Review by agent1500

Reviewed: 03/18/04

Not as short as I thought it would be.

I had heard a lot of good things about the gameplay in Max Payne 2 and a lot of bad things about the game length. I was going to wait to for a price drop before I got the game, but my parents gave it to me for my Christmas. Oh man…what a beauty it was. Excellent graphics…good storyline…and it even seemed like a long game to me. So…

Gameplay: 10/10

Well, before I begin I wanted to say a little bit about my system so you know how the game performed. I have a 5950 Ultra 256 MB video card and 512 MB of RAM. So the game was a clean run, not choppy or any problems like that for me to look down on. The engine used for Max Payne 2 was beautiful. I can’t really think of anything to complain about with the gameplay, the 3D interactive environment was an excellent piece of work. The game itself lets you do all the fun stuff that you want; like turn on the water, check phone messages, watch your favorite TV programs (Address Unknown was mine), and kill hundreds upon hundreds of people…classic.

You’ve got the same weapons from the original Max Payne plus a few new ones. Bullet time has been improved quite nicely. Not only does it charge when you kill someone, but when you’re not using it recharging will slowly happen. Some hard work was put into the reloading during bullet time…I found myself wasting ammo just to see the camera trick take place. The AI opponents are pretty smart in this game. They have a lot to talk about, that is, if you let them talk before you kill them. The aim is fairly accurate, but they are not so good at using grenades when their equipped. No big deal though.

The little cut scenes before and after levels are excellent. It looks like a quite a bit of work has been put into character design. For crying out loud, I could see character’s facial hair during close up shots. You also get the chance to switch and play as Mona throughout some of the game as well.

Finding an enemy, right clicking my mouse to enter bullet time, blasting the hell out of my foes, and watching Max do his awesome reloading trick was how I spent most of the game. Damn…I loved this game. I wish I had some bad things to say about the gameplay as well but…there just wasn't anything. No glitches, no freezes, everything done was with excellent detail. I have to give respect to the programmers where it’s earned. They did an amazing job.

Storyline: 10/10

The storyline for Max Payne 2 was interesting and really tied in the original. Irony, betrayal, murder, it was all in there. Since this is the sequel to Max Payne, you also get the option to review what happened in the first. It picks up after Max is freed by Alfred Wooden from the Inner Circle, making Max look like a hero. Unable to stomach staying with the DEA, he goes back to the NYPD.

Max hears a familiar warehouse address on his radio. He goes there, hears shots fired and runs in to check it out. This is where he finds an under cover group pretending to work for a cleaning company and meets Mona Sax once again.

The game starts in the middle of the story, revealing people who are already dead without explaining what happened. As you progress into the game, things are cleared up and the story unfolds.

Graphics/Sound 10/10

Now I could sit here and praise the graphics all day long. As I mentioned, Bullet time and character design are two really big things that had some good work put into them. Fine work if I’ve ever seen it. The voice acting was good, not to cheesy. Max Payne didn’t go Konami style voice acting or anything like that. In fact, the voice of Max had excellent narrative skill. The sounds were dependent on where you were standing in the game. If a foe was talking on Max’s left or an explosion was taking place on the left, etc. the sound was coming out of the left speaker. If it was Max’s right, it would be the right speaker. This made a good addition to the atmosphere (for the hard to please gamers).

Play Time/Replay 10/10

It actually took me a long time to complete this game so I’m not really upset about game length. I had a lot of trouble with some of the levels, mainly the sniper level with Mona. Plus I’ve never played Max Payne for computer so I had to adjust to the keyboard controls. Using a mouse is so much better. You can up the difficulty after you beat the game once and even play timed levels if you want to master the game. Rockstar also included the “dead man walking” game option as well, where enemies respawn after you kill them in five seconds.


Well, I would personally recommend waiting till the price drops. However, just yesterday I went to Best Buy and saw that it was down to 39.99 if that fits in your budget. I tried running this game on a PC that didn’t meet the requirements and it really took away from the overall effect so try not to make the same mistake as me. If you don’t meet the requirements I would definitely recommend a rent for Xbox or PS2.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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