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Max Payne for iPhone and iPad Review



Rockstar Games has released Max Payne for the iPhone and the iPad. The game costs $2.99 and while it has its faults, those who love a solid action game and a good story will want to consider picking it up.

Max Payne for iOS is a port of a PC game that was released back in July of 2001 by Finnish studio, Remedy Games. The game is a crime noir thriller that tells the tale of Max Payne, a former NYPD officer turned rogue DEA agent, who tries to get to the bottom of his family’s murder. And while the game was widely known for its great storytelling, the game was also known for one its other features.

That feature is, of course, bullet time. Bullet time allows you to slow down time which provides for some insanely fun shootouts with bad guys.

Fortunately, both of those features are included in the iOS version of the game.


The game is split into three volumes that each include a series of chapters (read: levels) where you navigate Max Payne in the third person through a series of obstacles all while blasting your way through enemies that include everything from low level thugs to baddies toting high-powered assault rifles.

While you start with very basic weapons, pistols and a lead pipe to name a few, by the end, you’re in possession of quite a few weapons including shotguns, sniper rifles and more.

The levels are very straightforward and don’t take too much brain power. The focus of the game is, and rightfully so, on the action.

Max Payne for iOS Review

There’s just something really fun about diving in slow motion, shooting a propane tank, exchanging gunfire with bad guys, and then watching the tank explode and take them out.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some moments where the action feels a bit repetitive but the game changes up the environments, pace and types of enemies to keep the experience fresh every time you pick it up to play.

The levels based on Max’s nightmares are extremely eerie but are a nice change from the usual shoot-em-up gameplay.


The controls are, by far, the worst part about the game. Some will get fed up with the controls almost immediately, and others, like myself, will try and master them. I will say that it took me an entire weekend to become comfortable navigating and shooting up enemies with Max.

That’s a pretty steep learning curve.

Max Payne for iOS Review

Users can customize the controls but doing so doesn’t really help. There are still times where using the touchscreen seems like more trouble than its worth, especially when you’re facing bad guys who can kill you with only a few shots.

I found myself replaying several parts of the game over and over because I had trouble avoiding all of the gunfire and explosions.  In fact, even after getting it down, it felt like a chore.


I have been playing Max Payne on the new third-generation iPad and the game looks very similar to how it looked back in 2001.

The environments look good enough and while the character models leave something to be desired, they are true to the PC version of the game, so it’s not something to complain about.

When playing it on an iPhone 4, I experienced some choppiness but the iPad 2 and the new iPad handled the game very well, even when I was diving around like  a madman with six or seven bad guys whizzing bullets by my head.


Max Payne for iOS Review

As I’ve said, the story is one of the biggest draws to Max Payne. It’s a chilling, graphic tale complete with Russian mobsters, drugs, assassins, and violence. A lot of violence. Max Payne is not a kids game. It’s an extremely graphic game with a plot aimed at adults. Those that can stomach it though will grow to love the characters.

The story is told in the style of a graphic novel. Between scenes, the game will display panels where you’ll not only be treated to dialogue that furthers the story, but you’ll also hear Max’s inner dialogue which is written in true noir fashion

It’s extremely well done and the voice acting, especially that of Max, is especially solid.

Should You Buy it?

While the controls leave much to be desired, there is still a lot of fun to be had with Max Payne for iOS. $2.99 nets you a fantastic story and tons of action. Is it perfect? No, but it’s an honest port that will please both fans of the franchise and casual gamers alike.



  1. Immortaldanke

    04/25/2012 at 3:17 pm

    Perfect review of the game! I purchased the game last week, I had the original on pc when I was younger and I am loving this port. Playing it on my iPhone 4s, a little bit of lag now and then, but the in-depth story line and action makes up for the rare stutter. I recommend for both people who played the original pc version and those looking for good story action game.

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