Max Payne is one of the most famous faces in videogames, which means Sam Lake’s face is one of the most famous faces of videogames. The Remedy writer and now creative director lent his mug to Max’s 3D model back in 2001, and he teamed up with Max voice actor James McCaffrey yesterday for a fun birthday message as the game turned 20.
Here’s the video, which is a slick couple of minutes of nostalgia as Sam puts on the old leather coat and I-just-smelled-a-fart expression:
Alice wrote her own birthday message to Max yesterday, celebrating its overwrought dialogue and slow-mo shotgun blasts.
Personally I always preferred Max Payne 2. It jettisoned the awful dreamscape platforming, cut the running time down to a taut six hours, and wrung a lot more intentional comedy from its hard-boiled purple prose. Also, it was one of the first games to have physics! Before Half-Life 2’s gravity gun, Max Payne 2 paired its slow-motion dives with shelves covered in boxes that would spin and fall as you shot them. Wonderful.
Of course, celebrating a sequel is never as fun as celebrating the original, and Max Payne remains a landmark game. Also, props to Sam Lake, who clearly has a sense of humour, and seems to still fit inside a jacket he wore twenty years ago. No mean feat.