Revolutionary John Woo meets the Matrix Film Noir shooter
The atmosphere is great - the storytelling takes place not in ingame-sequences or videos, but in comic strips with voiceover. Both the comics and the voice acting is very well done and has funny elements. The story itself is quite entertaining and realistic.
The revolutionary bullet-time makes you think you're in some kind of John Woo film and there is a scene which clearly lends from The Matrix.
You might also enjoy to play a different type of character for a change. Max Payne isn't a hero fighting for the good, he is just a man out for revenge, a one man army ripping through hordes of enemies. So even he is a policeman, he will not attempt to deal out arrest warrants - the enemies are going down.
Weapons are well balanced and each has its strength. Depending on how far away the enemy is, how well he is covered, how many enemies are there and especially whether you use bullet time, every weapon is useful right to the end of the game.
With view being locked in third person, it happens sometimes, especially when you are ducked, that the player is obstructing the view, making it hard to aim at the enemy.
There's some kind of delay in the grenade throwing which makes it easy to blow yourself up. Also grenades are so powerful that if you aren't prepared for the enemy to throw one and get into cover quickly, you will usually get hurt pretty badly.
The biggest disadvantage for me was that the higher difficulty levels aren't open right away. You have to play through the game on the easiest level to unlock the harder ones.
The Bottom Line
A refreshingly different shooter with a sinister, all-consuming story. Like no other shooter, this game plays itself like an action-film and is definitely worth being played through once.