Review by ThEvVhiTeStuFF

Reviewed: 10/27/03

Short and sweet

Max Payne 2 is the sequel to the popular and gritty 3rd person shooter released 2 years ago. The new Max Payne is a 'film noir love story,' and isn't really too much different from the original.

Gameplay - 9

The controls are what you'd expect, and outside of Bullet Time, the game plays like any other 3rd person shooter. Bullet Time, the slow-motion mode which allows you to perform special attacks and dodge bullets, is what makes the game.

Standard singleplayer is extremely fun the first time around, although you'll probably find yourself going back to 2 or 3 levels over and over again because they stand out from the rest. Most levels are pretty good, but several are spectacular.

Story - 9

Max Payne has one of the best stories ever in a shooter. It's intense, has several well-done big twists, and is presented simply but effectively. That being said, it's not quite comparable to the stories of the best RPGs, but the story is easily better than that of 8/10 RPGs on the market today.

Graphics - 9

You'll need a pretty powerful computer to run everything at it's highest, so for most of you, this probably deserves a 7 or an 8. Still, if you have the computer that can run this maxed out (2ghz, 512 MB DDR, 128MB video card would be my suggestion), you'll find the graphics are some of the best on the market today. There are some upcoming games with superior graphics, Doom 3 for example, but they're fairly few in number.

Sound - 8

The voice acting ranges from good to spectacular, and the sound effects from footsteps, broken glass, explosions etc are all top notch. The music is good and effectively enhances the game's mood although you've probably heard better. The biggest problem in the sound department are the lines themselves. Max will deliver a fairly cheesy line once in awhile that can kill the mood, which is unfortunate, because otherwise the dialogue would be some of the best on the market.

Play Time/Replay - 6

The biggest fault of Max Payne 2 is the brevity of the singleplayer storyline. You'll probably beat the game in around 12 hours, and it's possible to do it in 6 if you rush the second time around.

There are of course new game modes unlocked once you beat the game (harder difficulty, survival mode, and a time attack mode) in addition to player created mods, but it's doubtful that any of these will keep you playing for too much longer. If you're looking for something that will keep you busy for months, this is not it.

Final Recommendation -

If you liked Max Payne or are a shooter fan, buy this game. If you are generally turned off by action games because of their often weak stories, this may also be worth picking up, as the storyline will not be an issue for anyone.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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