Review by Muck0 Man

"Bullet Time has never been so fun"

Max Payne 2 is the sequel to the first Max Payne game. The first game developed Max Payne into a action hero using movie-like cinematics and bullet time. The sequel takes place awhile after the events of the first game. I really enjoyed playing this game and think it's one of the best third person action games out there on any console.

Story:9/10 The story is based mainly around the relationship between Max and Mona Sax. I thought it was a great story with a few good plot twists at the end. I also liked how the order of the game was mixed up too. It helps foreshadow the things to come in the game. Especially the opening part in the hospital. There was one thing I didn't like about the story. I don't want to give anything away but I'll just say that a bullet to the head should kill you.

Gameplay:9/10 The controls are a lot similar to the last game although there is a few changes. There is now a secondary attack that can be assigned to the Y button, which can a melee attack or a grenade. You still shoot dodge and fire with the L and R triggers and I never found myself getting frustrated over the controls, which is need for a game like this since the action is so fast paced. The only thing I didn't like about the controls was that the white button was used to take painkillers and the black button was used to reload. Sometimes I found myself taking a painkiller when I needed to reload. But the controls are customizable, but if your like me, you usually just play the game with default controls.

Graphics:10/10 The graphics in Max Payne 2 are alot better that the first game and features more detail in the environments. Character models are improved and Max has no more constipated look. Explosions and fire effects are done well and bullet time has a cool retro effect when you go into it. The one thing that most impressed me wit this game was the attention to detail though. The game has havok physics which make for life like deaths and environment interaction. Things like TV's can be turned on and you can actually watch shows and commercials. Many things can be turned on or interacted with. This makes the environment seem life like and realistic. The environments are made to feel dark and moody, although I didn't like how it was always raining. New York can't have that many weather problems, can it.

Sound:10/10 Another part of the game that shines is the sound. There's alot to hear in this game. Many of the enemies throughout the game will have small conversations before they see you. They help make enemies seem more human and some of the conversations are very interesting. The voice acting is superb and the music has a dramatic feel to it. Gun shots and explosions are all done realistically. One other thing that I really liked in this game was the song "Late Goodbye" by the Poets of Fall which helped with the movie like feel that the game offers. It's a small thing, but it's things like that which help this game shine.

Play Time/Replayablity: 8/10 This is the only part of the game that I feel could have been improved. The game is on the short side, an average player can beat it in around 8 hours. Once you beat it you unlock a few extra mode which add a little more to the game although they really don't give you anything new. There's a special death match mode called Dead Man Walking which puts you up against multiple enemies until your killed. Then there's New York Minute which puts you against the clock to beat the level within the time limit. The game itself though has a high amount of replayability though. You'll want to play the game over and over, since there's a few secrets that can be missed. I only wish that the game could have had a few more unlockables or alittle longer in length.

Final Recommendation: Buy it. It's been out in stores for awhile so it's pretty cheap or you can by it used for a small price. If your an action gamer who loves fast paced games that will have your heart racing then you'll fall in love with this title.

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 11/22/04

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