Metascore
73

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
  1. Even though some features were missing from Max Payne 2, the audio attribute of the game is superb.
  2. It achieved something that is very rare in gaming: 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.
  3. It is short, but sweet. A few extra game modes add much to the replayability.
  4. The game also feels a little too anticlimactic because the last few chapters aren’t as intense as the original.
  5. Far more satisfying than its predecessor. In fact, it's one of the most satisfying story-driven shooters you can play right now, as well as the latest success in the drive to make games as deep and engaging as movies.
  6. Some of the level design is brilliantly done, and there's even a new playable character - nothing revolutionary, but good, solid action with a liberal sprinkling of the dark side. [Feb 2004, p.20]
  7. It's no secret that this doesn't look as good as its bigger brothers, but it can certainly stand up against anything else on this console. [Feb 2004, p.102]
  8. 80
    The first game’s take on noir was fresh and powerful; the sequel has the same haunted spirit with less surprise value. While Max Payne’s rain-soaked world is a weary one, it’s also undeniably compelling.
  9. 79
    The PC and Xbox versions are just plain better than the PS2 version, which at best is a fun, sometimes brilliant action game hampered by a shoddy porting job that leaves many technical aspects of the game in question.
  10. The PS2 version is so rife with problems, like no quick save feature and lousy framerates, that the game can feel practically unplayable at times.
  11. I cannot believe the presentation level is that far below it's Xbox and PC counterparts. It's been a long time since I've seen that level of difference.
  12. The mediocre performance of the PS2 port of Max Payne 2 never makes the game completely unplayable, but it does noticeably hinder it.
  13. Without the graphical chutzpah of the PC or even Xbox versions, Max feels like a deflated, stripped-down, hack of his former self. If you don’t have access to a PC or an Xbox, this is still definitely worth checking out as it’s a short but sweet experience, just know that there are far better options out there.
  14. As much as I love my PS 2, this version is the ugly cousin in the Max Payne family. Rent before purchase.
  15. But it’s hard to recommend this port with a straight face due to its severely makeshift presentation. Nevertheless, it is a fun game thanks to the satisfying gameplay and excellent story. If all you’ve got is a PS2, then consider this your consolation prize.
  16. A purchase is not recommended, however, due to the game’s short length and considerably degraded graphics and gameplay. After all, 50 smackers is a lot to invest in such a short-lived game, especially when it’s an inferior port of a PC title (largely the result of the PS2’s technical limitations).
  17. 72
    The atrocious frame rate and textures hurts the game play, almost making it at times unplayable. Max still has the charismatic way of dealing with his demons, which is dealing death with bitter coolness.
  18. An action title that relies on keeping the player immersed and focused on the game as much as possible. But if you're asked to spend literally 20 per cent of your playing time staring at a loading screen, then that sense of excitement and immersion quickly ebbs away.
  19. A blast to play - it's just that you're likely to spend as much time watching cinemas, storyboards, and loading screens as actually playing the game. For a six-to-eight-hour game, that's just not right. [Feb 2004, p.104]
  20. There is enjoyment to be had here but it is so short lived that there is no point donating much more than one evening to the game. For a franchise that started out so well this does indeed seem to be the fall of Max Payne.
  21. If you only own a PS2, Max Payne 2 is a worthy pickup, but those of you with a decent PC should buy that version instead. Trust me - it's easier on the eyes and the hands.
  22. The presentation of the PS2 version is seriously lacking, and the lengthy loading times and the huge oversight in the save system make it less than enjoyable to play.
  23. 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]
  24. 60
    Sure, the core gameplay is still there -- and it's still fun -- it's just marred by shoddy visuals and a stuttering framerate. In a shooter, a sketchy framerate is the last thing you want. And that's not all -- the game's cool save system has been totally botched on the PS2 port.
  25. Please do not buy this or even rent it. To do so would make you think less of Remedy and Max Payne 2, an absolutely terrific game on other consoles. Try another version instead.
  26. A recycled (and quite inept) PS2 interface plagued with technical shortcomings (slowdown galore!) that mirrors the prequel’s 2001 PS2 version makes this the console version of Max Payne 2 to avoid.
  27. 45
    Too many corners were cut to ensure the timely shipping of this PS2 release, and Rockstar Vienna's lack of care shines through.

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