Review by ShadeKun

"The Rise of Max Payne"

I liked the first Max Payne, and I like the sequel even more...

Graphics: 9/10

The Graphics is a nice improvement over the first. The lips move now, and the faces have depth and structure. The hands are well made, and fingers don't have that solid stonelike look to it where it stays in one position forever. The textures have been improved a lot, and things look very real. Rag dolls, and physics have been modified, and for the better. They've added a lot of motion blur, probably more than necessary, but it sure looks nice. The Explosions have been improved, and also looks nice. Also, the sawed off shotgun, which in the first, did not have a handle, has a handle now. Nice work. Most people have complained about Payne's ''new'' look. I tell them this. He might look older, but you have to remember, this game was made 2 years ago, and a lot has happened in those years. The graphics have been improved, so you could say, the Payne look they were going for has been achieved in this game. The particles are incredible. If you look carefully, you can see that the bullets have been animated, and added into all the shots. The gun blasts have been fixed, they seem more real, and believable, the shots don't give off ''sunlight'', but just enough to look good. The only downfall is, if you don't have a 32-bit GFX card, tough luck.

Sound: 10/10

The musical score for this game is great. All the music fits very well, and are also well placed. Perfect music for certian situations, and all of it sounding great, to the gloomy, painful world of Max Payne. The gun shots have been improved. The shots are not super loud like in the previous version, but a nice lighter sound, not as heavy. It seems more believeable that way. The gunshots in the sounds of any fight scene are nicely put, and really brings you into the game, and makes you feel as though you could be shot. The voices are nice too, they fit the characters, and the story telling sounds very good, and mixed in very nicely with the current situation.

Story: 7/10

Like the first one, the story is well told, but there is not as much material you can work on. It is mostly filled with cliches, metaphors, and similes which give the story a zest to make it sound like it's good. But it is certainly improved from the last one.

Gameplay: 9/10

This is still where the bulk of the score should be. This is what makes me keep wanting to come back for more. There are multiple difficulty settings, so you might want to keep wanting to beat it just to try your luck on the other settings. I'd say the gameplay has been made slightly easier than the first. I usually find myself with more painkillers than I know what to do with. And a surplus of unused ammo for guns that I never use. The usefulness of lower powered guns really never wear out. So you could probably beat the entire game with your dual berretas, and maybe some help from the eagle. This is a good thing, the last one, you found yourself dying a lot, and I mean a lot, so you save, a lot. This one, since it's slightly easier, you won't been seeing that happen as much. So you won't find yourself itching to give up every time there are loads of enemies. There is enough stuff to hide behind almost all the time, so you can take your time and stay alive. In the first one, you were not able to put Bullet time to its best use, because it wasn't really useful unless you were shoot dodging, and fighting 1 to 3 enemies, anymore and it'd be deadly, but in Max Payne 2, bullet time has been greatly enhanced. The more enemies you can kill during bullet time, the slower it gets, but you get to stay at your somewhat slow but faster than the enemies speed. So you can use it in any situation to help you out, and make the game more ''beatable''.

Overall, Max Payne 2 is a great game, you should consider buying it if you have the computer hardware to support this very advanced game.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 10/27/03

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