How many famous grimaces can you name in video games? For those in the know, Detective Max Payne is clearly going to be up there. However, he’s much more than just a grizzled detective that looks like he’s spent a year sucking on a lemon.

We’re going to look at the history of one of gaming’s most distinct protagonists, from cult hit star to one of the most recognizable faces in all video games. This is the story of Max Payne.

Image for post
Image for post
Max Payne — A Cult Classic

The Rise of Max Payne

The genesis of Max Payne is like many others. A publisher, 3D Realms, had a need for a strong protagonist who could carry a brand new series on his back and looked to Finnish company Remedy Entertainment to create them. Once originally called Max Heat (a name that was trademarked at the cost of $20,000), they settled on the name Payne as the character and his story started to come together. …


From wise-cracking, globe-trotting adventurer to conflicted family man (with a brief stint as a Subway spokesperson for a time), the evolution of Nathan Drake over the Uncharted series has been a fascinating one to watch.

Naughty Dog built its reputation for its movie-quality narratives primarily off the back of the Uncharted franchise (with a little help from The Last of Us, sure), and it’s undoubtedly in large part thanks to the connection that players formed with Nathan Drake, alongside the rest of the crew he collides with throughout the series.

Image for post
Image for post

Charting the Uncharted hero

Uncharted is now perhaps best known for combining the daring-do and whip-sharp wisecracking of Indiana Jones with the bombastic set-pieces of a modern James Bond film. However, both Nathan and Uncharted started in a very different direction. While Nate’s resourcefulness, cleverness, and resolve haven’t been diminished, he was originally supposed to be much more in the vein of the adventure pulp novels and films that Indiana Jones was a more direct send-up of when initially put together by designer Kory Heinzen and writer Amy Hennig (also behind much of the phenomenal writing in the Legacy of Kain series). …


Image for post
Image for post

How many video game series can successfully bring together zombies and a coming-of-age story? We have Telltale’s “The Walking Dead” of course, which is brilliant in its own right, but my favourite is most certainly Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us”.

Initially released in 2009 for the Playstation 3, The Last of Us is an action-adventure survival horror game played from a third-person perspective. Controlling both Joel and Ellie, you must survive in a post-apocalyptic environment by navigating forests, abandoned cities, towns, and sewer systems while using improvised weapons and stealth. …


Image for post
Image for post
Doom Eternal (2020) — One of the most efficient and beautiful game engines currently available

The video game industry has moved in leaps and bounds over the last couple of decades. Each new generation of consoles brings with it a swath of exciting new titles and ground-breaking features, which didn’t seem possible just a few short years before. There have been trials and triumphs both, but it would be wrong to say that this market has been moving in the wrong direction.

Of course, though, while many people would attribute the success of many modern games to the hardware which runs them, the code behind the scenes is also doing more work than ever before. Game engines are the true power behind video games. Many of the world’s most beloved franchises simply wouldn’t be where they are today without the hard work which has gone into creating engines that offer the features developers need. …


Notable works: Metal Gear series, Snatcher, Policenauts, Death Stranding, Zone of the Enders

Image for post
Image for post

Often referred to as a video game auteur, Hideo Kojima is a hands-on creator who regularly adopts a highly centralised role throughout the creation of each of his games. From planning, writing and directing, to even personally editing and selecting the music for his video game trailers, Kojima has consistently utilised a meticulous eye for detail to create a string of highly cinematic video game titles.

From a young age, Kojima developed a love of cinema, a passion inherited from his parents, both of which were keen movie enthusiasts. His family would regularly stay up and watch movies late into the night. At ten years old, Kojima was even encouraged by his parents to visit the local cinema alone to watch the latest releases. …

About

Paul Buttle

founder of wetheplayers.com, a website dedicated to providing a home for the video gaming community. In its early infancy, we have grand plans for the future

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store