Max Payne 2 The Fall of Max Payne (Xbox)

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Finnish developer Remedy Entertainment's embittered vigilante cop has put his troubled past behind him and is ready to begin a new chapter in his life with Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. The stylized third-person shooter, which initially turned heads with its combination of gritty environments, film noir style, and use of bullet-time effects for dramatic shootouts, returns with an enhanced graphic engine and completely new storyline. The Fall of Max Payne chronicles the title character's romance with a sultry siren named Mona Sax. Things are never easy for Payne, however, as Sax just so happens to be a murder suspect who leads him down a dark path from which he may be unable to walk away from.

The new graphic engine allows for motion-captured movement, facial animation from a cast of professional actors, lip-synching, new lighting techniques, a rag doll physics model using the licensed Havok development kit, and redesigned 3D characters. Players will walk through cities as rain splashes down onto the streets with puddles reflecting the glow of neon signs, streetlights, and other details of urban life. The groundbreaking use of bullet time effects for slow-motion combat has been redesigned to incorporate different rates of speed for more theatrical gunplay. Max Payne is now a member of the NYPD, so missions involve interrogating prisoners, speaking with witnesses, and more.