To those who know me, I am super air-headed and absent-minded so in my defense, I think recording a bunch of episodes and then forgetting to actually upload them is probably the most on-brand I can possibly be! My apologies to everyone for the delay of this episode. Sequels week can just keep going and going! FOREVER!!

5/22 – Max Payne 2

Hello and welcome! My name is Katosepe and I’ll be your host for today’s Video Game of the Day.

Welcome back to sequel’s week where each day, I’m covering the sequel to a game I’ve covered previously on this show. For today’s game, let’s return to the gritty, neo-noire world of Max Payne. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne was developed by Remedy Entertainment and released on Windows, Xbox and PS2 in 2003.

Two years after the conclusion of Max Payne, Max is trying to pick up the pieces of his life. He is back with the NYPD as a detective but is still racked with guilt and questions regarding the death of his family in the first game. During an investigation, he encounters Mona Sax, a woman he had believed died, and must chase her down to find the answers he seeks.

Max Payne 2 returns to the signature gunplay Max Payne was known for, in particular, bringing back the Bullet Time system where the player can slow down time, allowing Max to make incredible shots and dodge bullets. There are some enhancements, however. Max can now gain bonus Bullet Time with consecutive kills made while in Bullet Time. Reloading will also allow Max to dodge bullets more effectively. The game also sometimes gives Max AI companions to help him through difficult sections.

Max Payne 2 also utilizes a performance-based difficulty system which adjusts itself automatically based on how a player is doing. If you’re doing well during a level, the next may have more enemies with better accuracy but if you find yourself dying frequently, the game may limit the enemies accordingly. Once the game has been beaten once, the player can then select a static difficulty to attempt.

The story is told through a mixture of in-game dialogue and cinematics told in a comic book style, similar to the first game. The atmosphere of the game adopts that of many hard-boiled detective stories. John Woo is listed as an influence for the tone as well as comics such as The Punisher MAX series.

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne received critical acclaim upon release. Many simply stated that this was Max Payne but even better than before. The improvements to Bullet Time were praised as they decreased downtime waiting for enemies and encouraged players to charge ahead. Criticism was given towards the game’s short length. How Long to Beat estimates the game at being about 7 hours long. Despite the game’s critical approval, Max Payne 2 sold quite poorly compared to Take Two’s expectations. Max Payne would remain dormant for almost 10 years until it finally received a sequel, Max Payne 3, in 2012.

Thanks so much for listening to the show. If you want to hear more episodes, check out the archives on and also follow me on Twitter @vg_oftheday for updates and polls and random thoughts about whatever I happen to be playing or watching. Don’t forget to check back here tomorrow for another Video Game of the Day.

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