Max Payne 2

Well, I’m done with Max Payne 2. Which is not to say I finished it, because I did not. I got a little over a third of the way through it, as best I can figure (to where you control Mona Sax for the first time, if you’ve played the game).

I really enjoyed the gunplay, but something about the graphics engine just triggered massive motion sickness in me. Playing on a 50″ screen probably just made it worse. Motion sickness is a bit of a mystery to me…I’m not sure why one game will trigger it and another will not. For instance, I can play 007: Everything or Nothing with no trouble at all. Both 3rd person shooters, but one sends me to bed with a cool damp rag on my forehead until the sweats pass, and the other I can play with no discomfort at all.

Anyway, back to Payne

I was also disappointed in the level design, which I found monotonous overall. There were some high points, to be sure, like getting to Mona’s hideout, but otherwise it was just one dirty dingy building after another. The stairwells really made my stomach lurch and there were a TON of them. And so many narrow ledges and jumping puzzles, which the controls on the XBox were just not up to. They just weren’t precise enough.

I think a lot of my issues can be put down to ‘bad port from the PC’ though the game (in 480p widescreen) was absolutely gorgeous to look at and the Dolby 5.1 sound was incredible. But the controls — as is so often the case in this kind of a game — they just weren’t good.

Which was a shame since the cheesy noir story had me hooked and blasting bad guys was a total hoot. I’m thinking this would be a great game on the PC…maybe I’ll pick it up when it hits the bargain bin (its way too short to spend full price on. I borrowed the XBox copy I was playing from a friend).