"Max Payne 2 upholds the great tradition of the series."

The first Max Payne was not only one of my favorite games ever, but it served as a idea for countless developers to copy , Bullet Time. However no game has ever quite matched the feeling that bullet time in Max Payne produced, that is until now.
Unfortunately I really don't think that Max Payne 2's story is better then the first one. I think that it just seems to lack something that the first had, maybe it's the brilliant revenge motive that Max had throughout the game. Don't get me wrong, this game's story is better then 99% of the other cliche drivel that's released these days. And not to spoil anything for you guys, but I was kinda sad when my favorite character betrayed me :(
Sound is another category that I don't really think lived up to the first game. The gun sounds sound really 'tinny' and don't have that grunt to them. Voice acting is good though, about on par.
Max Payne 2 continues the series' reputation when it comes to graphics, infact I think it's one of the best looking games on Xbox, some of the locations are simply stunning. Character models are also a major improvement, although it looks like some of the characters have had a queer makeover, because I had some trouble recognizing the some of the characters when I first saw them. The framerate is also silky smooth, and I experienced no slowdown at all.
Gameplay. Put simply, Max Payne has probably the best gameplay I've ever seen (or played). Bullet Time 2.0 is great fun, although some of the new features didn't really live up to my expectations. The melee option is nothing but a waste of time, and the ability to stay down after a shootdodge wasn't as good as it could have been, although it's sill a cool thing to do. The New reload animation in Bullettime, is one of the coolest thing's I've ever seen, nothing beats seeing the camera pan around Max in his super slick pose, with bullets and casings littering the air.
New technological features also add alot to the game, mainly the Havok physics engine. I've seen this in action before in a couple of games and in 3dsmax, although nothing on this level. The engine makes gunfights look even cooler, as it's possible to knock over boxes, tyres and many other inanimate objects that litter your path. The enemies your shooting at also react realistically (for the most part) thanks to Ragdoll physics.

A couple of things that bothered me though: The game is short, like real short. I probably finished this game the first time in a day, and that was taking regular breaks and having Christmas lunch for the family ;) Still there's always the extra difficulty levels. apart from this it's only really minor things, like the bad gun effects and some kinda mediocre levels. I also thought that that game had too much Tomb Raider-esque parts, although these were few and far between, so it's all good!
To sum up, if you're a rabid Max Payne fanboy (such as my self) then go and buy it. If you're a casual fan then go and rent it, and then grab it when it's cheaper.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 12/28/03

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