What is it?
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.