Action Vault's Game of the Year
...is none other than Max Payne! On their awards page, Max received the game of the year award from Action Vault with these words..
Although many gamers were eagerly anticipating its release for quite some time, Remedy's and 3D Realms' Max Payne proved to be a title that was worth the wait. Set in the gritty, urban environments of New York City, it casts players as a hard-boiled cop seeking revenge against those responsible for his family's murder. One of the most prominent aspects that set Max Payne apart from other titles was its use of bullet time and other slow-motion effects. This made possible a style and finesse of shooting never before seen in a game. On top of this, it featured a story-driven adventure cleverly highlighted by graphic novel cutscenes, stellar graphics that were at times photorealistic, and a strong protagonist. It all adds up to an experience that makes Max Payne worthy of Action Game of the Year.
Action Vault also gave Max the character of the year award to Max Payne (the character). Winning this award is cool too, as it shows that character and plot are important issues in games. Action Vault had this to say about the character award:
Borrowing certain qualities from influential action movies of the recent past, Max Payne is a character that was carefully designed from the ground up. Remedy and 3D Realms meant for him to stand alongside popular icons such as Duke Nukem and Lara Croft, which he does. Due to the loss of his family, Max is naturally a hard-nosed, edgy character who places little value on life. He has the appearance of a modern anti-hero, with a gun in each hand, dark razor-like hair, stern facial expression and trench coat billowing behind him. His future has also been well mapped, as a sequel seems a certainty and a movie starring the cop turned vigilante is in the works. Above all, there was something intangibly cool about the character and his style of action that made him and the game the success they were in 2001.