be too fond of it now. Max still looks highly constipated, the voice acting is cheesy as hell, the story stays very bleak and the gameplay remains stylish and satisfying. That said, I do wish Rockstar had tweaked the game’s visuals a notch because the game looks terribly dated even though Rockstar claim the game is enhanced by “stunningly sharp, HD quality resolution and textures”. Another major issue in the technical department was the erratic frame rate that kept dipping when the action heated up on-screen.

Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised at the game’s control scheme since it wasn’t as awkward as I had thought it would be. Does it offer the same level of precision I would get on a console or a PC? Of course not but unlike Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto III port, combat thankfully doesn’t feel clunky. Max Payne’s default control scheme is what you would expect from a third person action game on the iPad. You move Max around with a virtual joystick situated on the left while one present on the right allows you to control the camera angle. Below that you have two buttons, one for shooting and one to trigger bullet-time. Making the deal even sweeter is the fact that you can shuffle the buttons around the screen to your liking.

Max loves his monologues

Max loves his monologues

When you fire up the game for the first time, you’ll only be able to choose the easiest mode, Fugitive, that adds in a very helpful auto-aim system. This works quite well snapping to the nearest target during combat and when you throw Max’s slo-mo ability into the mix, you have a game that never really gets too frustrating to play. This automatically puts Max Payne a notch above most of the handheld action games out there as we’ve seen some pretty good games hampered by clunky controls. The game has no multiplayer to speak of but you can sign into Rockstar’s Social Club to track stats or compare them with those of your friends.

I bring the Payne

I bring the Payne

Max Payne (for iOs devices) sits at a very attractive price of Rs. 154 ($2.99) making it a very affordable way of rekindling your love for the franchise. It’s not perfect but I’ll be damned if I didn’t get all misty eyed the first time I heard Max utter his hammy internal monologue. I really hope other developers take notice and start releasing some of their older, beloved games for handheld devices in this fashion.

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