PC games: Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne

A direct sequel to the 2001 original, Max Payne 2 continues the storyline and takes you farther into his gritty underworld than ever before. Remedy Entertainment talked up updated graphics, a new physics engine, and an engaging plot — and they certainly delivered the goods. (If you are new to this series, before you dive into the second offering you are advised to pick up the original for the back-story and to understand the references found in MP2.)

The plot sees Max hook up with his latest love interest, Mona Sax, a contract killer from Max’s troubled past, who has survived a bullet wound to the head and surfaces as a murder suspect in the case Max is working on. Max has now been promoted to detective amid rumours of corruption, embezzlement and murder. Fighting to clear their names, Max’s and Mona’s paths intersect throughout the story as they help each other in their fights for justice. There is an opportunity to play the Mona character in a few chapters.

Employing a third person over-the-shoulder view, the game is made up of three main sets that each contain a prologue and six chapters (the third set features two additional chapters for the final mission). As opposed to the action gameplay in the chapters, the prologue gameplay follows a dream-like state (as in the original) and sets the scene for the upcoming chapters. Remedy seems to have taken the criticism on board from the first title and made these prologues less annoying and more intuitive. The classic graphic novel storyboard-telling style has been retained from the original, helping the gamer to stay submersed in the plot. The new-look physics engine, Havok, has been added to the franchise and this title benefits greatly. The rag-doll physics provide realistic deaths as you see enemies crumple and flay in every direction after being shot.

As you would expect in an action title, Max has a large cache of weapons available. The weapon set has been improved from the original. The grenade launcher has been omitted, replaced by the MP5 assault rifle with scope, which is a great tool for mowing down a room full of baddies. The bullet time move has been upgraded, giving you more control during a firefight. During a bullet time sequence, Max can easily draw a bead on multiple enemies in slow motion while aiming the weapon in real time. The improvement is most noticeable when taking down numerous enemies; the bullet time hourglass indicator turns shades of yellow and gives Max faster movement and extended bullet time.

The gameplay, immersive plot, audio and visuals are all of excellent calibre. One weakness: MP2 is a little short in length, taking approximately six to eight hours to complete. However, the inclusion of the development kit and tutorial (available for download from the official Web site) extends longevity, allowing gamers to create their own levels, weapons and tweaks. Max Payne 2 is excellent action title, a must buy.

Developer: Remedy Entertainment
Publisher: Rockstar Games
URL: www.rockstargames.com/maxpayne2

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ryan Shaw

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?