7 Best Games Like Max Payne

Some argue that Max Payne 3 didn’t reach the heights of its predecessors and the franchise, as a whole, went out on a whimper. That case aside, Max Payne 3 left a glaring hole on its way out, a void that hasn’t yet been filled. The franchise is usually associated with an irresistible euphoria of epicness that no game has been able to emulate even after almost a decade.

Nothing has come close to Max Payne in terms of what it delivered during its lifetime, especially during an era when games featuring bullet-time were uncommon. In fact, they’re still uncommon to this day. If we take a look back, Max Payne helped the mechanic gain the recognition it has today.

After Max Payne stopped receiving new releases, several developers tried to mimic what made the latter an intense action game. Some succeeded, while others failed miserably. In the quest to discover more games like, I discovered a few games similar to Max Payne in terms of gameplay mechanics and the usage of bullet-time. These games will find their way to remind you of Maxy and his dangerous adventures.


Developer: Behaviour Interactive
Published: Bethesda Softworks
Platform: Xbox360, PS3
Release Date: 2009
Region: NA-EU-AU

WET can be summarized in a short sentence. Max Payne and Lara Croft had a baby together. In case you are wondering why the game is titled ” Wet ”. Well, it refers to wet work which means a messy job or task that involves killing a large number of enemies in a brutal way.

When it comes to the story, the game puts you in the shoes of the female protagonist, Rubi Malone as she is thrown into a merciless world filled with murderers, drug dealers, double-crossers and other tougher enemies. The aforementioned is a bounty hunter who is tasked with dangerous missions in which she has to hunt down her targets and finish them off once in for all.

The gameplay is where Wet rocks. It’s a combination of Stranglehold and Tomb Raider. Rubi is able to take on a plethora of enemies using her sword and her two guns. In addition, Rubi is able to perform acrobatic movements. From running on walls to grabbing on ledges and jumping around from corner to corner. This, in particular, enables the player to activate bullet-time action which allows the protagonist to rain enemies with infinite bullets.

If you are looking for something similar to Max Payne or Tomb Raider: Legend, be sure to check this one out, it’s a blast.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate

Developer: Grin
Publisher: Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment
Platform: Xbox360, PS3, PC, Mobile
Release Date: 2009
Region: NA-AU-EU

Coming next in the list is Wanted: Weapons of Fate. The game is based on the movie of the same name. Don’t expect much from this game since it will not blow you away, but one thing I can guarantee you is that it’s worth your 4 hours time for its endless shooting action gameplay.

The story of the game is set five hours after the events of the original movie. It picks up with Wesley Gibson, as he continues his transformation into a complete assassin. In the beginning, Wesley is attacked by SWAT-like soldiers in his apartment. After he gets rid of them, he comes across a picture of his mother which reminds him of some dreams he was having about a mysterious guy who murders his mother. After accomplishing several missions, Wesley will seek the french chapter of the fraternity, the organization responsible for the killing of his mother. He’ll hunt down the immortal, and finally solve the truth about his family.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate’s gameplay has some engaging mechanics, and other mediocre ones as well. The aforementioned puts great emphasis on the cover system and implements all the mechanics that you would expect from a standard 7th gen third-person shooter. One unique idea is the melee finishing move. Its usage essentially allows the player to take out an enemy while activating bullet-time for a short period of time. In addition, this is where Wanted: Weapons of Fate shines with a unique borrowed technique from the movie called ” Curved Bullet ”. Instead of waiting for enemies that are taking cover to pop up, the player can use the mechanic which is essentially an enemy tracking bullet.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate isn’t a perfect game, but it sure has its good moments every now and then.

John Woo Presents: Stranglehold

Developer: Tiger Hill Entertainment
Publisher: Midway Games
Platform: Xbox360, PS3, PC
Release Date: 2007
Region: WW

This was one of the most anticipated games back in 2007, especially by those who already got their hands on the demo. Everything about Stranglehold screamed Max Payne from the get-go. Even the story is a bit closer to the latter somehow. In case you didn’t know, Stranglehold acted as a spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Hong Kong movie Hard Boiled by John Woo. The aforementioned was one of Midway’s last published games before they disappeared forever from the market after 62 years of service to the gaming industry.

In Stranglehold, players take on the role of Tequilla, a Chinese inspector, who goes on a mission to investigate the disappearance of a policeman. In the process, Tequilla discovers the kidnapping of his wife and daughter by the Russian mafia. This leaves him with no choice but to place his family first and neglect his duties. A family man to the rescue of his only family.

The gameplay puts great emphasis on action and the Tequilla gauge. Stranglehold feels inspired by Max Payne in all the right ways. It takes some elements but does enough to distinguish itself and carve an identity of its own. A neat idea is the use of the surroundings as a tool for the slow-motion features such as riding a trolley while shooting waves of enemies one by one, sliding on the stairs…etc. Techniques like these fill the Tequilla gauge that lets the player execute 4 different abilities.

The player can choose between healing Tequilla’s wounds, use a slow-motion precision aim to take enemies from a distance, a vulnerable mode for a short limited period of time with unlimited ammo, and lastly, the Tequilla bomb where Tequilla spins around in circles to take on enemies nearby (cue in Total Overdose Tornado ability).

Stranglehold has been resurrected last year thanks to GOG. What are you waiting for? go play it right now!

Dead to Rights 2

Developer: Namco
Publisher: Namco
Platform: Xbox, PS2, PC
Release Date: 2005
Region: NA-EU

The good old Namco back in the PlayStation 2 era had quite a different philosophy. They made games that were meant to compete with every famous franchise out there. And Dead to Rights is one of them. (Kindly forget about the mistake they made with Retribution by removing every element that made Dead to Rights fun to play.)

Dead to Rights 2 acts as a prequel to the original game. It starts with Jack Slate and his side-kick dog Shadow before the events of Dead to Rights. Jack and Shadow are thrown into a mess with one of the most dangerous criminals in the city, and both have to fight for their lives to survive and fulfil their revenge on the person responsible for turning their lives into hell. Jack will go through a series of violent investigations to solve the truth behind this chaos.

Dead to Rights 2 offers intense action, challenging enemies, a helpful sidekick dog to help you through the mess. If you’re looking for a challenging third-person shooter video game similar to Max Payne game. Then I recommend Dead to Rights 2. However, stay away from the third game on the PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360.

Total Overdose

Developer: Deadline Games
Publisher: SCi Games
Platform: PC, PS2, Xbox
Release Date: 2005
Region: NA-EU

Mexico has always been depicted as a chaotic environment full of gangsters, drug dealers and tons of gun action, but whoever thought that it would have reached the insanity of Total Overdose?

The player assumes the role of Ramiro Cruz, an ex-criminal who turned DEA agent. The aforementioned has been sent to Mexico by his brother to infiltrate and take down the biggest drug cartel in the country and to find out who killed their father. The journey won’t be easy, but it’ll be full of guns and explosions, and too much blood for your eyes.

The gameplay is similar to every game I mentioned above. All of these games focus on dodging as many bullets as you can and putting an emphasis on bullet-time regularly in order to survive. Total Overdose, while it has it’s issues like any game out there, will surely find its way to absorb you into the action.

Chili Con Carnage

Developer: Deadline Games
Publisher: Eidos Interactive
Platform: PSP
Release Date: 2007
Region: EU-NA-AU

The sequel to Total Overdose that many have missed. Probably because it was exclusive for the PSP? or it could it be because of meagre marketing? Nobody knows. The good thing is that people can always find this gem if they search well enough.

Since the game acts as both sequel and remake, you play once again as Ramiro Cruz who is on a mission to cleanse the earth of those responsible for the murder of his father, Ernesto. Unlike Total Overdose, Chili Con Carnage offers some bonus missions before the next chapter begins. This enables you to earn extra points that’ll be beneficial to you.

The gameplay is pretty much the same as the prequel. There’s nothing much added to the game besides the poor camera controls and the removal of the free-roaming option.

10.000 Bullets

Developer: Blue Moon Studio
Publisher: Taito Corporation
Platform: PS2
Release Date: 2005
Region: EU-JP

Finishing this article with our last game, and that is 10.000 Bullets. The aforementioned remains one of the best and most obscure games out there that didn’t release in the United States. In case you didn’t know, this one was directed by a former Konami employee, Yoshitaka Murayama. He directed a couple of games such as the Suikoden series which is now getting a spiritual successor that is funded and supported by fans.

In 10.000 Bullets, you take the role of Crow, a hitman living in Ireland who works for the Rome-based crime syndicate known as the Tonio Familly. The protagonist possesses unique gunslingers which allows him to slow down time and walk through a rain of bullets coming at him. Crow is hunted down because of this special power, and he will have to fight the toughest bosses in the game willing to take these from him.

10.000 Bullets takes bullet-time mechanics to a whole new level. Not only you are able to slow down-time, but you are also able to easily avoid these bullets. It’s something that only those who grew up with the Matrix movies would understand. However, despite having this special mechanic, certain bosses will always manage to counter and avoid your bullets at all costs.

This, in particular, makes the game more challenging and rewarding at the same time. In addition to this, the game offers different characters to play with, some uses their guns, and some use their fists as their sole way to defend themselves. Don’t expect this game to be short as each character has 5 hours worth of playthrough. Hence, fear not getting bored with this one. Oh, I forgot to tell you, the game is not easy at all. So, prepare to die a couple of times until you get the gist of it.

Fans of bullet-time games will definitely like this one, especially if you are looking for something similar to Max Payne.

The post 7 Best Games Like Max Payne appeared first on Altar of Gaming.

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