Review by smck1001

"Only The Best Builds On Perfection"

Max Payne 2.
An unforgiving city. An unforgiving job. An unforgiving emotion. For Max Payne, not all stories have happy endings. Love is a demon; the mother of wars, and spreader of deceit. Yet, when she calls your name you have no choice but to follow. A ghost out of Max's past sings his name, and in the dark night, he is her's to the beckoning. Max is looking for answers. Answers for today, answers for tomorrow. He is looking to patch some semblance of a life back together. And he sees the guide to that road as Mona Sax. Max and Mona are soon to play the star-crossed lover's fate. What does love have in store for Max? Will it finally be the answers to his American dream or a cold, void body bag?
Story Max is back on the job after the events in the first game. He's back on the NYPD crew with no real goal in life. Now, when someone familiar surfaces in a case. Max decides to throw all aside and follow what will be to the answers he strives for. Max Payne 2 is just what it says it is: it is a love story. But don't get me wrong. This isn't the kind you're grandma reads that has Hunky McHunk on the cover. This is a hard-boiled love story, no happy endings guaranteed. As, we all know, heart break may follow. for all is fair in love and war. Max is fighting a war. A war with himself and a war with yesterday. He finds a fellow fighter in Mona Sax. He finds in her a memory, an enemy, a partner, a lover. But will he find answers in her? What will love show Max Payne? Even the hardest of you is gonna like this. After all, after the shots have been made and the score settled, we all need something nice to cuddle with. (And whoa, is Mona somethin' nice to cuddle with. Down, Max, Down!) Sam Lake wrote the first Max Payne and also this one. The story is delivered through a comic book-esque style. If you liked in the first, you'll love it here. If you hated it, you're still gonna hate it. And Max is still the poet, painting the night with his song of words. This is my favorite part of the game. I love the way the story is delivered.
Gameplay This isn't a job for the average man. Taking on these kinds of odds with your basic bag of cats will get you killed. Fortunately, Max has got a few tricks up his sleeve. Walla! Bullet time. When the lead's flyin' and people are dyin' the only way to live is with this handy move. Hit the B button and your problems slow down, allowing you to act in real time while the world goes an a little siesta. Max can unload clips while the other guys blink their eyes. And boy, is it damn fun. This keeps the game moving. It puts you in situations you would not normally be able to survive and gives you just the edge you need. When the smoke clears what we see is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride. Whooo-eee! On the basics, Max handles well. Those familiar with computer shooters will recognize the idea and newcomers will get the hang quickly. Before you know it you're not even thinking of the controls. You're just in pure gaming bliss, that sweet nirvana so many die to see. Max Payne is ultimate fun.
Graphics/Sound With a sequel we expect the ante to be upped and thus so shall the ante be upped. Characters are much more appealing nowadays. Gone is the Ex-Lax commercial constipation look, in are some attractive figurines. I remember in the first one Mona Sax was queen of the dogs but now she is one fine lookin' lady. Apart from character designs, the graphics are pretty much typical of the first game. Nothing really new or special. Not to squish the graphics. They are still wonderful. They fit the game like a charm. And the sound! Max is screamin' in your ear in nice hi-fi Dolby Digital, bursting eardrums all across America. Even on your basic sound layout, it still sounds great. Sweet, oh sweet firefights! The sound that I love about this game is the characters. Their voices are great, each fitting the character beautifully. The acting is excellent. Also, the little sound effects are awesome. The ones that are not your focus, like the little TV you walk by. Listen to those and you will know the meaning of magnificence! Seriously, Max is kickin' it when it comes to these two departments.
Playtime/Replayability Short. But short in a good way. For as all we males know. It's not the size that matters but what you do with it. And does Max deliver! The first time through is gonna take 6-10 hours, and there's not much to unlock. But the beauty of this game lies in THE GAME (what a concept!) It does everything it needs to and more and it only takes about seven hours. There is absolutely nothing there that needs not be. Afterwards, Max Payne 1 is one of the few games I play again and again and again. I got #2 today and already beat it. And guess what I'm gonna play tomorrow. #2! It's such fun you'll definitely want to have another run.
Final Verdict Max Payne is a game unlike any other. If I wanted to convince someone of the value of video games, I would show them Max Payne. This is such a work of art. And it's damn fun too! If you loved the first one, this is a no-brainer. If you didn't like the first one, sorry this boat's not for you. If you haven't played Max Payne before I recommend playing the first one first so you get the full effect. But, by all means, BUY MAX PAYNE 2 NOW! It is truly a work of art, what a video game should be. This excuses all those hours I spend playing video games. This is truly an experience of such value and merit. Games like these are the reasons WHY WE ARE VIDEOGAMERS! Buy Max Payne 2 now.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 11/29/03


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