IGN has put together a piece detailing the multiplayer component of Rockstar’s upcoming Max Payne 3. When one thinks Max Payne they think storyline and, more importantly, Bullet Time. Neither of those are exactly great fits for traditional multiplayer modes. Rockstar knows this, and so they’re developing something fresh and something that fits within the ethos of the Max Payne franchise.
The centre piece for the game’s multiplayer is called Gang Wars. Simply put, Gang Wars is an objective based multiplayer mode for two teams of rival gangs; nothing too different there. What happens in proceeding rounds, however, is where things start to become interesting.
In order to try and weave a narrative into the multiplayer component, the objectives for each team alter depending on the events from the previous round. For example: the entire match might start off as a botched drug deal between the two gangs; you might be tasked with collecting duffle bags of cash or drugs and ferrying them to safe points on your side of the map. While this happens your gang could be winning map territory, or losing it. Either way, the events of this first round dictate the objectives you’ll be given (delivered via a comic book style narrated by Max) for the second.
Let’s assume your gang won a lot of territory in the initial round. Your objective for round two might be to clear a number of explosives that have been placed in these new areas. Alternatively, if you were the player with the most kills in round one, you might find yourself with a bounty on your head for round two. These are just two examples of a whole lot of objectives that alter dynamically depending on what players get up to during the execution of the initial objectives of round one. Obviously the outcomes of round two dictate the objectives for round three and so on. What’s also great is that the continually shifting objectives will ensure that one team does not dominate the match.
So where’s the Bullet Time? Well, that would be just one example of what Max Payne 3’s multiplayer is calling Bursts. As you accrue XP, you’ll unlock Bursts for use during matches. You won’t necessarily want to activate your Burst immediately though, as the longer you store it the more powerful it becomes.
Some of the Bursts are genius. Paranoia is a particularly nasty Burst; activate that and the opposing team will begin to see their team mates as enemies as their team’s player models literally turn into those of the opposing team’s. If you saved Paranoia and activated it at a more powerful level, then you’ll activate friendly-fire as well, essentially allowing the opposing gang to butcher their own team.
Alternatively, the Burst called Sneaky will make your gamer tag appear friendly to the opposing team, allowing you to get into enemy territory to cause some damage from within. Intuition is another Burst; this one allowing you to see silhouettes of your enemies through walls when activated at higher levels.
And Bullet Time? That Burst will slow down any enemy caught in your line of fire. So while the game continues at a normal pace for you and your team, those poor bastards trapped in your aiming reticule will slow to a crawl, making them sitting ducks for anyone nearby.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? To top it all off, the narratives woven into the multiplayer matches will be references throughout the single-player game. You might pick up a multiplayer match in which the events occur shortly after the gangs have had a run-in with Max in the single-player game. It’s not entirely certain how this will translate in the single-player game, but it’s nice to see Rockstar merging the two aspects of Max Payne 3.