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Miss Max Payne's original face? This mod puts Sam Lake's mug in Max Payne 3

“Yes, you will see how Sam Lake shaves his head!”

Sam Lake/Max Payne squints into the mirror in a screenshot from a Max Payne 3 mod
Image credit: Rockstar Games / AlexSavvy

Remedy Entertainment, the studio behind several wonderfully odd shooters, have a fun trend where they put writer turned creative director Sam Lake on-screen in many of their projects. He’s playing an FBI agent in the upcoming Alan Wake 2, but the trend started with the studio’s breakout hit Max Payne, where the titular tortured man’s face was modelled after Lake’s. One new mod now brings back his grimacing face in the bullet time threequel Max Payne 3.

For the uninitiated, Max Payne and its sequel Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne were third-person shooters developed by Remedy Entertainment. But then Rockstar Games bought the series’ rights and rounded out the trilogy with Max Payne 3, a romp that took the action out of New York City for the first time. Sam Lake’s likeness was heartbreakingly not used in the two sequels.

On Nexusmods, creator AlexSavvy recently released a mod that restores Lake’s likeness in the third entry, permanent Max Payne squint included. According to the mod’s description, Lake's head mod has been modelled specifically for the game, and “this allowed the head to be fully integrated into the game with the preservation of facial expressions and materials.” Every face wound that Max endures is still intact with the mod, and even “drops of sweat flowing down the character’s face” have been saved.

All 14 hairstyles in the game work with the new face model too, alongside every single costume, which have been tailored to fit Lake’s physique. That includes “the leather jacket with Hawaiian shirt from the first game, modelled specially for chapters in New York.” Overall, the mod replaces “98 models and 66 textures” across the game, including the scene where Max shaves his head: “Yes, you will see how Sam Lake shaves his head!”

The modders doesn't recommend playing the game’s multiplayer modes with the mod installed, however.

For those yearning for Remedy’s weirder brand of shooty-shooty action: good (albeit old) news! Remedy Entertainment are remaking the first two Max Paynes, reviving their hard-boiled detective. I’m very, very interested to see whether Sam Lake reprises his role in glorious HD.

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