Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 46
  2. Negative: 0 out of 46
  1. 80
    The easily defeated final boss and drivel of an ending may not adequately complete a piece of fiction that shouldn't have ever started the way it did, but they are not harmful enough to completely negate the worth of an otherwise stylish and polished action game.
  2. As short games go, I must say that this is one of the shortest I've played. It has its moments of brilliance and I'm glad to have played it, but I really am not sure if I would pay $50 bucks for it.
  3. It gives exactly what it promises: an engaging story with stylish, polished visuals wrapped tightly around fluid and virtually bug-free gameplay.
  4. It’s a game that fatigues quickly. There’s nothing wrong with the gameplay, per se; it just feels a little bit empty. Try playing through the game without using the bullet time feature, and you’ll see how bland it really is.
  5. Max Payne 2 retains or expands on almost everything great from MP1 while adding new features, an intense story, an insane amount of detail, and even more wonderful gameplay.
  6. While the game is a tad short and there isn't a multiplayer option, Max Payne 2 is an excellent choice for mature gamers for its nonstop action, high-production values and incredibly realistic graphics.
  7. It ups the ante on art and style while taking its attempts at being "cinematic" too seriously. This makes it nearly impossible to ignore the general level of mediocrity to the characterizations, writing, and storytelling despite its mostly solid action. [Jan 2004, p.62]
  8. In this sequel to the award-winning original, the kinks have been pistol-whipped until smooth, resulting in a tightly wrapped, short, sweet -- and familiar -- "ballet of death."
  9. The weapons look and act real, the grenades and Molotov cocktails look and behave similar real ones, and the environment responds to the weapons.
  10. Is this the most violent game of all time? Maybe. Its ragdoll physics may not match the flying limbs and broken faces of Soldier of Fortune, but its throwaway approach to life and death is genuinely shocking, leaving a bitter, metallic aftertaste. This is neither a fall nor an ascension. This is an update. [Jan 2004, p.105]
  11. While there's plenty to recommend in MP2's innovative gameplay, its brevity may leave some lingering "payne" in your wallet. [21 Nov 2003, p.L2T 46]
  12. It's likely to be deemed too similar to the original to attract too many converts, but it's short, it's sweet, and it's been put together with so much style it frankly embarrasses the ham-fisted efforts of most other developers.
  13. As long as you realize you're buying a John Woo shootout sim and not a story-driven narrative with lots of cool weapons, locations, characters, and multiplayer longevity, Max Payne 2 won't be a disappointment.
  14. Frankly, Max Payne 2 makes me confident that the best is yet to come for gaming, that the awesome narrative and creative capability of this medium has yet to be explored to its fullest extent.
  15. 80
    It may not have the infinite replay value of some titles, but it has more intensity than most. If you only play through it once, you'll feel like you got your money's worth.
  16. It feels like the development team took everything that wasn't completely awesome in the first game, shot it in the face, and smoothed over the holes with buttery goodness. [Dec 2003, p.179]
  17. Produces a great, no, an outstanding single player experience, but I have trouble recommending a game with so little game for like $40.
  18. About as slick as they come, with a presentation and verve that supercedes cutting-edge. It's a short one, but good things do come in small packages after all.
  19. The classical soundtrack is as emotional and well placed as any game I’ve seen before it, and Max Payne 2 also features specific attention placed on sound and environmental effects.
  20. 75
    It would have been nice for Rockstar to learn from past mistakes instead of rehashing them. Still, no other game on any platform better mimics the look and feel of Hong Kong action films.
  21. 90
    It’s repetitive and, at times, stupidly frustrating, but overall the insanely awesome outweighs the bad. You won’t find more intense action on PC, and no game will make you feel like more of a badass.
  22. This series has been one of the most intense and best played games ever. I have never felt the same about a game since Half Life 1. This game sets the standard of what any shooter game should be – it's A+ quality, inside and outside.
  23. The gritty, film noir storytelling, intense bullet time action sequences and painstaking attention to detail in every area make Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne a must-have for every action fan.
  24. My only gripe with Max Payne 2 would be value for money - it's a short game. Nevertheless it's slick, well made and you'll rarely have time to catch your breath from start to finish.
  25. For what it is, Max Payne 2 is a successful game. It may be a tad on the short side but how long can a John Woo styled shoot 'em up last for anyway?
  26. A cinematic game that plays like an interactive movie, a stylish film noir experience that no gamer should miss.
  27. Despite the wonderful new physics system, it feels like this is a game out of step with what's happening in action games. It still suffers from odd AI: enemies are hyperaware of your presence, turning on a dime as you enter their sensitive ranges. [PC Gamer UK]
  28. It's cliched, pretentious and even horribly self-indulgent at times, but Max Payne 2 is still an absolute joy to play. [Christmas 2003, p.114]
  29. A competent, if not particularly impressive, sequel. It makes some minor technological improvements, but packages them with major new flaws in the storytelling and gameplay.
  30. A stunning shooter that's got a bit too much plot and is over too soon, though it's still incredibly intense and, by all means, worth experiencing.
  31. 95
    The action in Max Payne 2 is as adrenaline-pumping as anything you'd see on the silver screen, and you're in control. Or dangerously close to spiraling out of control, as Max often is. Despite the length, this is top-quality entertainment.
  32. Although it does not support multiplayer and is a bit short, this definitely one of the best action games this year.
  33. A cinematic, action packed swarm of near perfection with a tragically twisting plot worthy of the big screen.
  34. By fixing the elements of the original that needed it, providing a richer backdrop for the gunplay, and tweaking the dialogue to better fit the film noir atmosphere, Remedy and Rockstar should be commended.
  35. We'd be hard pressed to stake the claim that any of these add significantly to the first game's singularly terse thrill. [Jan 2004, p.60]
  36. 94
    The visuals are excellent, the voice work is superior to what we usually get dealt in the action genre, and I only wish the game was a bit longer. A lot longer actually, but it's more because this kind of game is such a rare find than because that find is relatively meager.
  37. As shooters go, you really can't do wrong by letting this gem take up some hard drive space on your PC.
  38. 94
    Complete in just about every aspect. Apart from the irritating escort missions and the short first run through, Max Payne 2 is perfect.
  39. A brand new story that will keep you totally engrossed. Updated graphics and the same great gameplay with brand new Bullet Time effects.
  40. Remedy Entertainment has again, defined the "cinema" in "cinematic." Absolutely no one out there can do Max Payne like these guys and we'll certainly be looking forward to the final instalment.
  41. There’s immense replay value here, there’s a mixture of modes and difficult levels, and there’s a damn fine game, even if it’s not quite the revolution that the first Max was.
  42. For its graphics, and those stunning action sequences that you'll be boring your buddies with for weeks, Max Payne 2 is a definite must-have for action fans. But it's not quite the revolution tht made "Max Payne" a must-have for everyone. [Holiday 2003, p.124]
  43. The action, graphics, and gameplay are all tight and very satisfying. However, the somewhat hazy story and confusing relationships make some parts of the game less than stellar. An extremely short completion time might also turn off some gamers.
  44. The survive-as-long-as-you-can "Dead Man Walking" mode, however, can make a second or third go-round worthwhile. [Dec 2003, p.87]
  45. Not only is Max Payne 2 a truly befitting follow up, it also represents the epitome of what was so attractive about the original. It builds upon cinematic qualities and game play mechanics, improving upon both and fusing them together to near perfection. The storyline has been developed beautifully, and it's deliverance is once again, unique.
  46. Well-developed and believable characters. That, in itself, is no mean feat, but mix it with the game's delightful combat, varied design, and admirable coherence of style and creative vision, and you have something very special. Max Payne 2 is a superb game.
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 493 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 95
  2. Negative: 2 out of 95
  1. May 17, 2012
    10
    Rockstar Games took Remedy's franchise and developed Max Payne 2, and boy, did they do a job well done.
    They improved everything in this game;
    Graphics, Sound Design, Animations and so on...
    Much like the first game, this game is WAY too outstanding for it's time, Half Life 2 has one of the best graphics of 2004 but I think Max Payne 2 might just beat it in the slightest pixel.
    They added physics to this game and WOW it works very well and it actually adds a lot to the game and it is very helpful, like pushing an explosive barrel towards an enemy and then blowing it up, or if a dead enemy's weapon gets stuck in some edge just shoot it a couple times for it to fall in your hands.
    This game is outstanding and I just can't tell which game is better the 1st Max Payne or the 2nd one, they are both just perfect.
    But still, I wonder what would of happen to the series if Remedy kept making the games... Hmmm... Max's face from the first game in the third one...
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 11, 2012
    10
    We Will Never Forget Remedy's Max Payne.
  3. Jun 9, 2012
    9
    Despite the super short campaign, "Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne" is very enjoyable due to its realistic physics, badass bullet-time, and a pulp fiction-al dark storyline. Full Review »