Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne
In the hallmark of a decent sequel, Max Payne 2 continues the story of a betrayed police detective.
Max seems to have gotten over his wife and daughter, and is going after the mobs that are making his life a living hell. Like the first game, the game takes place in New York City, but does not take place in a blizzard. Instead, it's raining the entire time, in true film-noir style.
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.
Posted Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 10:34 AM EDT under Gaming. 0 complaints.
Since you've made it this far, you might be interested in reading:
Max Payne is a Remedy game, released about 10 years before Alan Wake. By playing this, I can better understand how Remedy thinks and designs their games, as I can draw lines between them. (Except Death Rally, because that was made with a very different design philosophy.) Both are all designed around people with metaphorical names. "A. Wake" deals with nightmares, and Max Payne has a lot of pain.
The Wolf Among Us
Like the Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us is a series based on comic books. (I'm not familiar with either comics.) The setup is simple: all the fairytale characters were forced to leave whatever kingdoms they lived in, and are holed up in New York City scraping by. You play as Sheriff Bigby Wolf. (Bigby Wolf -> Big B. Wolf -> Big Bad Wolf) Because I've portrayed this guy in school plays, I'm immediately on his side.
The Walking Dead
Hey look, a game for Halloween! (Yes, I planned this one, unlike last time.) I've finished playing through The Walking Dead, the game that Telltale Games got popular on. This is one of those games from the zombie craze that reached its height around 10 years ago. I think this rode the coat tails of a Netflix series based on the same comic series, but the game has different characters and story. It merely takes place in the same world.
Halo 3: ODST
If you haven't noticed by now, I'm going through the Halo Collection by order of original release, not by order of story. This installment follows the stories of a team of drop troops during Halo 2 and 3. Halo 3: ODST largely slipped by me unnoticed when it first came out 10 years ago. I don't recall any of my friends getting psyched out by it. The hype machine was more restrained.
I remember back in the day when the 360 was big. For members of the PC Gaming Master Race, it felt like we were being shunned. It seemed like everyone had a 360, and soon their moms and grandmas would too, alongside their Wiis. So few products were pushed to such stratospheric levels of hype, that you could barely get out of bed without hearing about them. The few in my lifetime: Segway, iPhone, iPad, and atop this particular pile, Halo 3. It was so big that Pure Pwnage got in on the hype. LoadingReadyRun made such a surreal video about Halo 3 that I instantly became a fan. I'm positive that similarly sized gaming hype trains have come and gone since, but I can't recall any that topped Halo 3. (My preorder warning might have accidentally had some.) Since Pi-hole, browser addons, and not watching TV have made me immune to most ads, maybe I'm too blind to notice.
I wasn't a properly initiated hard-core gamer back when Half-Life 2 came out. My only connection to the series was "oh, that one weird box on the store shelf." After going to that one college, I realized that I needed a radical change in how I evaluated choices. I couldn't be a dumb kid that coasted through life on whatever life gave me. I started by disregarding my friend's advice that Half-Life 2 was a bad game, or at least so much that I avoided it, so I bought it and started playing.