Most importantly, make full use of Shootdodging and Bullet Time to get the drop on bad guys, aim easier and take less damage. Max Payne 2 can be very difficult without using these modes.
Never forget to search each level thoroughly. Painkillers and weapons are hidden throughout the levels in some very unexpected places.
Use explosive objects to your advantage. Take out multiple enemies at once by shooting a single explosive barrel or ammo crate.
When a character offers to fight alongside Max Payne, take them up on the offer! Don't run ahead of them - watch their actions and use them to your advantage.
Talk to any characters encountered along the way. They may reveal important information or provide weapons and painkillers.
If Max crouches (hit 'C') during a gunfight, he presents a smaller target and is less likely to get hit. Crouching behind obstacles in combat provides the required second or two to reload a weapon before diving back into the action. Crouching will also steady the sniper rifle.
A good tactic in gun fights is to keep moving - don't be an easy target by standing still! Move side-to-side, do evasive rolls, and hide behind pillars and walls when reloading.
Sometimes offense is the best defense - when confronted by multiple enemies don't retreat. By pushing ahead and taking out enemies Max gains more Bullet Time and the tables can be turned.
All enemies are not alike - some more prominent enemies may be tougher to beat. Some enemy types have body armor covering the torso. Some areas of enemies are more vulnerable than others - use this to your advantage.
In Bullet Time, pay very close attention and dodge bullets as they fly by. This is a good way of avoiding damage in hectic gunfights. Use Bullet Time while sniping to help improve aim.
Don't pass up interesting items, TV shows or answering machines