Dialog continues to be well-written, with gritty descriptions, and the comic cutscenes remain. But on the whole, the story seems is a bit dull. There are no government conspiracies, nor gripping murder tales. You're just going after mobsters.
Gameplay is identical to the first. Max has a bullet time ability, and heals by taking pain pills. Pistols and the smallest SMG (Ingram) can be dual-weilded. Enemies also carry a large amount of assault rifles, unlike in the first game. You sometimes play as another character, as was the style of sequels at the time. Mona Sax, who Max met in the last game, is apparently his girlfriend. They tag-team on a few missions, and you will play as her occasionally.
Graphics are somewhat improved. Models are less blocky and smeary, but are still unrecognizably old. The animations are sometimes weird, and controls are completely robotic. When reloading in bullet time, the camera swoops around Max as he swings the full mag into the gun. I couldn't help but notice that Max looked different in the first game.
In the end, Max Payne 2 is more of the same. Story-wise, it feels like an expansion, and gameplay is otherwise the same.