Review by CoZO

"Max Payne 2 – You'll love it"

''Your rights will be read at your funeral''. Now that's what I call art. After the first game, can the second really be bad? But can it be good and have the feel of a completely new game? You'll see...

Story.
“A film noir love story.” And it sure as hell is that; the main character is Max Payne, an NYPD detective with one of the most violent pasts in gaming history. In the first one you were introduced a young man with a wonderful life, beautiful wife and kids: until the pain came and Max’s whole life was torn apart. In this game you will meet what’s left of Max, and you will also see how a man falls even deeper than rock bottom: and the sight aint’ exactly beautiful.

Gameplay.
This is pretty much a usual action packed game, but with slow motion gunfights that are cool as hell. Max can perform the normal bullet time trick where the surroundings slow down and Max gains a upper hand since he can still aim in real time, as you play the game you will notice how the more you take down enemies in a gunfight the slower the surroundings become but Max can still move as fast as normal. There’s also a special reloading animation while in bullet time which looks like it would be ripped from one of the best action movies ever.
That may sound a bit stupid, and even if you have seen the gameplay movies you need to experience it to see how damn cool it is.
Max also has the ability to make a ‘shoot-dodge’ where he leaps to the appointed direction to avoid enemy gun fire. With these two features you can create the most intensive action sequences in the history of action games.

Also the new ragdoll system gives a nice feel to the more powerful weapons like the Desert Eagle, you fire a bullet into an enemies shoulder and he reacts pretty much like being shot in the shoulder. Though, the games not too realistic its still cool as hell; with the quite big arsenal of weapons you’ll find more and more ways to make the massive gunfights into artistic ballet.

Graphics.
Jebus, it’s so beautiful. I thought I would be forced to run with lame settings due to my graphics card (GeForce 4 MX 440 - 64 mb) but no, I can actually run the game on full detail without any slowdown except in the bonus game or areas where you’ll be facing dozens of enemies at once. The game seems to optimize the graphics automatically to the video card and yes – the game remains beautiful.

Sound.
First of all, the weapon sounds were a huge let down on my part. Ie: the handguns sound like plastic toys and a few other weapons sound lame, but thank god there will be several mods to make the sounds better; though later in the game you wont really notice it anymore… Second of all: The games music is frickin’ beautiful, the new theme is simply fantastic and there are many other songs that fit the atmosphere like a smack in the face.

Replay ability.
Hmm… yes, there are four different difficulties and the special game mode will keep you entertained for a while but no – it’s not even near as good as the first one. The different places and scenes aint’ really that memorable, though beautiful and well designed but it really doesn’t catch the same level of coolness or atmosphere as the first one did. There is a special ending that is in my opinion worth seeing.
Remember, there will be a lot of great mods that will keep you hooked to this game longer.

Finalé

+
It’s beautiful
Many different weapons that vary in effect
The story is great
There’s a lot of detail to the surroundings
Lots of references to the first game
Bullet time 2.0
Easy moddable
Nice music and environment sounds
Great Ragdoll effects
It runs on older machines

-
It lasts around 6 hours
Awful weapon sounds
The AI can be awful
Some parts of the game you will dislike
Its easy
Not much new in it

Overall score: 9/10
For people that played the first one 991827821 times: 8/10


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/30/03


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