Reviews of computer games
A Beautiful Disaster: Vindictus
League of Legendary Elitism
Did ‘Homefront’ predict the future?
A Brief on Pirates of the Burning Sea
The Best of Gaming Horror Part IV. – “Dino Crisis”
The Best of Gaming Horror Part V. – “Manhunt”
The Best of Gaming Horror: The Future of Gaming Horror
Tabletop gaming technology is great, don't forget the physical books
“Blackwater”: A waste of PR money!
Why shooters should stop imitating Modern Warfare
Criterion Collection should take an interest in video games
Crystal Castles a perfect classic
Captain America and The Avengers still flying high
Konami classic still strong with X-Men fanatics
The King of Dragons is second to none in adventure
Playing it Old School – Jack Bauer’s First Day of Gaming
The action packed classic of Gyruss
'Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City' is a reunion that fans could skip
Playing it Old School: Max Payne and the birth of Game-Noir
Gamers need to stop bickering about ‘Mass Effect 3’ ending
'Operation Raccoon City' DLC adds more insult to injury
EA unveils new 'Medal of Honor: Warfighter' trailer
'Crysis 3' announced for Spring 2013
EA fulfills 'Battlefield 1943' promise for PS3 gamers
Playing It Old School – Max Payne’s Second Vendetta
In a previous issue of Playing It Old School, I discussed the significance of Max Payne with its film-noir story and John Woo choreographed action. With a strong attention to literary detail and complex character content, this was a game that became an iconic for redefining a classic genre by adopting it with a new media.

It's success was followed with the 2003 game, Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. Set two years after the events of the previous game, Max Payne has been cleared of all criminal charges and has returned to the NYPD. However after stumbling upon a robbery, Payne is forced to confront his inner demons in the middle of a mob war.

With Max Payne 3 only a few weeks away and gamers well aware of the events of Max Payne, it's time to look back at the second game to understand the struggles Payne has endured that will lead to understanding the expected events of the next game.

This vendetta starts with an injured Max Payne waking up in a hospital bed with a bullet wound. As he makes his way through the ICU, he will encounter moments of hallucinations along with commando outfitted hitmen. After a series of gunfights, Payne stumbles into the morgue and overlooks the body a women as he begins reflect upon the events that have lead to this moment.

The story begins a few nights earlier with, Payne receiving a report of a disturbance at a warehouse owned by Vladimir Lem (Russian Mob boss and an ally from the previous game). Upon his arrival, he is ambushed by a group of assassins known as the Cleaners and has a run in with Mona Sax (his love interest from the previous game). Payne survives the ambush but the Clearers get away just as police backup arrives.

At the police station, Payne is debriefed with his partner, Det. Valerie Winterson, who is investigating the murder of a US Senator in which Mona Sax is the main suspect. Obviously the two are connected and so he begins his own investigation. In the cores of the investigation, Payne is forced to work with Sax to uncover a power struggle regarding the cities criminal elements and the Inner Circle.

Spoiler Alert: Its revealed that the Cleaners work for Vladimir Lem who is waging a war against Alfred Wooden for total control of the Inner Circle. Also the body in the morgue is Det. Winterson who was collaborating with Lem. In the end, Payne confronts Lem in a gunfight that leaves everyone but our hero dead.

Like its predecessor, Max Payne 2 continues to be a film-noir as if directed by John Woo. It has the same dark and gritty tone that has been affiliated with the genre. The Havok Engine allowed for a detailed environment while the updated Bullet Time was able to improve elements of the gameplay.

A new game also required a new kind of character. This is not the revenge driven Max Payne but a character who is haunted by his inner demons. Without his family and his desire for revenge fulfilled; this is a character who feels that he has no purpose to live. This is a Max Payne who is consistently haunted by his past and is only looking for some emotional closure. Unfortunately Payne feels he could vanquish his inner demons with a love shared with Mona Sax.

Finally one cannot praise Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne without giving acknowledging the musical score that adds to the Noire tone. Plus the song Late Goodbye by Poets of the Fall fits perfect for game of this type.

Upon its release; Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne was well praised by critics for keeping what was great about the original while improving its flaws. However gamers did not share the same passion as demonstrated by its poor sales.

Max Payne 3 will be released in a few weeks; but till thwn gamers should give Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne a chance just to see what they missed and what to expect. The game is currently available for sale on Steam or you could try your luck on eBay or Amazon.
'007 Legends' is an insult to James Bond
The Best of Gaming Horror - Evil Comes to Raccoon City
"Resident Evil" needs a reboot
The Ethical Issue of Gaming Journalism
Spooky games for Halloween: All Hallows Eve
'Black Ops II' is proof that the series has peaked
League of Legends newest champion: Zed
Why Is Gaming Culture Misogynistic?
Microsoft perma-bans players in Halo 4
Nami: the Tidecaller
MOBA goes mobile
Party of Sin out now
Vi the Piltover Enforcer
BioShock 2
I Am Alive: a PC trainwreck
Playing It Old School: 'Resident Evil 0' celebrates the end of an era
Sega looks to rebound with upcoming release of 'Aliens: Colonial Marines'
Thresh the Chain Warden
SWTOR Cantina Tour San Francisco Update
Re-Playing 'Just Cause 2'
'Liberty City Stories' takes gamers back to the 'GTA III'-era
'Injustice: Gods Among Us' mixs Mortal Kombat-gamplay with DC Heroes
'Dead Island: Riptide' is just the same game
'Call of Duty: Ghosts' rumors creating buzz
'Resident Evil: Revelations' is a redemption the series needs
Dishonored - Stealth action at it finest
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Quinn and Valor- Demacias Wings
Playing It Old School – Max Payne’s Second Vendetta
A weekend at Big Wow ComicFest 2012
'Max Payne 3' delay causes confusion
'Spec Ops The Line' surprises gamers by retelling a classic story
'Black Ops' coming to Mac in Fall 2012
'Call of Duty: Online' coming to China
‘The Dark Knight Rises’ concludes Nolan's trilogy
‘Tony Hawk's: Pro Skater HD’ fails to restore a classic on Xbox
'Counter-Strike: Global Offensive' restores a classic
Diablo III: Gear-grinding for the win
Venatious game room is a tunnel of fun
Kha'Zix the Voidreaver
I wish they all could be California Games
Resident Evil 6: Epic fail
30 days of spooky games for Halloween
Spooky games for Halloween: Day 2
Spooky games for Halloween: Day 3
Spooky games for Halloween: Day 4
Spooky games for Halloween: Day 5
Spooky games for Halloween: Day 6
Spooky games for Halloween: Day 7
Spooky games for Halloween: Day 8
Spooky games for Halloween: Day 9
Spooky games for Halloween: Day 10
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