Something wicked this way comes.

The world is unforgiving; a spherical object taking every one along for the ride. The candle of life burns slowly for many, the flame barely flickers. For others, life can end in an instance, extinguished by the swirling winds of death.

The payment had been made for pleasure, a prostitute personified out of data and binary code.

The alarm rudely woke me at 7.oo am; the buzzer cackled like a hyena. The picture outside the window did little to raise my mood. The rain scattered down onto the ground below, cleansing the earth of mankind’s past sins. I opened the closet, reaching for some clothes; a never ending battle to keep Jack Frost at bay. A photograph from a past holiday glared back at me, mocking my subconscious with unwanted feelings of nostalgia.

I entered the office and turned on the computer. The bright display hummed softly, coursing with the lifeblood of electricity. I was tired but I had to push on. The liquid quivered in the bottle of water beside me, an unsuspecting saviour dancing to the beat of my unquenchable thirst.

I loaded up Steam, handing over the required sum of £5.99 into the sweaty palms of the downloadable overlord. The payment had been made for pleasure, a prostitute personified out of data and binary code.

I entering the virtual portal that would provide some respite from the morning blues. I had to write a Retro Reflection on Max Payne, “Sure, what the hell.” I muttered.

Enter Max Payne… A framed renegade, fuelled by an insatiable appetite for vengeance. A face affixed with an uncompromising grimace of pain.

It isn’t easy to write this ridiculously.

Unimaginable Payne

The story presentation in Max Payne is unforgiving; an incurable cancer that eats away at the main protagonist. A distinct writing style, punctuated by the extreme scent of noir, more poignant than a body laying on the cold metal slab at the mortuary. Cut scenes shy away from the typical bravado of a pubescent teen, masked with the strokes of an artist’s brush, etching the outlines of a horrific tale disguised in the form of a graphical novel.

After a typical day representing New York’s finest, Max returns home to the America dream; a beautiful wife, a beautiful daughter, a nice house in the suburbs. Fate had dealt an unthinkable hand, a full house of murder. The American dream: transformed into a living nightmare. A nightmare that Max would have to revisit again and again, a never ending torment lodged in the subconscious mind like a splinter in the skin.

Max’s wife and new born daughter are brutally murdered at the needle riddled hands of junkies high off a new designer drug known as Valkyroverdosing on a cocktail of homicide. The scum lining the drains of society’s social hierarchy. Revenge was on the menu, a dish best served cold; Max would deliver the main ingredient, death, with a side order of bullets.

‘Get the Lead out!’

The Punchinello family, bunch of thugs with itchy trigger fingers, the men responsible for trafficking the Valkyr drug. Working as an undercover operative, entering the lions den, Max finds himself in the middle of a bloody mafia turf war between the Punchinello family and the Russian mafia. Another obstacle thrown into the gauntlet of suffering, Max is framed with the murder of his best friend Alex Balder by an unknown assassin. A fugitive, a wanted murderer, a pretty prize available to the bidder who brings the biggest gun to the auction.

Take It To The Max

Bullets. Bullets solve life’s difficult problems. An unstoppable statement of intent, convincing even the most stubborn of individuals to accept your argument. When someone’s argument is louder, reach for the painkillers, they do exactly what they say on the tin. A reliance on the over-counter drug would be key to bringing the organisation to its knees.

Father time’s bell tolls loudly. Manipulating the fabric of life’s doomsday timer, stepping into the realms of Bullet Time. A slip in normality, a competitive advantage used to fill Max’s enemies with more bullets then you’d find at an annual NRA meeting. The hour glass replenished by the hunger for justice. The enemies fall, the last victim eventually succumbing to gravity, a pre-booked chauffeur ready to take you six-feet under. A gallery of thugs, an arsenal of weapons, pushing forward with no mercy. Something wicked this way comes…and his name is Max Payne.

The flames were comforting, like a letter from a loved one in a war zone.

The Greatest Name In Video Game History

The graphics hit home, a throbbing reminder of the visual splendor crafted by a talented team of programmers. Debris, bullets and cartridges scatter the air, a crescendo of particles, a symphony of destruction. Interactive environments bring joy to the sticky handed kid desperate to touch the crusty museum displays.

The sound effects deliver satisfying conviction as grenades skip along the tiled floors, the hammer echoing as another nail is driven into an enemy’s coffin. Max’s internal monologues accompany the player, a sneak peak behind the grand curtain before the show begins.

Here comes the Payne.

The incessant tapping of the keyboard began to grind to a halt like the 12.00am train reaching its final destination. The reflection was over, an appetiser designed to tantalise the palette.

I was hungry, the familiar expression used to explain humanity’s dependence on nutritional sustenance. I wondered how long could I go on talking like this, the incessant babble of a man driven to madness. I grabbed the pills from the table, put on my leather jacket and left the room. With a suitable grimace on my face I rolled to the kitchen, searching for the tools to make a sandwich; the key that would keep the hunger locked away. The bread was frozen…one last cruel roll of the dice.

I stood atop the roof of my house…’I was all out of bread. The final frozen slice was an exclamation mark that had led to this point. I released the loaf from my hand…and then it was over…’

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