Max Payne 3 | mod gives the game’s hero his old face back

max payne 3 face

A cunning mod gives Max Payne 3's version of the hero the same Sam Lake-based face he had in the first game.


When Rockstar Games took over the Max Payne franchise from Remedy Entertainment in 2012, it wasn’t surprising that the resulting Max Payne 3 – as good as it was – ended up feeling very different from the previous games. Gone was the pulpy, hardboiled tone, while its version of the laconic title hero was a much burlier specimen than he was in the first two games.

Just over a decade on from Max Payne 3 release, though, modder AlexSavvy has managed to find a way to replace Rockstar’s version of Max Payne with one that more closely resembles Sam Lake, the creative director who so memorably lent his likeness to the first game’s version of the character.

The mod’s available to download from Nexus Mods now (thanks, Kotaku), and its description gives an idea of just how much work went into it. The replacement head had to be able to preserve the same expressions and lip synching as the original one, as well as incorporate the same wounds and textures that gradually appear as the story grinds on. “Even drops of sweat flowing down the character’s face in real time are saved, too,” the modder writes.

Much time was also spent on hairstyles – there are 14 of them throughout the game, apparently – as well as costumes, which had to be adapted to fit Sam Lake’s less imposing physique.

“In total, the mod replaces 98 models and 66 textures,” the description reads. “Plus models and textures in the mirror for the scene where Max shaves his head.”

Max Payne’s look evolved quite a bit over the three games. While he was physically played and voiced by John McCaffrey in all three, Timothy Gibbs replaced Sam Lake as the character’s visual reference in the second, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Funnily enough, there’s also a mod for Max Payne 2, which also puts Sam Lake back into that game. Great work, modders.

Read more: Max Payne | producer Scott Miller on the making of a classic

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