I have just finished the day's round of Max Payne 2, and I have to gush about it a bit before I go on with my work. I didn't think I would like MP2 at first, since the gun sounds are not as good (in my opinion) as they were in the first one, and I was afraid that the story was going to be dumb. Well, I still have my complaints about the gun sounds, although some of them are quite good (it's really just the 9mm stuff and Ingrams that I have complaints about, and having never fired a weapon in my life I don't even know if those sound wrong or my expectations of what a gun should sound like are wrong). But the story ... oh, the story.
Max Payne 2's story is darker, I would say, than the story in the first one - the writing is still aware of its film noir-ness, and still pokes fun at itself a bit. But the direction is much more straight-faced, and the stuff that happens in the story has hit my heartstrings much harder. Max is by no means a respectable character, but I do actually feel for him, for the way his world comes apart. And there is something he's holding on to inside which fascinates me. Mona is also a fascinating character to me, and I do actually resonate with what's going on. It is dark and overdramatic, but it is also about the hope that love gives a man, and the bonds of camaraderie and shared danger, about refusing to give in to the slings and arrows of the world. And it is told so well, too. So satisfying.