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In 2001, The Matrix Helped Max Payne Sneer His Way Into Our Hearts

Thanks to Remedy's hard-boiled creation, we could finally live out the silver screen dream of Bullet Time.

This article first appeared on USgamer, a partner publication of VG247. Some content, such as this article, has been migrated to VG247 for posterity after USgamer's closure - but it has not been edited or further vetted by the VG247 team.

Hey, remember when The Matrix was cool?

Granted, this period of time amounted to roughly four years, but between the release of the original Matrix and its unfortunate sequels, the world had Keanu Reeves and fancy camera tricks on the brain. And who could blame them? The Wachowski's tale of a VR simulation housed within a dystopian nightmare came out of nowhere and unexpectedly became part of the zeitgeist, causing a trail of wannabes to spawn in its wake.

During The Matrix's most relevant years, plenty of folks found inspiration in the movie's most iconic scenes, though its use of "Bullet Time" seemed to capture the most imaginations. And while plenty of games went for their own take on The Wachowski's relentlessly cool gun-fu, no other production of the era did it better than Remedy's Max Payne, which built its entire gameplay gimmick around diving and shooting while the world around you slows to a crawl.

Even though The Matrix has faded from pop culture relevancy over the past decade, Max Payne still persists, with its third and most recent entry selling four million copies in its first year. But it was this first game, produced by an obscure Finnish developer, that started it all.

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Bob Mackey


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