Max Payne 2: A Film Noir Love Story Review – PC, 360, PS3
- June 28, 2012
- Posted by: Craig Chamberlin
- Category: Uncategorized
A great game sometimes stands out admist the endless stream of shallow gaming. Of course, this really depends on your definition of a ‘great game’, but there are certain elements that make gaming into an art form: story, class, characters, style, direction and production. Well, my friends, Max Payne 2 has it all.
I know it may be odd to you that I am reviewing an older game. In light of the recent release of Max Payne 3, I decided to revisit the original series. When I first played Max Payne and Max Payne 2, I was only a teenager. I see now that I never could have fully appreciated the depth and intelligence of the Max Payne series, and am glad I returned to play it.
The Roots Of Payne:
The original Max Payne games were by a company known as Remedy Games. Remedy is still around but no longer owns the Max Payne franchise. Remedy is most recently known for Alan Wake. Alan Wake is a modern day psychological thriller with immense focus on film and direction. It carries with it the same characteristics of the Max Payne series.
The premise of Max Payne is what makes the series so refreshing, even (especially?) by today’s standards.
You play a New York cop who had the American Dream stripped from him. Thrown into a scenario where he is given no other options, he is forced to fight his way through the darkest depths of “Noire York City” mobsters and criminals to uncover the murderer who sent his life into dark abyss.
Max Payne 2 takes his story further as he personally struggles with relationships and actions of his past. Tormented daily by the very things he desires to forget, he still finds himself drawn to the darkness and his past to find a remedy to his inner turmoil.
The graphic novel style of storytelling with exceptional narration by James McCaffrey is really what brings the story to life. These two elements push you into the despair and desperation that Max is experiencing.
In fact, the graphic novel storytelling is so good, it makes you wonder why so many modern games even bother to adopt cinematic elements at all – when graphic novels portray stories in such a unique way that brings about more imagination.
Now In Full HD Graphics:
Graphically the game still stands on it’s own. The PC version shows exceptional visuals and the Steam version of the game actually allows for full HD resolutions. Many aspects of the graphical system can be tweaked and the series will work on almost any PC these days. The great news here is you don’t need to run out and upgrade your computer to get going.
Of course, the reputation of Max Payne and Max Payne 2 was built on the bullet time slowdown combat system. You can trigger a ‘bullet time slowdown’ at any time during a gunfight and run, jump and fire straight into oncoming enemies.
The blend of the bullet time slowdown, difficulty and story make the game play in Max Payne 2 intense and immersive through it’s entirety. This blend makes Max Payne and Max Payne 2 signature classics that should be played by anyone who is a fan of great stories and game play.
The Lost Art Of Difficulty:
Lastly, and most importantly, Max Payne and Max Payne 2 carry with them an element that is lost on most modern day games. The easiest difficulty in the series is sure to make you constantly save and reload to try different strategies and mechanics during a fight.
There is no doubt that even the most experienced gamer will die at least 10 to 15 times throughout the game. The difficulty makes for another refreshing aspect, that anything worth having requires a bit of hard work and strategy.
For those looking to re-experience Max Payne and Max Payne 2 the way they were intended, there is no reason to shy away from the $15.00 Max Payne Bundle Steam offers. This game still walks circles around most modern day releases and the implementation of Graphic Novel storytelling make it a timeless classic.