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Max Payne 2: The Fall Of Max Payne Review

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Satisfying gunplay matched with an engaging story of classic film noir

★★★★

Although The Matrix series slid into cheesy set-pieces and philosophical hokum, the Wachowskis’ movies did at least give us one good thing: Bullet Time.Max Payne 2 — the sequel to 2001’s ground-breaking, gun-totin’ action adventure — uses the device to dazzling effect, allowing players to charge into a room of tooled-up assassins and slow action to a crawl, yet continue to target their myriad enemies at normal speed. The action is made more thrilling as Max can also pump his aggressors full of lead as he dives for cover or side-steps oncoming bullets, making the experience much more rewarding than the execrable Enter The Matrix videogame that never allowed players complete control of the slo-mo sequences.

The satisfying gunplay is matched by an equally engaging story that unfolds like classic film noir; at the start of the game the hero is recovering from gunshot wounds and is accused of murder, events which only become clear as the twisted plot unfolds. Sadly, the game is much too short and virtually identical to Max’s first outing, but it’s still an exciting alternative to the official Matrix spin-off.

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