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Lunabean's Max Payne 2 Review

Max Payne 2
Buy Max Payne 2
Strategy Guide: LB Strategy Guide
Lunabean Rating: 6.8
Platforms: PS2*, Xbox, PC
Release Date: 12.02.03
ESRB Rating: M - Mature
Official Site: Max Payne 2
Purchase Game from Amazon.com: PS2, Xbox, PC
LB's Ad-Free and Printer-Friendly "Max Payne 2" Walkthrough: Only $4.95
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Online Play: No


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"Max Payne 2"
Walkthrough and Strategy Guide

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Review


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Think "Max Payne 1", then add a "2".

I have never understood the acclaim the original "Max Payne" received. Don't get me wrong. "Max Payne" was a fine and solid game, but the fact that it was one of the first mainstream uber-violent games (and, therefore "ground-breaking") shouldn't erase the many flaws it had. This goes double for "Max Payne 2".

Rockstar had the chance to clean up flaws from the original game for the sequel, and they, simply, did not. Again, I played it on the PS2 (as I did the original), and there are still no auto-saves, I could still knit a sweater in the amount of time it took to load anything, and the game is still full of action that drags the PS2's processor down, causing many an in-game lag. I find this inexcusable for a sequel from such a powerful publisher.

"Max Payne 2" is still violent, but, to make up for the lack of "newness" in this violent genre, they've added sex to the mix. Now, I don't want anyone to read this and think I'm a prude. I have no problems with video game violence nor sexual themes (for adults only, of course), but I don't like games that throw it in there just to be sexual and violent. The violence needs to be there, as the story of Max Payne is violent one. And, perhaps a certain degree of sex should have been there since the story focuses on Max's obsession with a femme-fatale, but it was taken to a level that, I felt, was purely there for shock value. I've found that often games which add violent and sexual themes do it because the game behind it is nothing too great, as is the case of "Max Payne 2".

Don't get me wrong. "Max Payne 2" is, again, a solid third-person action/adventure shooter. Its fun factor is hurt by the many technical flaws, but the story is entertaining (and quite dark), and "Max Payne 2" is challenging enough to keep you interested for some amount of time. It is broken into three parts, with each part having between seven and nine chapters (prologues included) each. The story begins in the middle, with Max, a cop, having killed his partner. You learn through playing what led up to Max's horrible action, and, obviously, how the story ends. Most of this information is learned in the between chapter cut-scenes. Play time really focuses on getting from one place to another, killing anyone you run into along the way. See? Nothing new.

Point being, you've played this game before. If you liked it the first time, you'll like it again. If you were annoyed by the flaws of the original, you'll be even more annoyed now. Had I have not wanted to write a complete walkthrough for the game, I believe I would have put the game down in the middle of it. It was good while it lasted, but I had no urge for it to continue.

-Allison


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