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Eugene Weekly : Gamin' : 10.26.06

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Everybody Loves Max

Video noir gets the youth vote


Just about everyone I know under the age of 20 loves the game Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne. The game is about a detective named Max Payne. Max works for the NYPD and is an emotionally scarred human being who was framed in the first Max Payne game for the murder of his family. In the second installment, the game follows Max on one of his investigations involving the hired gun Mona Sax. Think noir in various shades of black and green-gray.

Max Payne 2:The Fall of Max Payne Publisher, Rockstar Games• Platform, PC, PlayStation 2, XBox. Price, $19.99 • ESRB rating, M (Mature)

This game is the universal connection for teens. At nearly every gathering I've been to that involved video games, it has been requested and often supplied.

What is it about this game that makes it so damn appealing to everyone? And when I say everyone, I mean everyone. Male, female, jock, burnout — it doesn't matter. Everyone loves it, and everyone can play it to some degree. And that's the crazy thing. Most people suck at playing any video game, but I have seen people pick up a controller like it was a joystick for the space shuttle and play Max Payne like they owned it.

Something about Max speaks to people. Perhaps there's appeal to running around carrying more guns and ammunition than humanly possible, not to mention the ability to slow down time even when not in the Matrix. Max Payne combines everything that young men and women like: guns, girls, explosions, a rugged detective, a hard-boiled plot and the ability to make everything look like a sepia photo and move slowly.

Is Max Payne the best game ever? Maybe. It's pretty freakin' good. Video games are best played, not judged, unless they suck. But in short, Max Payne rocks.

Aaron Poppie is a junior at South Eugene High School.

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