Max Payne

Three years back a young NYPD cop, Max Payne, came home one night to find his family senselessly slaughtered by a gang of drug-crazed junkies, high on a previously unknown synthetic drug. Now that same drug, Valkyr, has spread through the whole New York City like a nightmare plague, and Max Payne’s on a crusade for revenge, out to get even. To Drug Enforcement Administration, DEA, this new drug was evil incarnate, to be stopped at any cost.  Max's boss and best friend, the only one who knew his true identity, has been murdered, and Max's been framed for the slaying.  Everything ripped apart in a New York minute... Max Payne is a man with nothing to lose in the violent, cold urban night. A fugitive undercover cop framed for murder, and now hunted by cops and the mob. Max is a man with his back against the wall, fighting a battle he cannot hope to win. Prepare for a new breed of deep action game. Prepare for pain...

Developed by Remedy Entertainment and produced by 3D Realms, Max Payne is a relentless story-driven game about a man on the edge, fighting for his justice while uncovering plot-twists and twisted thugs in the gritty bowels of New York during the century's worst blizzard.

Max Payne features:

  • FEEL THE PAIN -- "Story is the bedrock of Max Payne. Yeah, it's chock full of mind-blowing gunplay. But at every turn, a new and clever piece of noir storytelling will motivate you forward and illuminate the action." -- PC Gamer
  • REALISM TO THE MAX -- A first in gaming. The first PC game with photo-digitized textures, radiosity lighting and hardware T&L combined. All this tech talk just means game play never looked this real, nor frightening!
  • BULLET-TIME GAME PLAY -- A first in gaming. "Slo-mo gives you an inventive advantage over your opposition...[and] also happens to be the most frickin' cool device ever employed in an action game." -- PC Gamer
  • PLAY IT YOUR WAY -- Auto-adjusting game play, another first in gaming. You want the action will be challenging and intense, but not unfair and frustrating--the game's self-adjusting difficulty keeps you in the sweet spot of game play bliss.
  • MAKE YOUR OWN LEVELS -- The most powerful, easiest-to-use game editor ever released is in your creative hands, with WYSIWYG-style editing. Even recreate your house or workplace!
  • MORE REALISM -- Painstaking attention to detail, bullets even modeled accurately resulting in realistic and cinematic game play unlike anything you've seen. "Everything is destructible, and comes apart realistically. You've never played action sequences with this level of demolition." -- PC Gamer

Max Payne is an original third-person 3D game based on the MAX-FX engine, and uses photo-digitized textures and radiosity lighting, resulting in one of the most realistic looking games ever seen on the PC.

Max Payne is also available for the Xbox & Sony Playstation II console systems as well as the Macintosh OS. You can order these versions of Max Payne by clicking on the boxes shown here.


Please be aware that 3D Realms does not sell the Xbox, PS2, or Mac versions of Max Payne directly.  If you order through these links, you will be ordering through

Max Payne was originally released (for the PC) on July 25, 2001
It was later released on the PS2 on Dec 11, 2001 and on the Xbox Dec 17, 2001. 
The Mac version was released in July 2002.

System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

450MHz AMD / Intel Processor
16MB Direct3D Compatible Graphics Card

Recommended System:

700 MHz AMD / Intel Processor
128 MB RAM
32 MB Direct3D Compatible Graphics Card

Generic requirements:

DirectX 8.0
DirectSound compatible sound card

Full install: 830 MB
Minimum install: 530 MB

Minimum install will load the levels from the game CD. Full installation is recommended for optimal performance.


Media Gallery

Watch Official E3 2001 Video:
(via Google Video, requires Flash Player)

(Click on any of these for a larger image)









  1. Max Payne Demo - See demo download page for list of download locations.
  2. Max Payne Patches - See patch download page for a list of download locations.
  3. - Texture Pack 1 for use with MaxEd (40.9Mb)
  4. max_payne_e3_2001.mpg - 2001 E3 Video (MPG - 49.6Mb)
  5. max_payne_e3_2001.wmv - 2001 E3 Video (Windows Media - 39.0Mb)
  6. maxe32k1.rm - 2001 E3 Video (Non Streaming Real Media - 3.1Mb
  7. Gameplay trailer video - Quicktime Video (3.8Mb)
  8. - Xbox game footage video (10.5)Mb

Other Cool Stuff

Don't forget to visit the links below for more Max Payne goodness.



Official Sites:

Fan sites (in alphabetical order):

Only the best sites (and sites that are updated regularly) will be listed here.  If you know of a link that you believe should be here - please let us know.  Also, if one of these links is dead, please let us know that too.

What people are saying

The game is out, and the vast majority of players seem to really like it. So, because we're not above self-promotion, here's a few comments we copied off various gaming message boards today:

"I give the game a MAJOR A+ . . it rocks. Period."

"The game flat out rocks. No if's and's or but's. I've been following it since it was first announced and I am happy to say that it definitely lives up to it's hype."

"Jeez this game is amazing.. I played the game straight for 5 hours last night...I am NOT disappointed. :)"

"The story it quite atmospheric, the bullet time stuff isn't gimmicky and is very necessary if you want to survive at all. Player models are beautiful, the game just oozes class :)"

"I'm really enjoying it... good stuff. The story is quite engaging, too."

"Whoa, this game rocks. I haven't finished the first 'episode..?' I guess and I have played about 4-5 hours of game play. Really solid game play, the bullet-time is satisfying and addictive."

"Max Payne is a surefire winner of Best Action Game 2001"

"This game is so f**king cool."

"Just bought Max Payne and to my delight (I haven't even played the game yet) when I opened the box, out slides a DVD "snapper" case, ala PS2 games! The front and back of the snapper case exactly resembles the front and back of the retail box. Ultra Cool! The instructions are inside the DVD case just as they are in the PS2 cases. I can only hope that this is the first of many games/companies that utilize the DVD snapper cases. Let's do away with the HUGE retail boxes that take up tons of wall space and just end up in landfills! Looking forward to Duke Forever in a snapper case as well! Kudos!!"

"Guess what, the game is BADASS!!"

"This game is living up to the hype from the 2 hours I've played."

"As for the game, well, I don't usually play 3D shooters at all, but this time I fell for the hype and patriotism and bought it. And it is good. It's just so great to jump through a door in slow motion and blast everyone in the room. Bullet time and shootdodging work very well and the cinematic bad guy death sequences are nice, too."

"Anyway, wow! I am really early on in this game, but I am really glad I took the chance and bought it. I was quite hesitant when it was third person only, but man its cool. The bullet movement, shootdodging etc are really NOT gimmicks. they are extremely well implemented tools that are needed to take down groups of baddies. I expect imitators to start rolling out any second now. Its got a good story line, so far, and great graphics, and sound. Controls are bueno. Anyway, if this game continues to the end with this caliber of quality, it will enter into an elite cadre of titles, like Half Life, Deus Ex and NOLF."

"While I'm stuck on the 4th Chapter, the game is literally awesome. The whole control system is solid, and the game play varies. It's fun, the story, script and plot is pretty well done, and the comic cut scenes really add to the entirety of the game."

"This game is a definite must buy."

"The game is awesome, it brings back the single player memories of Half-Life. The matrix effects were implemented very well."

"It F**KING ROCKS. this is more fun than ...well, lots of things. oh, and at 1:30, best buy had only 2 left on the shelf. out of 86 ordered. the controls are mostly intuitive and easy to use. the bullet time is freaking awesome."

"I'm really enjoying it ... the slow mo rocks, and the story has been cool."

"Wow. I repeat. Wow. I'm impressed. I've only played for a short period, but damn. There's just something immensely satisfying about shootdodging to the left, and spraying a host of enemies with the Ingram in the tutorial level. Rock. Thank you, Remedy. Thank you, 3D Realms."

"Finally got to play Max, and damn, it's slick. The photorealism of everything is very refreshing."

"Best shooter in a long time. Very polished. Good UI...GREAT quit cut scenes...good load time...and I have learned not to smash some items with a pipe because I'm trying to save ammo. Ok gotta go...must inflict some Hong Kong ass beating Payne."

"If anyone who hasn't picked it up yet has any interest in the game, GO GET IT. Very polished, fun as hell, and no bugs so far."

"Bullet time is really awesome. I don't generally like 3rd person shooters, but done right...and max payne has everything right...its awesome. good job remedy and good job 3d realms for doing whatever you guys did for them, and the mouse pad and DVD case are great additions."

"Guys this is the game of the year no doubt. I have played for a few hours now and just got to level 10 (for those who got that far its last level before chapter 2) level 10 was the freakiest experience for me ever in any game. I wont spoil it but ones you get there you ll see what I mean. sound effects and camera angles in that level will just fuck you up and spit you out. (I still cant close my mouth all the way) anyways I am not sure how other games will do this year but at this point, GAME OF THE YEAR"

"I think the game lived up to all the hype, easily. The visuals, sound, atmosphere, story, and game play are all top notch. The feeling of walking into a room full of thugs and deftly gunning them all down while dodging about in action movie style, all without taking a single scratch, is unparalleled. The voice acting is pretty damn good for a game, the only games I've heard with better are some RPGs and Giants. Bullet time has to be seen to appreciated."

"I love the game. Very easy learning curve. I'm only about an hour into, but so far so good."

"I've been playing the game for about 6-8 hours now and its got an AWESOME story line. Its very in-depth and the textures just look amazing. Overall this game rocks."

"Hell this game is AMAZING! I have to say its better than I first thought. The graphics are a DREAM. The game controls are soooo easy, plus at first when I was reading about the game I thought 'third person!!!! no way that sux', but hell I would not want to play this game in first person. You wouldn't be able to see as much. the developers have created this masterpiece."

"OH MY F**KING GOD! I just played through a hour of this game. AWESOME."

"This game rocks, being a big fan of Matrix and John Woo movies, the bullet time feature is a gift from god."



Max Payne FAQ

Here are some of the answers to frequently asked questions about Max Payne...

Q: Why did it take so damn long?
A: Developing a game and the game's technology takes a long time. Also, content-rich, detailed, interactive, story-filled games cannot be made in less than two years, no way, no how. So taking three years to make a triple-A title isn't surprising. What is surprising is why any developer would want to make anything less than a triple-A game ;)

Q: Are you going to release a demo?
A: Yes,
it's out.  Go get it.  You can download the demo by checking out the list of download locations here.

Q: Does Max Payne require a 3D accelerator?
A: MAX-FX engine is built from the ground up to take full advantage of 3D acceleration. There is no software renderer in the game.

Q: What about OpenGL?
A: We're supporting DirectX only, because of its much broader support, which will greatly lessen compatibility issues for players. And DirectX's current state allows for all the speed and functionality of OpenGL.

Q: What are the system requirements?

Minimum Requirements:

450MHz AMD / Intel Processor
16MB Direct3D Compatible Graphics Card

Recommended System:

700 MHz AMD / Intel Processor
128 MB RAM
32 MB Direct3D Compatible Graphics Card

Generic requirements:

DirectX 8.0
DirectSound compatible sound card

Q: What about consoles?
Max Payne for the Xbox & Playstation 2 are released - no other ports are planned.

Q: Is there going to be a Linux version of the game?
A: No.

Q: Is there going to be a Mac version of the game?
A: Yes, it's out now.  See above for links to purchase.

Q: Does Max Payne take full advantage of Athlon processors?
A: Yes, and the performance is great.

Q: What about Pentium III?
A: MAX-FX is fully optimized for PIII's SSE instruction set.

Q: Can I customize Max Payne, what about Total Conversions etc.?
A: We've released 3 editors with the game. You'll get your hands on MaxED, ActorFX and ParticleFX. In addition editing the game will be easy as it's 100% based on a messaging system that can be opened to players.

Q: Is the storyline linear or dynamic?
A: Linear. Quality before quantity. We feel that one strong plotline is better than, say, three weak ones.

Q: Will Max Payne have a multiplayer mode?
A: There will not be a multiplayer. Originally we planned out full multiplayer functionality, but as we went further into the project we started to have so much cool stuff that work great in single player but wouldn't work in a multiplayer game that we changed the focus to single player only. There's plenty enough good multiplayer games out there, but the single player genre needs great games as well.

Q: What about environment interactivity? Real world environment requires interactivity, right?
A: The environments are extremely interactive. The our tools let us create interactive content very easily, and we're going for really high level of interacting with the environment.

Q: So let me get this straight, I've read articles on Max that mention Remedy, 3DRealms and The Gathering of Developers. Who's doing what?
A: Remedy is developing the game, all technology, editors, art, sounds, the story, etc. have been done at Remedy office. 3DRealms is taking part in that development by helping out on content and gameplay matters, Scott, George and everyone at 3DR are outstanding hardcore game developers and we really dig working with them. The Gathering is our publisher and will eventually ship all those Max Payne boxes to the shelves with Take2 handling European distribution.