Reviews: Max Payne
2: The Fall of Max Payne
Max Payne 2:
The Fall of Max Payne
The Final Say!
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max
by Edwin Milheim
Review Score 9.4/10
Distributed By: Take 2 Interactive
Note: This review covers all formats released and score is based across
The original Max Payne blazed
on to the scene with eye popping adrenalin pumping fervor that
knocked the gaming world on its collective butts. While there are
several quality games out there, none put the gamer in the middle
of an action movie like Max Payne did. How the heck do you follow
something like that up? Can it be followed up at all? The answer
thankfully is yes!
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne delivers
all the goods when it comes to a game just daring you to try to
walk away. The game just keeps you riveted and wondering whatís
coming next. Even better you get to play another character during
the story. Mona Sax, an ultra cool blooded killer that is either
there to help Max or Kill him. Some times itís hard to tell. There
is a bit of a draw between these two characters and the situation
gets very adult more than a few times. On top of the eye popping
violence of the gun play, there is strong sexual themes. It would
be advised for parents of younger players to take note of the M
for Mature rating this game got.
The story of Max Payne 2 is
rather involved, with more twists and turns than can be explained
with out doing a full blown spoiler to the game. As the story
begins it starts in the present and bounces back in time to tell
the story of how things got the point the player is introduced to
in the beginning. Still with me? Confused? Play the game you wont
be, and you wonít be bored either. Again cut scenes are played out
both in short intro scenes and also in the old comic panel style
to move the story along. Narrated as always by the tough as nails
voice of Max himself.
Bullet time is of course back.
For those who have not played the first game and how no clue what
I am talking aboutÖBullet time gives Max Payne the ability to slow
time down. All enemies slow down as well as Max, but the
difference is that Max can aim in real time. This gives Max Payne
the advantage over a room full of thugs bent on ventilating our
hero with lead. Itís a sight to see as always, spent shell casings
hang in the air, falling like brass feathers to the ground. This
effect is limited so the player will do well to watch the little
hour glass that shows how much bullet time is left. Now of course
the upside is that while in bullet time, every enemy taken out, a
little more bullet time is gained. If multiple enemies are taken
down very quickly the hour glass changes to different shades.
During this time if it is activated, Max goes very deep into the
zone. All the enemies go even slower but Max moves at his normal
speed during bullet time. The deeper the shade of yellow the more
advantage Max has over the enemy.
Shoot dodging is also back;
using this move Max can dive in most directions while slowing time
down, but the main bonus here is that the Bullet time allotment is
not effected at all.
During Bullet time when Max or Mona has to reload, they do it with a
slow motion blur spin. This all takes place with a really cool point of
view panning of the camera.
(Ala John Woo!).
Aside from the guns and explosives, there is another attack now. A
pistol whip function. I was never able to sneak up on anyone to use
itÖbut it is there. When I did use it, I was right up in their faces or
in amongst more than one of them and started swinging and alternately
shooting. Hey it works.
Other graphic improvements are Rag Doll Effects. Rag Doll Effects adds a
lot to the physics of the game as a character is gunned down or falls
from a high place the body goes limp and bounces accordingly as it falls
to the ground, striking surfaces and obstacles on the way down.
Max Payne 2 is a graphic hungry game. I cannot imagine lower end systems
even attempting this game on the PC. Minimum requirements for the PC are
a 1 GHz Pentium III. The Graphics are so intense if you have a power
house of a system youíre going to be served up an awe inspiring vision
of a game in all its graphic glory.
The sounds in Max Payne 2, from the SFX of guns and explosions on the
music are stellar. The Dolby Digital really makes the gun battles
intense as the deep boom of a shot gun goes off to your left and the
clatter of a machine gun sounds from behind. Listen close and you even
here the empty brass hitting the ground. Voice acting in the game is
rich and the voice talents go very well with the characters they are
portraying. The music wraps it all up in a true immersive gaming
package. Music sets the mood and matches the darkness that plays out on
the screen. Moody at one moment and hurried and heralding of danger the
next. Only while playing Mona in a couple of instances does the music
seem almost out of place, but it is so short of a time that it is hardly
noticed. (I only noticed because this is my fifth time playing the game
all the way through.)
Max Payne 2: the fall of Max Payne is one of those must have games. Even
if you only play it once through. But I have a feeling that the Mod
community are hard at work even now coming up with new levels and Mods
to expand on the game for the PC.
Iíll have to say if I had any part of the game I did not like it would
have to be the part when you play Mona Sax and you have to defend Max by
using the sniper rifle and keeping a horde of thugs away from him. This
can be tough at times. I had to play that level a couple times at least
to move things along successfully.
You can now get Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne for the Xbox, PS2 or
the PC. What ever system you play this on, it is one incredible game.
Have fun, play games.
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