Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne - Xbox

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Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (Xbox)
Also for: PC, PS2
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Shoot 'Em Up
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Remedy Soft. Co.: Rockstar
Publishers: Take 2 (GB)
Released: 5 Dec 2003 (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 15
No Accessories: No Accessories


Max Payne is a brilliant pun, no doubt the driving force behind the success of the original game in the series. As subtle as it is intertwined with the very DNA of genius, Max Payne, dishes out maximum pain! Get it? Incredible, huh?

Rockstar loves a bit of trouble, seemingly unable to release a game which won’t cause at least a small riot in some far away political, ethical or - in the case of Haiti - geographical case.

The original Max Payne was a truly groundbreaking game, taking inspiration from dark detective thrillers and film noir and blending it perfectly with the modern sensibilities of films like The Matrix.

Its bullet time feature, enabling players to slowdown the gameplay, triggered a new wave of time-controlled gaming concepts, with Blinx The Time Sweeper and Prince of Persia: Sands of Time arguably taking inspiration from the Rockstar blockbuster.

The gameplay of the second mirrors the successful control-driven medley as pioneered in the first. Although playing like a traditional first-person shooter, the point of view is established from over Max’s shoulder. The result is a familiar control method enhanced by the ability to know exactly where Max is at all times, essential for working out if, during bullet time sequences, you can make it from one place to another without being turned into blood-seeping Swiss cheese.

In keeping with expectations, The Fall of Max Payne follows another tight storyline, this time concentrating on Max Payne’s fall from grace, amazingly enough. A bad cop from the start, Payne becomes involved with the gorgeous Mona Sax, who unfortunately is the key suspect to a violent and grisly murder. And so ensues the a dark, twist-ridden adventure thriller all set against the omnipresent drizzle that accompanies poor old Max wherever he goes.

As you may have expected, The Fall of Max Payne takes full advantage of the advancements of technology afforded by time, seeing a fully integrated version of the Havok engine deployed, allowing for rag doll physics and enhanced environmental interaction.

The general look of the game has been given a complete overhaul, with photorealistic textures, highly enhanced radiosity lighting and extremely lifelike characters, including facial animations and lip synchronisation, all combining to deliver another brilliantly immersive Rockstar classic.