Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (Video Game 2003) Poster

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10/10
High quality game, looks amazing and doesn't need super video cards for it
PeteRoy14 May 2005
I love this game.

First, I want to say this, My Geforce 3 Ti200 and Pentium 4 2.8Ghz runs this game at "max" settings and it runs very smoothly, game looks better than Half-Life 2 or Doom 3 and doesn't need a killer video card, just shows you how much.

Second, the game story is good, Max Payne has a very deep perspective about life general facts like dreams, the past, love, crime and more, I like hearing what he has to say about those things, it is almost like poetry.

The games music is good, it can really touch you and get you into the mood of the story.

The game action is great, a lot of fun with bullet time and high realistic games, I love the fact that you see him drop the magazine of the gun, it is probably the only game right now that really drops the magazine on the floor.

Great quality game, will be a classic and set the bar for future games.
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10/10
Possibly the best video game of its kind ever made.
MovieAddict201618 March 2006
I am blown away. I knew they had attempted to make this as theatrical and true to the roots of film noir as possible, but the depth and emotion in this is simply amazing. Some people have complained that it is too short (I personally beat it in perhaps five or six hours), but this only enriches the experience because it moves along at a rapid pace and manages to come across more as a movie than a video game.

They used real actors for the game and the cut scenes are more realistic than in the first game (which looked more like a comic). One thing that took a while to get used to were all the differences in the characters, as well as Max Payne's new physical features in this game (noticeably, his face). The previous game's model was based on "Max Payne" creator Sam Lake, whereas in this game they actually hired an actor to model Max on. I do miss the original face of Max because I had grown so accustomed to it, however -- I think overall this one looks more beaten-down and destroyed, emotionally and physically. He also looks a lot more like the typical cop character from a police movie, which I think works to the game's advantage.

The first game followed Payne after his wife and child were murdered -- another aspect I preferred in the first since Max's revenge motives were more hard-boiled and raw. In the sequel, he's basically got a price over his head because he knows about a secret organization that is splitting in two over a mob war -- and he teams up with a femme fatale from the previous story (whom he thought was dead) to take them on.

What's so great about "Max Payne 2" is how involving and engaging it is while still managing to be perhaps the smartest and deepest video game ever made. The characters all seem real, the action is never really THAT far-fetched (at least not in comparison to the original) and, believe it or not, the love story between Max and Mona Sax is entirely convincing.

The finale, just like in the original, is breathtaking and climactic.

Is "Max Payne 2" better than the original? Well, that's hard to say. I think, technically speaking, yes, it is -- however, there are certain aspects of the original that I cling on to, as well as the novelty of the first game and how utterly blown away I was when I first played it. The first "Payne" did also seem slightly more gritty, but it lacked a lot of the depth that is present in the sequel.

I'm big on revenge themes so the concept of the first game appealed to me more -- Max isn't really avenging anyone in this game until the last few minutes, which is a bit disappointing. He's more of a wanted man on the run. However, these are things necessary for the development of the game, story and character himself.

Gamewise, I preferred the first game's weapons and they didn't sound as fake as the ones in "MP2" (which pop rather unrealistically when you fire them).

On the other hand, I prefer the bullet-time in "Max Payne 2" FAR more than in the original -- it looks awesome in this one. You can also do cooler spins and slow-motion moves while you're in bullet time as compared to the first game.

I have to be perfectly honest when I say I also didn't like being forced to play as Mona Sax on two levels, nor did I find the levels themselves as fun or intricate as the first game. The first few levels of "Max Payne" (the original) when you're in those drug-infested apartment buildings doesn't compare to any level in the new game. I found, despite the sequel's excessive language and sexual content, that the original was darker and more intense.

Nevertheless, despite a few little "quibbles," this is -- overall -- probably a superior game to the first "Max Payne." It's the most theatrical game experience I've ever had -- and they even have end credits with a music theme that play afterwards! I can't wait to see an adaptation of these hit the big screen next year. If they do it right it could be one of the best films ever made.
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Game of the Year
statnoiz29 December 2003
What to say about Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne? Let's break it down: GAMEPLAY - Extremely Entertaining. I haven't had this much fun in a 3rd person shooter since the original Tomb Raider. The levels are fresh and challenging without being at all frustrating. You have different objectives other than just staying alive and finding the exit. The cooperation levels actually feel like your AI partner is out there watching your back (and vice versa when its your turn to provide a key game character some protection). And what can I say: bullet time still rocks! GRAPHICS - Stunning. The textures are rich and realistic...right down to the skin blemishes. The facial modeling could be a little better as eye movement doesn't follow focus like in Unreal 2. Game physics, however, is extraordinary. When characters hit the ground their limbs bounce about and give the appearances of actual weight. And the motion capture sequences for the cinematic segments are simply amazing! VOICE ACTING - Superb. If Mona Sax sounds familiar, that's Wendy Hoopes who does the voice of Jane Lane from MTV's cartoon series Daria...good to see she's expanding her voice over work into the gaming industry. But by far the most amusing voice over work here is by Fred Berman who plays the memorable role of Vinnie Gognitti--the foul-mouthed, anime loving, mobster punk who adds much needed comical relief to the story ala Joe Pesci-style. MUSIC - Wonderful. Max's theme is performed superbly on cello by Perttu Kivilaakso. The recurring variations of the song "Late Goodbye" by Poets of the Fall throughout the game adds a nice touch. SOUND FX - Awesome. Everything from simple riccochet sounds to the loudest explosions--feels like you're right in the middle of a good John Woo movie. OVERALL IMPRESSION - Best Game of 2003. For those who claim the game plays out too fast, wake up and smell the gun powder. I've finished it three different times and have noticed subtle things I've missed in each instance. Watch the different shows on the in-game television sets. Pick up that ringing phone in the second to the last dream sequence. Use that computer surveylence terminal in the hospital. Complete the game three times at the three different difficulty levels for an alternate story ending. A game like this is like watching the first Matrix movie...you simply have to play it again to fully appreciate its genius.
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a man with nothing to gain
kulabas26 February 2004
The saga continues.Even you're a hard person to find things good in later comers,you'll find all the things you loved in first one.Dark atmosphere,action with 'bullet-time' quality,high-level graphics...And in this one our guy is not alone;if you're looking for a femme-fatale keeping secrets,mysteries,it's Mona Sax what you need.A story with lies,deceptions.A man trying to find the ground from his eternal fall.That's what we call Max Payne genre.

The newest thing about the game is the change in the face of Max Payne.Deadsure this new look is better.The new holds all the sorrow,and fatigue which the years gifted to him.And besides Max Payne,Mona Sax's join gives game a new level.We can into the thoughts of her by the dialogs,the oil-printed screens between chapters.And in some chapters we are playing Mona Sax character besides Max Payne.That's another reason that when everything comes up to a conclusion in the end,we feel the loss,the pain in our hearts better.We exactly live the feelings these two characters live.

The screenplay is more complicated.The bad men,the conspiracies,the things tricky.We don't kill the men just because game wants,we don't go with the flow;we are aware all the going on.This is the success of the screenplay and the videos between the chapters to keep us in the same direction as the game is on the wheel.Also in some chapters we play in the events which happened during the chapter we played before.These are some of the developments about the cinematic and storytelling side of the second game.

There are two things I'd like to tell.First one;this one is not just a game to continue the series.It is connected with the first game both in story and character side.And it feels like it will go on.The second thing is the song playing in the end:Late Goodbye by Poets Of The Fall.Only the ones who play this game can understand how it makes you feel.

So play this game and see how it plays with the ides about 'falling' in your mind.Ask yourself:Is there anything he didn't lose as he lives in his eternal fall? and will ever be ground for him to reach?
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9/10
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is the best video game I have ever played in recent years. (* * * * out * * * *)
AngryMovieNerd30 August 2005
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (2003) is like a puzzle waiting to be solved. The pieces aren't in the right place, which leaves the game player to figure it out. Instead of giving us a straightforward action game, it successfully builds mystery. This "film noir love story" is a better improvement over the original, and the characters, the plot, and the setting are better this time around.

Max Payne no longer has that "constipated grin" on his face, but a face that is filled is with all the loss and anger that he once suffered in the past. By now he's a brooding cop, and he has every right to be one, since his wife and baby child were killed in the original.

The message of film noir is that there are no real heroes. Max Payne is not the typical cardboard cutout action hero. Here is a man so cheerless, that he doesn't even form a smile, and we can understand why. He also shows a "survivor's guilt." Having taken his revenge in the first game, Max is not satisfied with what he has--due to what he sees as his "crime" (surviving) going unpunished, and due to the fact that, even though he has claimed his revenge, his family is still dead, and he is still alive.

One night, Payne responds a hostage situation in a gun workshop run by men in jumpsuits. He stumbles upon Mona Sax, a femme fatale presumed dead after the events in the original. Payne learns turn too late when Mona warns him that they are both in danger. A sniper hits Max's apartment, and Mona escapes, with Payne setting out to find the person who wants him dead.

We are also introduced to several characters from the original, including Lt. Jim Bravura, Max's boss at the NYPD, and Alfred Woden, a dying senator and a member of the Inner Circle. There is even a subplot involving a Mob war between Vladimir Lem and Vinnie Gognitti (who, this time, resembles a foul-mouthed Joe Pesci character). The mob war subplot may sound unnecessary, but it's crucial to what happens in the story.

I liked the original Max Payne (2001), which was released in 2001, and I thought it was the benchmark of action-packed video games. I liked the dialogue, the intense action, the graphics, and the locations it used. But I like Max Payne 2 even more. This is a game that gives life to almost all of its characters. Like Max Payne, the characters are able to express their feelings and thoughts to each other, and there is a big surprise as Max finds out who's after him.

Max Payne series creator Sam Lakes keeps the player involved with his characters We're not just playing a typical action game where we shoot mindless bad guys, but we're learning about the characters as well. Even the villains in the game, get to share their stories.

I also liked how the characters' lip movements were convincing and how they moved along with the way they speak. They also do some convincing movements, such as ragdoll-like movements, which allow the enemy's body to move around like a limp corpse.

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne is a great video game, but it shares the same flaws the original once had. There is a lack of character variety; a lot of the characters such as bodyguards, thugs, mobsters, and police officers look essentially the same, and once again it resembles a John Woo movie with its handgun leaps and ridiculously high body count. And the firing sounds for the weapons in the game sound unrealistic and could have been better.

I also think the game is also a bit too short, whereas the original was like playing a TV marathon. But what it lacks in quantity and length, it pays for with quality.

The New York settings in each level looks convincing and great. My favorite is the New York Police Department, where Payne is able to interact with other characters such as suspects and police officers. Even the streets of New York, during the mob war levels, resemble a war zone.

The narration in both the game and the graphic novel helps to not only move the story, but to provide humor or reaction to an incident. The narration by James McCaffrey (who also voices Payne) is great. Instead of sleepwalking in his dialogue like the original, he actually moves along with the words.

And fans will probably agree with me that Mona Sax is one of the most sexy 3D heroines out there. If her voice (perfectly provided by Wendy Hoopes) doesn't get to you first, her appearance certainly will. She is endowed with a high poly count and blessed with some very smooth motion-captured animations.

The beauty of the unfolding storyline of Max Payne 2 is that the player is never really sure if Mona feels the same way Max does, or if she's luring him into a trap--unless some heartless game reviewer ruins it for you. Being the highly trained killer that she is, playing as Mona is just as easy and equally lethal as when playing as Max. One wonders and hopes if their will be a spin-off to such a great series.

But will there be a "Max Payne 3?" Maybe. But to make another would seem difficult, especially after what happens in the end of this game. But Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne still remains the best in the series. This is not only an action game. It's about love, life and death in a city facing chaos.
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very morbid story driven by a gritty narrative
whoTheFuqRyou21 February 2004
The continuation to Max Payne is similar in gameplay to its predecessor except for the newly added Bullet-time reload which actually very effective in instances, but that's O.K. because the gameplay was good to begin with. secondly, the story proves that Max Payne is easily one of the most ruthlessly mature video games out today.

9.5/10
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Amnor Vincit Omnia
jarra_baron27 September 2005
As a sequel, it surpasses its predecessor in every way. As a video game, it surpasses the very boundaries people thought allowable, and possible. The photorealistic effects, ingenious use of lighting and incredible colour palette mixed with a thumping and brooding soundtrack (Poets of the Fall) create the world of Max Payne. It is slick but incredibly violent and woven extremely taught; the love affair between Mona and Max if anything is simply beautifully told; and the storyline itself is conceptually impressive. Max Payne 2 is a game for mature players: and it will take multiple replays to fully understand the achievement set down by Rockstar and Take 2.
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10/10
Just As Good As The Original(review for PC and PS2 version)
gangstahippie26 July 2006
Rated M for Strong Violence,Blood,Language and Sexual Content.

Max Payne 2 The Fall Of Max Payne is the 2003 sequel to the 2001 hit game Max Payne.In my opinion Max Payne 2 is just as good as the first.I actually played this game before the original.There isn't much of an improvement in the sequel.The graphics are a tiny bit better but other than that its the same as the first.But the first one was good and so was this one.Don't be fooled by the romantic looking cover just like the first Max Payne this one has plenty of blood and violence(and the ability to kill in slow motion) but unlike the first one this one contains more profanity including some f-words.The PC version of the game is amazing.The PS2 version on the other hand is not that amazing.When I got a PS2,I got Max Payne 2.I remembered it being awesome on the PC.The PS2 version is not a very good port.The graphics are worse and the bullettime is for some reason in black and white.However, if you never played the PC version, you will like the PS2 version.I heard Max Payne 1 is good on the PS2 and I will get that one as well.Max Payne 2 is an excellent sequel despite little improvement over the first one.I recommend both!

10/10
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A Perfect Film Noir sequel
GlennBrody6919 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
*WARNING: POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD*

You had to be living on Mars, with rocks in your ears and dust in your eyes not to know what the "Max Payne" video game was in 2001. The game which broke many boundaries in the VG industry, using 3rd person gameplay action, along with the a new system of fight known as "Bullet-time", a techque similar to the moves in "The Matrix" where times slows down while you spray bullets. Hitting Computer screens, and then later with console systems like PS2 and Xbox, MP was a astonishing hit and sold over 30 million copies within two weeks. Alas, then the cheesy ripoff games came around, abusing the "bullet-time" action to a point where the feature wasn't all very amusing than it was when it first appeared in 2001 in games. As to say, it was around that time that horrible movies, like "Charlie's Angels" and "Bulletproof Monk" used the techque from "Matrix" and "Payne", ultimately discouraging anybody who was interrested in the mode at all. So, Rockstar Games (creator of the first game and the ever-so popular violent game series, "Grand Theft Auto") along side Remedy Games, put their heads together in how to create a sequel to the game, which so many people wanted. But to make it better?

The original game was made particularly on a small budget, surprisingly. So small, that the in-game model for Max was the games head writer, Sam Lake (eh, not a bad lookin' dude). However, after Rockstar's success in the 2001-2002 season with games like "Grand Theft Auto III" and "GTA: Vice City", the game designers where given more. So how do you make it better? Bring back the slow-motion (and don't abuse it), bring in really good writing (we're talking Oliver Stone stuff) and get particularly better actors than the first. Thus, you get "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne"

The need for the sequel was due to the cliffhanger-esque ending the first game had, promising player after the credits "Max Payne's night of pain has just begun". Much like the original, the game starts off with the ending. It begins 2 years later after Max's shootout with Nicole Horne at the Aseir Plaza building, killing all the bad guys, except for one...Alfred Wooden. After confessing to the DEA, Max quits and rejoins the New York Police department, under Lt. Jim Bruvua, a small character from the first game. However, Max is still haunted by a woman that he met a while ago; Mona Sax, whom played a small role in the first game. When last left off, Mona was attempting revenge against the Punchinello family because of her sister being murdered by one of them. She ended up getting shot in the head while saving Max from a henchmen, but her body was never found. The game starts off with Max in a hospital, bruised and drugged. While trying to escape from their, he starts to hear voices from people, along with sexual fantisies of Mona. The beginning doesn't really make much sense, but as you progress, it all comes together. Because the game is told retrospectively, you're not very sure what happens next. But anyways, after aquiring a gun and killing a suspect, you run into Bruvua in the lobby, where a terrorist starts spraying bullets and kills a bunch of people, including Lt. Bruvua. It then flashes back 2 days earlier, when Max is investigating a possible mob war with Max's old friend Vladimir Lem (whom played a tiny part in the first game) and Vinnie Gognotti, an Italian mob boss and former weasel in the now defunct Punchinello crime family. It's during this time that Max runs into Mona, whom tells Max that she and him are both being targeted by an unknown source. Payne ends up meeting with Alfred Wooden, his enemy from the first game but now his ally, and Wooden tells Max that the Inner Circle (the secret society mentioned in the first game) maybe targeting it's individuals. Max goes against his authority with the force and his partner, Valerie Winterson, whom might be suspected being corrupted. Once against, Max is spun into a world of crime and action, but this time, it's a "Love" story. Or really, a "A Film Noir Love Story"

I really couldn't stop playing this, because it's that good. The bullet-time feature has been tweeked a little bit, making it more realiable and action-packed than the first (see it and you'll believe me). The surroundings are much better and this time around, one of the newest features, real world gravity motion, where as if you run ito a chair or some coke bottles, they move. Also, each enemy has their own style of how they fall after getting shot. Some fly backwards, some buckle down on their knees, but really there is no two death-sequnces alike (I know it sounds kinda stupid, but you just have to see it! It's amazing!) In fact, the first guy you kill in the game, flys backwards in slow motion and knocks over a bunch of hospital equipement and chairs. The bullet-time meter fills up automatically this time, instead of having to kill enemies to get it refilled. A new feature in reloading is when reloading after a quick gun battle in slow mo, Max twirls around (along with the camera, in 360 degrees) and reloads, "Matrix"-style. Also, you are able to use the Grenade or Molotov Cocktail as a secondary weapon by merely pressing the "F" button. Also, instead of a lead pipe to use when you're out of ammo, Max merely uses the butt of his gun as a weapon. Finally, the models and the facial features of the characters are MUCH better than before. Max no longer looks like Sam Lake, but for some reason, looks more like Treat Williams! Jim Bruvua now looks like Richard Riehle, the actor who played the paranoid office worker from "Office Space" and Alfred Wooden now looks like Colin Fox, the actor who used to be on the show, "Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal". Mona Fox, although we didn't really get a good shot of her in the first game because she wasn't an important character, now looks astonishingly like Jennifer Garner! Cool, kinda. The Mature Content in MP2 has definately risen since the 2001 predecessor, being that most M-rated video games are now like R-rated movies and this one is definately R-rated. The F-word is tossed around quite a bit, especially when there is someone who's panicking when you're near them. Violence manages to stay brutal as always, but it's probably not as grumsome, or disturbing, as the original. The sexual content however has definately risen. Max starts to have sexual dreams and fantasies about Mona, where he's having rough sex with her. There's also some corpses that full frontal nudity is shown. Probably the only thing that really turned me off from the original game was the disturbing and scary nature of the first game, i.e. the death of Max's wife and newborn baby. I hated playing the dream sequences where Max goes through a twisted maze, looking for his wife and child, while hearing both of them scream in pain. Nevertheless, I love how the writers and programmers use Dream sequences in a game, because they actually DO feel like dreams that you or I have; very strange, very odd. The dreams are no longer disturbing, but they are pretty freaky! One minute, you're in your house, the next, you're on a planet in the galaxy! Since most of the storyline tells about Max's disire for Mona, she appears a lot in them, but that's really aside from the point. Another interresting new feature is the ability to play AS Mona in some levels where Max needs help from her. There's nothing really different, other than it's mostly sharp-shooting. The game is slightly easier than the first, which I give thanks to because the first game was extremely hard, even for Novice players. It's, however, shorter than the film game, only spaning 3 chapters instead of the usual 4, but the new features make up for it. And for any of the fans of the first game who loved to watch the shows that appear on the TV whenever there was a Tv in the area, it's back! This time, there's more shows, along with the return of the hilarious "Twin Peaks" parody, "Address Unknown", which the game even features a level where Max tries to find Mona's house in a theme park ride that is based on the show. "The Fall of Max Payne" is awesome and completely lives up to the original. Along with a shocking ending, and a great song played during the closing credits ("Late Goodbye" by country/rock group, Poets of the Fall), fans of the original will NOT be disapointed. In fact, you'll probably get more than you expected. Can't wait for number 3, though!
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A brilliant sequel to one of my favorite games
action-67 March 2004
COMMENT TO THE PC-VERSION:

"Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" is the sequel the brilliant "Max Payne", and is one of the best titles available. The gameplay remains largely the same, but more refined and the graphics have been vastly improved. The look of the main character Max Payne has also been changed, and he has been given a more mature look this time around. In the game you will play Max Payne for most of the time, but sometimes you will need to take control of a female character named Mona Sax. The brilliant bullet-time mode is also improved in this game, and Max Payne has a new set of stylish movements that he is only able to perform in bullet-time mode. These new moves have little to no effect on the gameplay, but they look extremely cool. In the game you will play through a film-noir story, told using the in-game graphics engine and the graphic novel like in the previous game, that I think is brilliant. Playing this game is like having the lead-role in one of John Woo`s movies, as you take on hundreds of mobsters using a great variety of weapons. Playing this game on PC using a keyboard + a mouse for moving and aiming works incredibly well. The only possibly drawback in this game is that you need a very powerful computer for the game to play like it was meant to be played. All in all, this is one of the finest action-titles available now, that all fans of "Max Payne" should welcome with open arms.

10/10
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9/10
It evolved but story is a bit weak for the first game.
Shyinx18 June 2019
It may deserves 10 points but I'm sorry for this. But the first game was better for this one it is clear. It continues with its own style but style of the first game was better than this. Real good story continues with better graphics, sounds and playability. I didn't gave a 10 points but I know this is a golden game. Just perfect.
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9/10
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (Short Game Review)
Cirene4049 June 2019
Positives:
  • Story and writing
  • Characters
  • Tone and atmosphere
  • Gameplay
  • Pacing
  • Music


Negatives:
  • Is a bit short
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8/10
Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne - Game Review
WhiteFire4041 November 2017
After the success of Max Payne, Remedy had a lot of expectations to live up to, and they managed to pull it off, Max Payne 2 is a great game, almost as good as the first game. The story is once again excellent, this game is more of a tragic romance story and is told with excellent storytelling, the voice acting is also better and the cinematics also improved quite a bit, specially because now they had a budget and could hire professional actors, the game also has a lot of attention to detail in the environments, it really makes the city of the game feel alive, the gameplay is also more polished and the graphics for the most part hold up really well even today. As far as complains go, the physics are a bit cartoonish sometimes, the way it affects the enemies, you can pretty much make them fly in the air with a machine gun which is kinda silly but again, is a very minor complain that doesn't damage the overall quality of the game, because Max Payne is as good as sequels can get. This was a strong follow up to the original game and by this time, Max Payne was solidified as one of the best franchises in gaming.
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10/10
Video games or not, Max Payne 1 & 2 are cinematic storytelling of the highest order
Perception_de_Ambiguity30 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I play this and the first game entirely too much but that's because they are the only video games that I take seriously in the storytelling department except maybe for the pretty unique and funny (but short) plots of the "Oddworld: Abe" games, rightfully the cutscenes of "Abe's Exoddus" put together to form a short film were the first game video ever to be submitted for an Oscar nomination.

"Max Payne 2" excellently combines cutscenes, graphic novel sequences and in-game dialogue and action to tell its hard boiled detective noir story, forming an atmospheric and engaging experience. The comic book presentations are especially effective since they are accompanied with fully realized audio that make the comic panels come to life. To me what sticks out the most in "Max Payne 2" is the voice-over, how the voice-over is written and the delivery by the actor, the way Max philosophizes about his own mental state in metaphors overshadows even the best examples in "proper" noir films.

The famous reoccurring line "Mirrors are more fun than television", sums up nicely how much the world that we see Max Payne inhabit is filtered through the title character's subjective perspective. The "mirror", in this case, functions as a device through which the objective world is perceived and describes the in-game world itself, it's a skewed and distorted reflection of the world, and since it apparently is a very dirty mirror (tainted by painful memories and pessimism) it absorbs much of the light; et voilà, New York City becomes Noir York City. That famous line actually comes from "Address Unknown", a TV program within the game that Max sees on televisions throughout the game.

There are four major TV shows that reflect Max' current state of mind, each of which examines different aspects of his psyche often relating strongly to the plot at a respective point in the game. The aforementioned "Address Unknown" probably is the most significant one since stylistically it goes into the exact same direction as the game itself but is an even more heightened noir that takes some inspiration from Twin Peaks' hellish dream sequences. It deals with Max Payne's self-deceit and the consequent breakdown of his sanity, it also shows how Max could end up a total mental case if he keeps on going the way he does.

"Lords and Ladies", another one of the TV programs, is a soap opera and basically is about betrayal, Max especially has to deal with the betrayal of his trust thanks to his encounter with several double-crossing characters. Then there's "Captain BaseballBatBoy" a Sunday-morning cartoon, it's Max seeing himself as a hero on a quest against a villain while trying to deny that he has fallen for Mona Sax, the game's femme fatale. "Dick Justice", a pulpy 70's crime show with its Dirty Harry-like title character, I guess, is Max trying to see himself as more ruthless than he actually is, Dick Justice hides behind his badge when he's really just killing out of revenge, it's Max' struggle for sanity by attempting to let his psyche not be bothered by the bloodshed he causes.

The non-linear plot deals with many things but eventually the main theme probably is coping with memories of an unpleasant past; the reasons why one wouldn't want to face his past and the many dangers of not facing it, and eventually learning how to effectively cope with it without pumping oneself full with pain killers.
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10/10
Amazing
WakenPayne25 December 2011
Warning: Spoilers
(I not only have revealed spoilers in the Max Payne 2 game I have also spoiled Max Payne 1) I really have no words to describe the first 2 games, how about "####ING ESCELLENT" but that would only scratch the surface of how I really feel about these games - They're just TOO GOOD!

MAX PAYNE - this game is a classic (and all of whom have played this installment would know that) the plot is that after his family is murdered Max Payne searches for the people behind the drugs that the addicts were using when killing his family (more detailed plot synopsis in my review for Max Payne).

MAX PAYNE 2: THE FALL OF MAX PAYNE - this one has a story present that is (dare I say it) stronger in presence than the first one, unlike my synopsis for the original Max Payne in this review I will go in detail with this. 2 years after Max Payne was set Max goes on a case, the scene of the crime is a warehouse that belongs to Vladimir Lem - you find out the villains - killers disguising themselves as cleaners that kill a friend of Vladimir, then you go to Ragna Rock which Vlad is turning into a restaurant he is under attack by Vinnie Gognitti after killing the people helping Vinnie then Max talk to Vlad then Mona visits Max the Cleaners are there and Max shoots his way out and finds Mona again and then finds an inside contact in The Inner Circle (they supposedly want to kill everyone who knows about them) and Max kills the cleaners there and finds out the contact is dead and you are arrested by a detective in the NYPD.

After Max contributes to Mona's escape when Cleaners go after both of them in the police station Max exits to find her not there and you then find her at her place like before and the cleaners try to kill you both then you both go to a construction site (seperated) then you shoot your way through then the building blows up and Mona then protects Max as you both then get out - Winterson then shows up and Max then shoots Winterson then you find out Max is in love with Mona.

Max escapes only to find himself defenseless (the hard part about describing the next part) and at the morgue looking at Winterson's body then you escape trying to evade 2 people (I had to look up the walk through to get an idea how to get past it) and you then find out that the antagonist is none other than a old friend VLADIMIR LEM then you eventually kill him (I'm getting lazier in this synopsis but I've finished it now).

It seems in this game it relies so far more on the story than Max Payne 1. I think the moment the end cinematic plays then LATE GOODBYE BY POETS OF THE FALL starts playing; granted not everybody is as much of a big fan of the band as I am but it is absolutely amazing when that moment is there, just like the moment in MP1 when the tower falls on the helicopter, those moments are incredible Remedy is the only gaming company that managed to do what they did.

Like all sequels the question must be asked, is it better than Max Payne 1: I unfortunately cannot answer this question, both games are amazing and insuppressible, it seems that it relies on the stories much more than the gameplay - so which story would you prefer "a man hunting down the people who framed him for murder and killed his family" or "two lovers trying to kill killers disguised as cleaners" which story you prefer will be up to you.
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10/10
A Perfect Sequel Which Ups The First Game In Almost Every Way
MovieMaster954 October 2010
After the huge success of Max Payne, a sequel was inevitable to be made. And what a sequel it is...

Taking place a few years later from the first game, Max has moved back to the NYPD and is as cynical as ever before. Whilst on his new case he meets up with an assassin named Mona Sax and the plot only gets better from their. The graphic novel style returns from the first game in a more sleeker and more comic book style. Cutscenes that were pretty much absent from the first game are well done and give the game a film like feel.

Gameplay has also improved. Action is a lot more fluent and fast paced, and bullet time has become a lot easy to use. This time the bullet time allows the player to mow through enemies easily and a clever quick reload system keeps the action fun and not frustrating. Slow moments in Max Payne 2 are rare and the game is fun from beginning to end.

Graphics show off the best of the graphical ability of the time and never seem to pull you out of the game. Little details bring the experience alive such as the police station level which makes you feel like a cop in this busy and characteristic work place.

I only have two minor complaints. 1) The Mona Sax missions can be frustrating and appear to be the worst parts of the game and, 2) The over exaggerated blood from the first game has been toned down immensely and is definitely missed as it gave the first game a John Woo like feel. It's a weird change as the rest of the game is filled with stronger language and more adult themes.

These cons aside, this is one of the best games I've played in a while and may even be one of my favourite games. Definite purchase for fans of the original, third person shooters and slow mo action games.
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10/10
The best movie-like gaming experience you will ever get.
Thom474711 April 2010
I do not know how many times I have finished Max Payne 2, but you never get enough of it. It's outstanding story telling, sound effects, music and comic-like cut scenes provide a phenomenal atmosphere, which lasts throughout the game.

The plot is very well written and executed, the sound effects fit perfectly every action, voice acting and music is perfect. This has to be one of the best 3rd person shooters. Ever.

Only thing that could deserve a minus is the shortness and easy difficulty of the game.

9.5/10
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10/10
The Cop With Nothing 2 Lose Is Back!!!,
Pumpkin_Man17 May 2009
Warning: Spoilers
I think Max Payne 2 is awesome and just as great as the original! Two years after the original, Max is a NYPD cop who is investigating a series of murders by a group of hit men known as The Cleaners. Max sees Mona Sax, a woman who he thought was dead. Throughout the dark and rainy night, Max kills the cleaners, Mona helps Max, Max is betrayed, the police station is attacked, Max and Mona investigate the Inner Circle, who Vladimir Lem wants to be the leader. The action and graphics are awesome! The storyline is awesome! I have played this game a lot for the past 6 years and can't wait for the 3rd chapter! If you love Max Payne, you'll love MAX PAYNE 2: THE FALL OF MAX PAYNE!!!
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8/10
A worthy next chapter
TBJCSKCNRRQTreviews19 April 2009
I base this on the PC version. I will be comparing this to the first throughout. The journey of the brooding cop goes on, and he hasn't lost his touch. This has improvements over the one preceding it: One of the very noticeable ones being the new physics engine, Havok, that makes almost everything(that ought to) be able to move, in stark contrast to the admittedly rigid nature of the environment in the one before this. Now you can affect your surroundings, knock over stuff, break things and such. The game-play is varied, as well, with bits where you provide cover, defend someone or similar. The structure is intact, with the order altered somewhat, making it less predictable without losing the arc. I am of course referring to the plot, which again is brilliantly written, unfolds and develops incredibly well, and is another well-crafted mystery, perfect for the genre. The system for throw-ables is considerably freer, now it's a secondary attack, and the alternate to it is "melee", something that in this is code for "pistol-whip", and you can do that regardless of what you're packing. Finally, beating this doesn't only unlock the next difficulty setting(there are three, that should help ensuring that anyone, regardless of expertise at these will be challenged as well as enjoy it) and the New York Minute mode(in a word: run), but now also the Dead Man Walking one, where you can choose one of five locations where you have to try to stay alive for as long as you can, through the shootouts with spawning enemies, and it'll list your best time for each, and you get a mission selector, as well. These add to the re-playability, a good thing, since this is short, 10-12 hours I would say. However, not all of the changes are positive. I don't know if people found the original too complicated in that aspect, but this one has hints, in case you forget what you're supposed to do, or you can't quite figure it out. That's part of the things they did in this one to make it easier, as one of those recent releases where the start of the series was thought to be too hard and thus they made the follow-up less so(another case is Hit-man, and Commandos is one where it did work out). Another step is that this is less snippy about the amount of Bullet-Time(and it looks better still, and now, you get to reload during it! To top it off, they gave it a wicked and fitting animation) that you get to use, you can sorta "store it", and it regenerates over time. I am personally not fond of the choice of villain, though I do not know of the general reception of it. In what I can only imagine must have been an on-going attempt to keep this from becoming too depressing, this has a bunch of humor not in the other one, not only that, no, even made from things that were disturbing in it. Then there are parodies of things in that one, including the overall, well, the entire thing. There's a self-awareness to it, maybe they were trying to prevent themselves or others from taking these too seriously, and I'd say it hurts the experience at least a little, it gets too silly at points(and that is tough to accuse the 2001 title of). Not all of this aspect is bad. Whilst this is potentially a tad less dark, the potent satire on the US, American life, etc. is going strong as ever, in the ads, on TV and otherwise. Moving away from the new... this continues an excellent Noir piece, as directed by John Woo. In fact, that may describe this one spot-on. You've got a femme fatale, a tale about love, and this one, ahem, does not end up going high-tech and modern. The time-line is more non-linear, as well. The story-telling remains mainly in the comic book style(including the brief and great summary of the past adventure of Max, for those who've just joined us), and is astounding. Thus, the nicely articulated facial and body movements of the characters are not used as often as they could be(and that's fine). The graphics are magnificent, and I'm not sure it even puts that much of a strain on the video card. Level design is marvelous, and you're seldom lost. The audio is all top-notch, with qualified voice acting that never lets down, well-composed score music, and sound effects that are all fantastic. There's only really one Boss Fight in this, I would say. The AI is well-done, they may follow you, they'll try to get you and they use grenades and they'll even try to avoid those you toss at them. The weapons are well-chosen, most of them are returning favorites. They still include sidearms, shotguns, SMGs, assault rifles and snipers(no, the Grenade Launcher does indeed appear to be gone). The realism is impeccable, ammo and the likes are always found in places where it makes sense, there is recoil, and so on. The tone is bleak. There are mature themes in this, and material(nudity and what goes beyond sensuality) and that is certainly not for younger audiences. The amount and harsh nature of the language is gratuitous. I agree that it can be used in works of fiction to establish what type someone is, or display growth(like someone becoming not as crude, or the other way around), but in this, it does honestly come off as "we get to use it, so we're sure as heck gonna do so". Like John McTiernan apparently putting a sex scene in Die Hard: With a Vengeance just because he knew it would be rated R. It's immature and stooping to the lowest common denominator. Nevertheless, this is an immensely well-done effort, and helps dissolve the myth that sequels have to suck. I recommend this to any fan of the game that got this franchise going, and the ingredients. 8/10.
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Amazing and beautiful film noir love story
Thetruth08920 December 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne is a great example of gaming as an art form! With an amazing and well written plot by Sam Lake, top notch voice acting, and amazing action, it almost feels like your playing through a movie.

The game play isn't revolutionary, but is defiantly well done. A classic shoot them up with a nice bullet time twist. The amazing graphics make the action more realistic, and the rag doll physics make every death you cause on your raging rampage of revenge amazing. The story furthers the game play, and makes you want to make max survive every single gun fight to make it through to the end.

On to the plot, which may be one of the best in any video game. The story continues from the original max Payne, Alferd Wolden kept his promise and made max's record go away. So Max continues on with his life with no family, a broken heart, an unfathomable amount of guilt, and an alchool problem. Hes alone, with no one to turn to so he just keeps going with his eyes on the road, and not at the roadkill behind him. He quits the DA and goes back to good old fashioned detective work, he receives a police call of shootings at Vladamir Lems warehouse. There he witness a few thugs murder Lems girlfriend, and whilst in pursuit of the criminals finds Mona Sax, who was assumed dead in Max Payne very much alive, and kicking so to speak. With a few twists and turns afterward (really don't want to ruin the plot) Max ends up falling for Mona, and is framed for the murder of several police officers, on the run and with nothing to lose he goes to find Mona, and to reveal the mystery of who framed him, this eventually leads him to a construction site where we realize just what max will go through for love, and to find the truth. I loved this story and the writing is amazing the metaphors are beautiful and poigent.On Woldens manor door there's a plaque that read Omnia Vincit Amor, Latin for Love Defeats all, and thats quite simply what Max Payne 2 teaches us.
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small spoilers
Buff_1717 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Max Payne the renegade DEA agent now working for the NYPD is back. One NightMax on duty gets a phone call to a local gun shop. He enters and a gun battle ensues with "the cleaners" his further detective work brings him to meet up with some old friends and enemies, including Vladmoir Lem and Vinnie Gognitti. As well as Max's Yang to his Ying Mona Sax. Fighting as both Mona and Max through a series of intricate levels you attempt to uncover the truth behind a secret society. The weaponry only improves the cinematics are excellent the game-play is awesome and the rag-doll effects have not been outdone. This game is hands down the best 3rd person shooter anywhere, along with its bullet time sequence and dream style with a great story that keeps you guessing Max Payne 2 is not a game any true gamer will want to miss.
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Max Payne 2
mtubaj-116 March 2005
I now own both of the Max Payne games, and I really did enjoy MP2. It had really good game play, but it actually did very well with the story. It's a shame that the sales were very low, but I think as more people get it as a cheap game (or even used) that the demand for another one will come soon. Btw, some hints: make good use of your grenades, but make sure that if you do use them, make sure that you're out of the way! A grenade or Molotov cocktail will kill you quicker than a Cleaner or other enemy. Also, do use Bullet Time a lot. It'll save your butt more often than not, especially when you're facing a lot of enemies (for instance, when you are facing Kaufman in the 2nd Stage or near the end of the game when you are under fire from about six places). I felt as if they did a very good job making it into a Film Noir story as well. Since I have a thing for those type movies, it was nice to see that Rockstar stuck to it. Anyway, more info later on MP stuff, namely MP3.
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"The past is a gaping hole..."
midnite1011 November 2003
In 2001, when the first Max Payne game was released, Remedy introduced gamers to Max Payne, a hard-boiled NYPD cop, who's seeking revenge after the murder of his wife and baby girl. In 'The Fall of Max Payne', he's back in a game very similar to the first one. Although every one of the little changes brought some improvement, and the final outcome is highly impressive to say the least.

The first thing to marvel at is the amazing graphics. Even without mentioning the very realistic appearance of every character, or the almost lifelike level design, the new 'havok' engine with it's most realistic ragdoll physics effect could get the programmers a handful of awards. Some familiar characters from the first game are back, each of them lighting up the monitor with their personalities and stories. Sound and music are simply amazing. There are many hilarious scenes and moments throughout the game. Noir is a genre not appreciated by everyone, but fans of the genre will find the story and brilliant writing a true revelation. From the very first moment, you're constantly drawn back to the well known world of Max Payne, to that dark and twisted hell of an american dream. (While the first game wasn't exactly for kids either, MP2 is a game strictly for adults.) It is again a sweet ride.

There are some down sides as well. Bullet Time 2.0 is quite good, but nothing earth shattering. The non-linear storytelling gets confusing sometimes, and it just really doesn't do any good when the story in itself is already confusingly complicated. Each of the characters are modeled after different actors than in the first game, so hardcore fans of the original may find the new faces disappointing. Many people complain that the game is a bit on the short side, although it has very high replay value. It's impossible to catch every single conversation, easter egg, joke and hint for the first time. And with the 'different ending' you can get when playing through the game on Dead On Arrival difficulty, which unlocks when the other two difficulties are completed, many gamers will play it for at least three times. And let's not forget about Dead Man Walking, a completely new gameplay mode in which your only goal is to survive for the longest time against unbeatable odds. But even when you reach the point where you can complete any level with your eyes shut and one hand tied, eager modders with their professional modding tools (already released by the developers) will always keep you interested.

Awesome game. Definitely my first and only candidate for game of the year.
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10/10
A Noir Epic
another_awakening4 April 2008
Sometimes you have to wonder: why a sequel? "Max Payne" was, in the limited realm of video game art, probably one of the best works ever to be released; so, why a sequel? Was there anything left to be said? About Max, I mean? His love was dead, his past no longer a mystery and his desire for vengeance was fulfilled. So I have to admit, there seemed to be no reason to delve into Max Payne's sad, morbid and twisted mind again… or was there? "The past is a gaping hole. You try to run from it, but the more you run, the deeper it grows behind you, its edges yawning at your heels. Your only chance is to turn around and face it. But it's like looking down into the grave of your love, or kissing the mouth of a gun, a bullet trembling in its dark nest, ready to blow your head off."

"Max Payne 2" might seem like an attempt to cash in from the original's success: it took less than two years to design, graphically it's very similar, it starts with exactly the same tone and plot devices as its predecessor, the plot opens holes in the first one's narrative, that quite frankly, just weren't there and a certain character is mysteriously revived during the first screens of the game. So, at a glance, "Max Payne 2" could seem like an afterthought of the original. Appearances are misleading…

The first thing that pops up is that Max Payne doesn't look like Max Payne: his character model is different. At first, this seems strange, this eerie, awkward transition from a Hawaiian shirt youngster with quirky smile and feel free attitude, to this middle-aged man with disillusioned, depressed, deep caved eyes that look as they've seen all the horrors the world has to offer. But if you ponder, you will understand that this is the way Max Payne was meant to look like: a torn, spiritually crippled "noir" detective. This IS Max Payne. The change goes as far as revamping all the character models from the first game (in vignettes and in game-models), making them all feel more in key with the tone and style of the game. Apparently, during the first game, the budget didn't allow the designers to hire real actors for use in character models (only voice acting), and so they had to base characters on members of the creative team. Voices on the other hand, still sound the same, which is good, because they were already well acted in the first game.

The subtle change of actors seems essential in the grand scheme of things behind "Max Payne 2", as the plot tries to go even deeper in terms of exploring its characters' beliefs, motivations and above all, their feelings. This is a departure from the first game, since its story delved more on the actions and consequences of Payne's obsessive vendetta, than on his actual inner demons. Now, that's upside down, and the objective is focusing on Payne's love, regret, and hope of atonement for his dark past. The story (once again written by Sami Järvi) runs deeper in its meanings and concoctions, its drama is truly heartfelt (to the point of a good drama film), even if in actual plot terms, nothing very important really happens during the game. Add a remixed version of the first game's poignant soundtrack, some beautifully crafted comic-book style vignettes, the best dialog you've ever seen in a video game, and you have a narrative that will chill your spine, challenge your brain and make your soul cry. That's how good "Max Payne 2" story is.

Though the actual game-play is more or less the same as in the first game, it was subtly improved, with a small number of details that empower the already brilliant shooting mechanics. Firstly, the game is smaller, which means it's juicier and more cohesive, leaving anything that could be defined as "filler" out. Levels are better designed this time around, and resonate with character's feelings and states of mind, making them not only important in terms of game-play, but also in terms of setting up the ambiance of the story. This was also true for the first game, but it's better explored this time around; some levels are downright masterpieces of level and art design. Even the apparently unimportant TV shows (the parody to Shakespeare's comedy "Much ado about nothing" named "Lords and Ladies", the David Lynch homage "Address Unknown" and the spoof of blaxpoitation masterpiece "Shaft" - "Dick Justice") that can be viewed in the scenarios' television sets are incredibly well written and add layers of interpretation to characters and situations. In strict terms of game-play, besides upholding the standard of the first game's pacing, the designers use pre-scripted events and scenarios that change the flow of the game: like a level in which you play with someone else other than Max Payne that has to protect him, or a boss fight in where you actually have to think on how to kill your adversary. These small additions might seem irrelevant, but they make "Max Payne 2" remain as interesting in terms of game-play as its predecessor.

As expected not everything is perfect. As mentioned before, the actual plot doesn't really go anywhere, since the ending of "Max Payne" left no avenues for a sequel. The visual aspect of the game doesn't show much improving, and would've benefited from the use of better lighting technology, that might've made the in-game graphics resemble the expected "chiaroscuro" aesthetic. Minor flaws apart, the game is simply astonishing and improves on every small aspect of its prequel, even if it feels much more of an update on the original than an actual sequel. "Max Payne 2" is the coming of age of a concept, the culmination of its authors' artistry in story-telling, game and audiovisual design. If "Max Payne" was Art, then "Max Payne 2" is fine Art.
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Better than the first
mattdawguwg26 August 2005
Warning: Spoilers
For those who haven't already played the game (since it's been out now for quite a while), I went ahead and put down the spoilers warning. In any case, I own both Max Payne and Max Payne 2 and have played them both extensively. First of all, I found that in MP2, the play was a lot easier. They had changed the basic settings of the controller so that it was easier for Max (or Mona) to jump and shoot at the same time without breaking your hand. Secondly, the game makers have made Max look a lot more like he had been through what he had been through. I don't see someone who has had their wife and child killed smiling through all of that. The game itself is an awesome idea. Being that I have watched many film noir movies. Even if you've only seen Casablanca and/or Citizen Kane, you'll understand where they are getting their cues from. The game begins with Max returning to the New York City Police Department. He's under Jim Bravura, the man who was chasing him in the first game. As things begin, Max is checking out a basic crime, and of course is led into a major crime ring. As he's trying to clear out a warehouse full of baddies, Mona Sax, his main 'crush' you could say, appears out of nowhere, caps three guys, and uses her tag line from the previous game "We've gotta stop meeting like this." Of course, this throws Max off, and he has to investigate how she survived and how she is involved in the case. Max ends up having to save Vladamir Lem from Vinnie Gognitti, and ends up getting a lead from him to find Mona. He finally finds her, and they end up fighting together. (On a side note, during the game, you actually get to play as Mona. She has a great sniper rifle, and she comes to Max's rescue more than once.) Finally at the end of the second act, the person who has been hunting Mona, Detective Winterson gets capped by Max as he's trying to protect Mona. Max gets shot as a last-ditch effort by Winterson, and everything looks like it's gone to heck in a hand-basket. The final act, entitled "Waking Up From the American Dream" (smart, huh?), leads you back to Vlad, and finally the Inner Circle again. You find out that it was Senator Woden who set your family up to be killed, and that Vlad had been trying to take him out as well. Well, unfortunately, pretty much Vlad's still trying to kill Max, so you have to take him out as well, not to mention that he's already shot you in the head (again, smart, right?) and had shot Mona. The final scene, you have to take on Vlad as he is shooting from you from above. In a way, I personally think that this was a better ending than in MP1, mainly because you actually have the main villain shooting back at you rather than his or her henchmen. I won't reveal the very ending, but all I have to say is that it's shocking. All in all, out of a 10, I would give this game at least a 9. There are a couple of plot holes, but not major ones. Of course, being a video game, Max gets shot about 500 times, but yet amazingly enough never dies (unless you just get surrounded by a ton of 'cleaners'!) I hope that this helps in terms of trying the game out. I think if you try it, you'll like it.
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