Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne | Mini Review!

What is it?

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is a third-person shooter developed by Remedy Entertainment and published by Rockstar Games. The titular maverick cop is back in the NYPD after being falsely accused of killing his partner during a one-man war against the mob. After stumbling across a crime scene containing assassins masquerading as cleaners, Max reunites with Mona Sax, a femme fatale contract killer thought to have been dead. A fragile and rickety relationship blooms between the two as they find themselves tangled in a greater conspiracy.

Platform(s)

PC, Xbox, PS2

Pros
Cons
Great film noir-inspired story with brilliant graphic novel cutscenes and voice acting.
Satisfying gunfights and armory. Combat and movement feels more refined than before.
Wave mode adds a lot more replayability.
Difficulty is adjusted based on your performance once again; lacks the annoying platforming during nightmare sequences.
Bullet Time is now insanely overpowered.
Ragdoll physics makes enemy deaths look silly and over-exaggerated.
Disappointing final boss battle.
Doesn’t feel quite as long as the previous game.

Verdict:

Sequels are a hit-and-miss affair in gaming; all it takes is a single dodgy design choice to damper the overall quality. Now that’s not to say the game is awful or disappointing, far from it. The visuals, storytelling, and soundtrack are all top notch stuff. The combat is more refined, with a selection of great weapons and exciting battles through a slew of memorable levels, some of which allow you to play as Mona Sax as well. The ‘Dead Man Walking’ survival mode is a very nice inclusion, making it well worth revisiting over and over after completing the game.

The biggest gripe with the game is the Bullet Time mode. While diving around to dodge enemies and plug them full of lead is just as stylish as it is effective, the weird thing is that it now slows down everything and everyone except the protagonist. It’s like Max or Mona turn into The Flash, sprinting around and juggling ragdolling enemies into the air by shooting them over and over. It feels like a superpower, tipping the odds in your favour a bit too much. As disappointing as this design choice is, it’s still not enough to damper how much of a great follow-up the game is. Maybe it would’ve been better if issues like these were reconsidered.

Max Payne 2 may be weighed down by a few dodgy design choices, but it’s a kick-ass shooter that’s well worth revisiting.

 

 

 

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