Category Archives: Videogame AI

Videogame Artificial Intelligence posts.

Paris and AiGameDev 2010

I’ve finally got around to editing and uploading my AiGameDev 2010 conference notes. I’m still working on photos, we’ll see if I can be bothered to post any – since Alex did a great job posting some himself I don’t know though.

Paris itself was also excellent, with the very cool Micah who I shared a room with – and if you need additional AI notes, contact him πŸ™‚ I managed to do some good walking (and I definitely should get some of those photos sorted!). I listened to some Parisian Jazz, saw various sights and enjoyed a bit of the music festival on Monday evening. I’ve still got things to do there, so likely I’ll try and get to next years conference too.

AI War

Tutorial Fun
Tutorial Fun

After League of Legends I need some better games to post about, so I’ll be posting about them this week! The first up is AI War, which took a good part of my weekend up. The game itself is a large-scale sci-fi co-op RTS game against the CPU. It also has elements of tower defence (against waves of enemies based at choakpoints), tactical battles (some micromanagement and work there) and the classic Turn Based Strategy stuff like long term resource management, technology research, strategic thinking and so forth.

The aim is to defeat the two AI forces (having very well defended bases) who get increasingly angry and competitive as you take over the map.

Long Time Playin’

Zoomed out on a planet map.
Zoomed out on a planet map.

Just from the outset if you don’t like playing long games, don’t play this game. It’s Civ4-long, hours and hours to complete a campaign. I’ve only played the tutorial and that took all weekend! πŸ™‚

For me this is perfect – I’ll probably play by myself but I hope to get some interested people who frequent the WDG forums to play too. I am sure I’d enjoy it by myself but I want to try out co-op possibilities.

The reason is the strategic long-term elements are well thought out. There is actually some reason to not kill every enemy on every planet (each planet being connected by wormhole chokepoints to other planets, each planet is an 2d RTS map). You get waves of enemies only from planets which have gates that spawn them, and you can destroy AI data banks of the enemy to hinder progress – every offensive action is met with the AI pumping up the difficulty, which this hinders slightly. Raids like this are important it appears. Expand too fast and you have tough ships destroying you before you know it. Some planets just are not worth conquering for the natural resources, or are just chokepoints to more important planets. Some have unique things to capture which require the complete annihilation of the AI on the planet to make it safe.

With co-op the fun would come from multiple fronts being fought, co-operative army usage and gifting and so forth. Should be fun to try! (much like a Civ4 game played in real time).

Battles and Combat

Overwhelming Assault
Overwhelming Assault

All the battles are massive amounts of ships. Simply check all the screenshots I’ve uploaded! You have to get hundreds of ships to do simple tasks, and thousands to do anything remotely hard. Each ship does its own targeting which is a godsend – it is pretty much fine for people poor at micromanagement, and mainly the tactical part comes from positioning ships, formations, groups and luring enemies, hitting them with a timely wave of firepower, retreating and raiding.

The unit types are also varied – there are more then a standard trio of rock-paper-scissors, and certainly is a large part of the strategy (especially which to upgrade into better versions). You get ship caps per tier of ship – so you don’t instantly get every ship to level 2 once you research it, meaning you always have a mixed force of different levels since even the lower level ships can act as cannon fodder to save the higher level ones.

Resources and Tech

Conga Line of Production
Conga Line of Production

Resources come in the Total-Annihilation way of constant streams – crystals and metal being the two base items. They work pretty fundamentally like Sins of a Solar Empire if you’ve played that. You also have power being a constant number – either you’re in the black or red there, with X power costing X crystals and metal a second depending on your power plants. This keeps a cap on the amount of ships and expansion you can achieve with a limited amount of planets.

Technology means unlocking new turrets, defences, economic buildings, higher rated ships and so forth. You get 2000 points of knowledge per planet from science ships docked there. This means you can hop into enemy planets, and if well defended (or not provoked too much) you can sap some knowledge quickly and not have to take the planet entirely to get more technology. I’ve not had a chance to use a lot of it, but there are some interesting things I’ve not tried much of (force fields and turret defences, large powerful star ships, additional economic buildings and so forth).

Agressive AI

Battle! (Not much interesting going on)
Battle! (Not much interesting going on)

I can’t honestly comment much on the AI. The tutorial sets it in “No attacks, AI level 1” – which is pathetically easy to lure out on each planet and destroy with smaller forces. However, I see much potential – and the AI ships do know how to handle themselves. Not thinking will get your entire force massacred (as happened to me attacking a building in the final planet which drew every AI unit there to attack me!). There are obviously AI personalities, and difficulty levels, which will likely make it a lot more fun to defend against and purposely raid. They are certainly out to get the players, even the tutorial warns you that you could lose quite easily if you’re not careful!

Since I built the wrong units the last enemy base took a while to kill too:

Final Base 1: The Beginning of the End
Final Base 1: The Beginning of the End

Final Base 2: More Firepower
Final Base 2: More Firepower

Final Base 3: Carry on Hitting...
Final Base 3: Carry on Hitting...

Final Base 4: Still needs more...
Final Base 4: Still needs more...

Final Base 5: Still needs a little more...
Final Base 5: Still needs a little more...

Final Base 6: Finally destroyed! AI good riddance!
Final Base 6: Finally destroyed! AI good riddance!

20 minutes or so! Mainly because I built the wrong units to attack it at the end. Also I really need to sort the alignment of multiple images. I’ll do a slideshow next time.


It is 2D, although since you zoom out a lot to get a better perspective, this matters little. There are some issues getting things done fast unless you know your hotkeys (such as building new buildings means finding a single unit who can build), but I can forgive that – it’s not a game that needs rushing all the time, and if you’re so unprepared to have to build in battle you might have already lost. The core gameplay also hasn’t got any alternatives – it is against two AI’s and that’s that. I guess it is balanced entirely around this, but you can choose a wide option from the amount of planets (thus length of the game) and other things.

In the end though it was fun playing the tutorial. Fun to toil destroying those faceless AI dregs! FUN TO RUIN THAT SILLY AI! MUAHAHAHAH! *ahem*. The competition against more then just an equal opponent makes a nice edge. There looks to be a lot of difficulty and personality options with the AI, and co-op will be fun to try out. It was satisfying to destroy the tutorial AI – as you can see above! Worth trying the trial and playing the tutorial, and was Β£13, which is quite good considering the price of some games πŸ™‚

Fallout 3

You become a bit startled going outside for the first time

Fallout 3…oh, Fallout 3. After spending 50 hours in the game according to my save files (thus more since I reloaded sometimes) spread over 5 months (from January to this week), I must say it was quite an adventure. Before I get to some spoilers, let me say the journey is pretty good most of the time, but there were bumps in the road, and like anything else, ups and downs. This is my mini-overview/review/journey πŸ™‚

If you want a screenshot travelogue of the entire game, which man is a lot of screenshots, check here! I’m not going to annotate them like my Deus Ex ones, since there are over 400 of them. 400! This was kind of an attempt to do some kind of log in picture form though, since I didn’t take any other notes.

The Post-apocalypse Never Was So Fun To Explore!

The in-game world is pretty huge

Right off the bat I highly recommend Fallout 3 to those who enjoy exploring. There are amazing things to find, setup by the level designers, artists, writers or programmers. Little gems in the sea of brown that basically is Fallout 3’s main colour pallet. Among these are the contrasting forest Harold area, the classic 50’s black and white inspired and entirely too spooky Tranquility Lane, as well as very interestingly recreated Washington areas. The radio is well used, although could have used more songs, and perfectly fits exploring the world πŸ˜€

The start of the game also is a nice sandbox – for learning about the world, sorting your character in a rather nice in-character way, and doing some nice exploration of a small areas. Jumping through your life’s early major events is perfectly suited to vault life too.

I did enjoy many quests, although they were all pretty basic and morality was either “kill or save” all the time. The exploration was pushed on by far-reaching quests set over a massive area, although fast travel helped enormously. You can find some nice unique items by exploring, some which are nice to just come across.

VATs Combat

The combat was amazingly over the top. Lasers, chainsaws, limbs flying everywhere, slow motion galore. Even on hard, I never really found it difficult (although I did set my companions to “never totally die” so I didn’t have to micromanage quicksaves). I should have used more of my big guns I guess, I rarely used the mini-nuke launcher, which is a pretty fun weapon. Tying the combat in with some okay, but not brilliant, lockpicking and hacking exercises gives fits and bursts of action on top of slower exploration. VAT’s was, I think, a good thing overall – but a better real time combat system for the obvious amount of time you run out of VAT’s points would have been good. I felt that just having the fastest weapon (my laser rifle or pistol or combat shotgun) was necessary for ever finishing a fight.

A Tragedy of Many Errors

All characters still look pretty…dead

There were some worse off parts about the game however. The actual RPG dialogues and choices are mind-numbingly bad – not necessarily in voice acting (which is much improved since Oblivions horrendous 6 voice actors situation), but the actual dialogue the player gets to choose from, and the few choices they get are usually “Good”, “Evil” and “Kill Everything Totally Evil”. There were a few quests which did warrant somewhat more careful choices – the android quest (finding an android who wiped it’s own memory for a foreigner – you can capture him/kill him, or get the foreigner to go away or kill the foreigner) I recall, had a good few ways to do the various outcomes (although doing it the most straightforward good way was a net loss for rewards when I rechecked the Fallout 3 wiki, sigh).

None of these were ever dilemmas though, something I thought would come more to the fore. In fact, one quest I didn’t bother to play through, partially because I knew the ending and wasn’t interested in the quest anyway, was the Tenpenny Tower Ghouls. This was where a set of ghouls wanted into a nicely defended, human-only tower. The quest had three options: ignore it (my choice), let the ghouls in, or kill the ghouls. Letting them in had the ghouls eventually just kill all the humans, and killing the human-like talking ghouls wiped them out. It was not a morale dilemma, just a rather silly point of “The ghouls were actually evil”, since no one in the tower particularly was evil. The only way this part of the game could have made sense is if there were other morale dilemmas and dodgy choices available in the game – where people were not clear-cut good and evil. There are only rare cases of this however. No, the Megaton wasn’t one of these, that was an entirely comical choice at best, and warrants no real discussion πŸ™

So, the choice is there, but not exactly very inspiring sets of choices. Luckily most of the fun is not in the deep dialogue and plot paths, but in the exploration.

My choice of companion: the only woman, Star Paladin Cross

Companions and AI also, sadly, were not a strong point. Companions were basically gun-holders. Dogmeat was cool, but a dog is a dog, and he didn’t really do much. The various different AI enemies were pretty bland, beelining for you or finding cover (sometimes) – at least they fought pretty competently when they weren’t trying to shoot their guns through terrain, and did explode nicely when needed. I wish the companions did more then just repeat the same canned lines (which get boring fast), and have their own quest lines, but never mind. A missed opportunity to be sure!

Tranquility Lane, good random plot mission

Finally, the plot itself – started reasonably okay (and had interesting points), if terribly fridge-logic based (why did your Father leave without you? why kill himself? urg…), however never really bonds the player to the tasks they are assigned at all – especially after your already distant father kills himself. With no real option to do anything but follow the plot markers around, well, apart from some interesting missions inserted into the general plot for no real reason, it’s a letdown (although much, much more of an improvement over the ghastly short and very boring Oblivion plot). The one bit which annoyed me, and I never got told this, but Eden being a computer – this really was very underused. A real shame, I thought he was quite funny even if the actual ways you could convince him he was wrong in his very short conversation with you were bizarre and rather silly. The Enclave never really had a good “enemy” to relate to, the Colonel you never really saw much of, or knew much about sadly.

A Horrible End to a Otherwise Fun Journey

The “Boss” who we barely know…
The “choice” and ending laid bare…
We die, hooray! πŸ™

Fallout 3, well, as I’ve seen complaints elsewhere, let me agree – the ending is a tad on the letdown side. There is nothing near the quality of Storm of Zehir‘s ending (which was fully narrated, included every major sidequest outcome and even allowed you to re-pick what happened to get every ending!), but instead, once you do a ridiculously easy fight you push a few buttons and die. Yep, die. No choice in the matter, even if you’re a 10-intelligence, maxed-out-science prodigy genius like myself. Nope, I have to shoot then sacrifice myself. How fun.

Woo, way to stop the game in it’s tracks, especially if you have lots of unfinished business. Luckily I had been told, and read about this, so while I didn’t know the specifics of the plot, I knew I had to do sidequests before starting the last quest. The designers even realised their error and brought out downloadable content to “fix” this – by saying the player was merely knocked out and woke up 2 weeks later. A shame the actual ending just wasn’t up to the rest of the game, like I said, so disappointing overall, to me an absolutely horrible ending. You never knew what actually happened to those places you saved, helped, burned to the ground or blew up.

To Sum Up…

First view outside the vault, come on, you know you want to go looking…

There was a reason I put off the ending for 3 months (since I ended most of my quests in March and played the last bit recently), and it is obvious I disliked it. I ran out of general quests to do really, and once you reach level 20, killing more things just gets “in your way” – the combat, after 50 hours of it, can’t get much more repetitive of course!

However, the mix of item-finding, exploration of large areas and all the little touches in design, history, backstory and world feel, this is worth playing. You can always avoid quests that are boring, and work on doing other things. The non-combat choices might be limited, however I still had fun finding new things, and certainly exploring the mythology of the world pre- and post-apocalypse. It’s a crazy Science! world, and all the more fun for it.

Paris and AiGameDev Conference

Tour de Eiffel

Paris was great fun, I got to go to the AiGameDev conference where I helped out by operating the camera, recording every talk, and took my own notes too – good event, well worth going over just for that.

After the conference was over though, I had a day and a half extra (rather stupidly I booked my return trip on the Eurostar on Saturday not Sunday, but well, I did run out of things I really wanted to see anyway!). On the Thursday evening, when most people were going back from the conference anyway, I took a walk around Notre Dame and the Ile de la CitΓ©. Interesting architecture, although sadly the Sainte-Chappelle church which is meant to have amazing stained glass was closed by then.

Notre Dame

The Friday was dedicated to me getting up not as early as I had planned, failing to get a bike (since it didn’t give me a receipt and of course, I can’t ring the help number up) so ending up taking the metro to the Eiffel Tower. Was great getting up the steps (which didn’t take long to queue for, considering the line for the one functional lift to the middle was huge), and I did decide to go up all the way after slowly going around the first two floors – took ages – only 2 lifts even went to the top from the middle, but got up in the end. πŸ™‚ The delays and closures appear to all be just from the painting work, and I didn’t even realise it was “bronze” (or more accurately “brown”) they painted it, since from far away it looks pretty generic black/dark.

After that, I took a walk, long walk, longer then I had planned anyway, up and around other parts near the Eiffel Tower, failing to see any interesting museums I wanted to go in. Since I hadn’t had internet since getting to Paris, and not wanting to do one of the art museums, it made me wish I had planned it a bit more πŸ™‚ but still got to see some brilliant areas. I went to McDonalds to get their free wifi, to plan what else to do.


So, on Friday evening I decided to do something a bit different – I went to see Rigoletto, an Italian Opera by Verdi, performed outside at Le Jardin Du SΓ©nat, located here. Very nice to see outdoors, despite some sound issues (on the speakers it seems), and the fact an italian play, with a French programme, and subtitles of course in French at the sides of the stage meant I didn’t get the most out of it. Reading the wikipedia synopsis makes it also make a bit more sense, although I could tell most of what was going on. Well worth seeing the odd opera I think πŸ™‚ – this famous one had a few highly recognisable parts too (this being the most famous), and I mainly enjoyed the music rather then the story. I did see if there was any orchestras playing, but according to the web there wasn’t apart from this.

Fascinating part of the catacombs

Finally, I visited the Catacombs on Saturday, kind of rushing them (since I had a train to catch and got up half an hour later then I intended). Luckily the line wasn’t too slow, and it was facinating – not just that there are catacombes and the bones themselves, but that it has been open to tourists for hundreds of years, so has some really, really old tourist boards set into the walls πŸ™‚ I’d highly recommend going to it, and on a hot day it’s very refreshingly cool, and only really creepy if there are no other people around, which won’t really happen.

GDC2009 – Friday – My Student Mixer, AI SIG roundtable, Game Preservation and a Cold

Friday – the final day of GDC. In the morning passing over a Larrabee session I visited the career area briefly – loud, busy, and I just noted who was there more then anything.

Later in the morning was the AI SIG Roundtable. There was really not much a chance of discussion on the problems with going forwards with the AI Standards the SIG seems to be built around. I hope that the issues are resolved and information provided or worked on that AiGameDev or the AI Guild themselves wouldn’t do – such as academic relations, looking at listing tons of papers, and so forth. I’m going to keep an eye on it and lurk but I’ve got too many commitments elsewhere to help directly.

I had my own session – the student mixer – just before lunch. I took a few notes – but mainly it was discussing some of the cool things the students present were able to do, how they felt about their course and work (which they are all usually fine with – no doubt the people who come to GDC are that dedicated πŸ™‚ ) and about the IGDA efforts I did a little questioning about if they thought more communication, student groups or possibly in the future a student event would be a good idea – on all counts yes, and I hope to get this going by myself if no one else will help πŸ™‚ – one of the things people dislike is the students have to be integrated into the normal chapter meetings, online resources and groups – segregating it helps immensely, since it would allow people interested in the area to help, but the rest to work on their own things.

During the mixer I finally got to meet Julia Brasil – who is finishing her design/art course soon, and I meant to meet last year. In fact I managed to miss Corvus Elrod who I saw once but had to rush off somewhere else. In any case, we went to the Preservation SIG meeting, then roundtable – lots of notes I have to write up, and a general feeling of some progress, with a lot more to do in the future came out from some of the stories people brought up. In related news to this seeing Devin Monnens article in the print IGDA Journal was awesome.

In the evening there was the AI Dinner, where I got to discuss all sorts of things. Some nice discussion on things with a few fellows from Google, including possibly getting the search term “A*” or “A* search” specially listed as an exception – since it currently just lists all the terms starting with A πŸ™‚ – also discussed some bits and pieces of AI, design of an MMO, and the IGDA a little.

Lastly, throughout the day I got a worse and worse cold. Urg, the final few days of my trip will be pretty basic – I’m writing this on Sunday and, well, I’m not out riding a bike as I had hoped – at least this didn’t hit me early on in the week. *sniff sniff* *achoo*

GDC2009 – Thursday – Meet the Press, QoL and a AI Roundtable

A lot of various things done on Thursday – this year I was looking to see what the IGDA was doing in more depth, especially on the QoL side. Jason Della Rocca is leaving, so they explained in the AGM that there is a process underway to get a new executive director. There was also news on the Leadership event issue – no apology from the person directly involved but at least an apology from the board chair herself at the lax actions of the response and not having any coherent voice, although I think more needs to be done (as did several question askers). The board voting (it being a rather closed process), the board being silent (they’re getting a blog, so a good first step) and other items were also brought up (website revamps, money issues, chapter restructuring). My notes will be up next week.

I also went to the QoL committee roundtable – a lot of issues were raised as being problems to tackle and there is a reasonable action plan underway – as well as changing it to a Special Interest Group so more people can get involved. I’ll report more on this as I get involved.

The morning had the second AI Roundtable – less people (it clashed with another AI session!), but very informative on some subjects. I’ll get notes up next week πŸ™‚

Finally, an area that I keep an eye on is game press – so going to Meet The Game Press panel was interesting. There was some good information on how to promote games – such as how to contact the press – and some of the problems they have too. They didn’t go much into why there wasn’t much journalism done, but it was at least very informative on how the 3 different sites run.

The evening had me visit the speakers party, which was fun (although I missed Simon Carless who I intended to chat to, who was always busy speaking with someone πŸ™‚ ), although I felt a little out of place just doing the lowest of the low student mixer (which I think is important, but I doubt everyone would, hehe πŸ™‚ ).

GDC 2009 – Monday and Tuesday AI Summit


The GDC AI summit was pretty good. A wide range of topics covered – although as someone noted almost all of it for bipedal creatures, usually humans specifically – so it didn’t have as much on strategic AI or for other areas like space/flying – things with 3 dimensional movement.

A good highlight was a great demo by Damian Isla that showed an AI searching for a player, getting confused when the AI didn’t see the player where it last thought it was, then exploring further afield as necessary. The small amount of behaviour gave some pretty nice stuff – a problem being that showing that behaviour to the player is very difficult, and the technical aspects of dividing up spaces to search can get pretty complex. The use of emotions like that though is immensely fun.

I must admit I am more into the behavioural and design side of AI then the technical implementations – I have my notes up from the days, but the notes for the technical sessions might not be as good. These will be up shortly – they’ll take a little time to edit, and I’ll add them here and make a post (this weekend perhaps) when I’ve sorted them.

As for slides – the locations of them will vary. GDC is locking down their public access to slides, and the AI Guild is going to be member access only to β€œpeople who have shipped one game” and are an AI programmer. Therefore I’ll probably have a look around for some slides I want to re-read from the author’s own sites.

AI and Non-Player Character Workshop Report

Robin showing off DEFCON Bot AI

I am terrible at keeping my site updated, damn (I’ll post more often I hope!). Anyway, I went last Friday to the AI and Non-Player Character Workshop at the University of Essex, which was a pretty good day – I wrote up my notes as a report for AI Game Dev, and the pictures I took are available in my gallery if you want a super huge picture of Richard Bartle, or maybe Robin Baumgarten πŸ˜‰

Max Payne

Best way to improve Max’s psyche is to frame him for murder!


I’ve just finished (for the third time?) Max Payne, released in 2001. It is kind of one-of-a-kind in videogames, using a mix of graphic novel and in-game cutscene work. It’s also a damn difficult game, even with the main feature – bullet time – which can slow down time for a limited amount allowing the player to aim in real time.

The story really stands out as something unique. Totally over the top (it’d be over the top as a graphic novel to be honest!), and entirely apt for the strange situation the game puts the protagonist Max Payne in. He’s constantly spouting off clichΓ© lines and over the top vocabulary, parodied in one of his dream sequences, although this is all in his mind; it fits beautifully, filling the narrative with actually quite sane things considering the insane situation. A man must cope, and Max sure finds his way.

This is not a game for kids. Some very unsavoury characters in the game…

The actual plot could be considered bare-bones. It’s got it’s own minor complexities, and it all fits together well enough once the pieces are arranged. Most of the plot points are excuses to shoot more bad guys, to be honest, and it’s entirely fair that most of the time Max points this out. I won’t spoil anything here though.

The game also parodies itself, twice. Take that! The humour is spliced throughout – gangsters and enemies do small, pop-culture heavy conversations before Max shoots them dead. There are homages to The Matrix (noting the game was in development before the film was released, although the main feature was renamed Bullet Time to match the film, it wasn’t the initial inspiration), and other films in several scenes. Most of Max’s own dialogue is darkly funny, considering what’s going on. There are also a few (Lords and Ladies, and Mystery Unknown) TV shows (which are used to better effect in Max Payne 2), with soap-opera style acting and parodying Max’s own situation.

Vinnie Gognitti returns in Max Payne 2, here he’s not happy to see Max…

The gameplay is tough – tough, and quite quite unfair. The game’s own designers have said there is no difficulty slider – the games lowest difficulty is meant to alter the AI’s accuracy and health automatically if the player does badly, but in truth this just meant after the first few enemies it went from “Not quite so tough” to “insanely tough”, while the other difficulty levels just automatically set it to “insanely tough”. If you can persevere and learn your way around the controls and weapons, it works quite well, although too many times a freak grenade or a close range shotgun blast ends the game early. Keep your hand hovered over F5 to quicksave (which, nicely done, has 2 slots incase one really puts you in a worse position!).

There are some nice setpiece parts though – such as getting through some Gangsters to a weapons cache basically unarmed, larger battles in mansions, on boats and in banks, and when an entire restaurant is blowing up and you have to get out. There’s little “key finding” to open doors, so it’s almost always a linear game, which as long as you don’t pay too much attention doesn’t matter as much as you might think (seeing where I was previously after 15 minutes annoyed me a bit).

The AI, since I’m interested in it, is basically non-existent to be honest. There are times it even gets stuck in the most simple situations. It’s entirely scripted in a nice cinematic way – to a fault usually – so a replay needs to be spread out by a few years, like I have, since otherwise you remember exactly what will happen next. The AI generally ducks and aims for where you’ll be, and might take a second or so to turn if you run past them, which is of course to allow bullet time to actually work. While they don’t run out of the way of grenades, they do realise someone’s attacking them at least if they see one. Basic, but acceptable. Any harder, and the game might become unwinnable. For comparisons sake, Max Payne 2 lowers the toughness of enemies and gives them generally a bigger AI boost (with more open areas and suchlike), which makes it more run-and-gun, where as this game, AI flaws are sometimes the only way of getting past a situation πŸ™‚

On the technical side, the graphic novel side still looks great today (and this is with the Remedy game team doing all the acting), and the game engine itself can hold up still for the most part. The sounds still works fine, and seems to cope somewhat well with surround sound. The freaky dream sequences are frankly, quite scary – the sounds are the worst part. I’ll say it holds it’s own compared to some 2001 titles – shame it doesn’t support widescreen though, and there is no lip synced models. Max Payne 2 likely will hold up better over a longer time, since it improves the visual quality a fair amount, but this game isn’t too bad for the time.

“Congratulations!” – I almost half-expected it to be spelt incorrectly πŸ™‚

Well worth another play though, and it’ll be much more fun then watching the film version I bet, which according to the Max-Payne stylee graphic novel video, looks to be almost, but not quite completely unlike it. Oh well! Check out my screenshot gallery if you have no qualms about spoilers – although I tell you, capturing any action shots in this game is massively difficult. I must move my screenshot key somewhere different πŸ™‚ If you want to see the game’s intro, check the Internet Archive where I put a copy of it.

Give the game a shot if you ever see it cheap, I think it’s worth persevering through. πŸ˜€