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Max Payne 3 Multiplayer Hands On

A whole lotta pain.

No! Stop! It’s okay, don’t panic, I know this is a Max Payne game and Max Payne is to multiplayer what EA is to customer service, but I can promise you this is good.

Last week the kind folks over at Rockstar invited me, on behalf of TSA, to go and play some multiplayer Max Payne 3 with them and I’ll confess I was a tad sceptical over how well it would come across given the IP’s focus on single player aspects in the past. However, not to spoil this write up too much in advance, it was great. Actually, no, scratch that, forget when I said good before and forget when I said great before. Max Payne 3’s multiplayer was awesome!

The day was terrific, the Rockstar employees and journalists alike were in a caffeine-fuelled, happy mood and the Rockstar offices even had a puppy (a freaking puppy!) walking around casually. You know, just hanging out. All offices have that, right?

However, I need to insert a small disclaimer to kick things off: I had not played Max Payne 3 until that day. The Rockstar folk had obviously played it before, and the other writers there had apparently all attended the single player preview beforehand. So, everything I am about to tell you comes from a totally blank slate of a man going into the sexiest gaming offices ever, with the cutest damn puppy I’ve ever scratched behind the ear, and playing Max Payne 3.

Before I kick back and give you a run down of the gameplay/modes/funny anecdotes of the day I’ll take a moment to explain a few basic concepts of Max Payne 3’s multiplayer which are applicable to almost every game mode in the finished product. The multiplayer holds up to 16 players, has an XP upgrading system, and an XP ranking system.

You earn said XP by completing game modes and killing other players, which will rank you up and get you some precious moolah that you can spend on new weapons, weapon upgrades, equipment, and special abilities (which they call Bursts) for your customisable loadouts. Players can collect ‘Adrenaline’ by shooting and killing enemy players, as well as looting their corpses afterwards. Adrenaline is used to activate a Burst, so it’s worth collecting.

There are a plethora of Bursts to choose from, all of which have 3 levels depending on how much Adrenaline you have stored, and they are as follows (and I swear after we’ve done all the Bursts there will be gameplay talk): Big Dog (boosts your health as well as your teammates), Intuition (shows enemy positions), Trigger Happy (grants more powerful weapons/ammo for a set time period), Sneaky (you appear as a friendly to enemies), Paranoia (enemies see their team-mates as enemies), Weapon Dealer (team has unlimited ammo for a set time period), Weapon Double Dealer (enemies weapons get attachments/upgrades revoked), and Bullet Time.

Yes, that’s right my friends, I said Bullet Time. Rockstar made a huge deal on the day that they wanted to implement Bullet Time into Max Payne’s multiplayer, obviously because it’s a staple of the entire franchise. Here’s how it works: If a player activates Bullet Time, anybody who is in their line of sight also gets trapped in Bullet Time. Furthermore, anybody who is in the line of sight of the person who’s caught in the player who originally activated Bullet Time’s line of sight also gets affected.

It’s kind of a daisy chain of slow motion but the chain can be broken if a player escapes the line of sight of anybody going down the chain, minus the original Bullet Timer who shall remain in that state until the set time has run out. The original Bullet Time user still has the advantage though, as their bullets and movement aren’t as slowed down as the other affected players, meaning they’ll have an easier job of sinking more bullets into their enemy’s slowly moving flesh.

I won’t bore you with too many personal experiences or witty stories of using it, but I can give a gamer’s guarantee sticker on it because it works beautifully. I never would have imagined it could be implemented into multiplayer gaming so smoothly and seamlessly.

Phew. Okay, I think we’re all done with that huge information dump. Let’s talk about some of the game, starting with Team Deathmatch because I don’t have to waste a paragraph explaining the mode right off the bat and it allows me to throw some extra background information at your face.

The goal? Kill everything. Just kill everything. Got that? Good.

The only map which we were allowed to play was an abandoned bus depot (originally titled ‘Bus Depot’) and it was shockingly fun. I’ll get the obvious out of the way first and say it was slightly GTA-esque, but only very slightly. The cover system, the shooting, and the running had a very similar control feel to Rockstar’s flagship.

That’s not a bad thing, by any means, and the extras added into Max Payne 3 are where it starts to get raised above and beyond Rockstar’s previous multiplayer games. You now have a stamina meter that determines how long you can run and roll for, and of course there’s the aforementioned ability to loot dead enemy bodies for XP, adrenaline, and ammo.

  1. Taylor Made
    Since: Oct 2011

    “If a player activates Bullet Time, anybody who is in their line of sight also gets trapped in Bullet Time. Furthermore, anybody who is in the line of sight of the person who’s caught in the player who originally activated Bullet Time’s line of sight also gets affected.”

    Thats like a tongue twister made me dizzy I think I get it lol

    Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 17:13.
    • Shakugan
      Since: Mar 2010

      Soooo… you stand there and watch when someone is using bullet time and they are damn slow while you can drink lemonades and eat grapes after that you pick up your gun and start to shoot them to get double kills… makes sense. This is so mindf*ck.

      Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 17:30.
    • DunKology
      Since: Jan 2012

      It’s a phenomenon that’s really difficult to describe properly. Took me about 10 attempts to get to that tongue twister of an explanation. :P

      Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 19:13.
    • jikomanzoku
      Since: Jan 2010

      I got a bit “argh”ed by that too but think I got it right. Anyone in your line of sight, along with anyone in their lines of sight will be affected – that right?

      Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 23:58.
      • DunKology
        Since: Jan 2012

        Spot on, my friend. :D

        Comment posted on 30/03/2012 at 02:23.
      • jikomanzoku
        Since: Jan 2010

        Awesome sauce, well label me as officially rather jealous of your experience and thanks for the article. Did a good job of ramping my already considerable excitement for ths bad boy!

        Comment posted on 06/04/2012 at 09:27.
  2. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Told you it was good :)

    Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 17:33.
    • DunKology
      Since: Jan 2012

      Well I’ll tell you what, you weren’t wrong.

      Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 19:14.
  3. Jakster123x
    Since: Aug 2011

    That sounds awesome!

    Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 17:33.
  4. Foxhound_Solid
    Is a smart cookie.
    Since: Dec 2009

    Whoa….this sounds siiiick

    Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 18:41.
  5. RudeAwakening
    Since: Jan 2011

    This sounds excellent, can’t wait to check it out.

    Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 20:13.
  6. aerobes
    Since: Aug 2009

    This sounds awesome, better every time I see or read anything about it. No chance in hell I’ll be able to afford it upon release but it’s firmly planted on my want list. Wait, what am I thinking? My disc drive is broken, lol, silly me. >:S

    Comment posted on 29/03/2012 at 20:23.
  7. Burgess_101
    Since: May 2009

    You completed E.T.? Wow you are a trooper!

    Comment posted on 30/03/2012 at 13:39.
    • DunKology
      Since: Jan 2012

      I am nothing if not dedicated. ;)

      Comment posted on 02/04/2012 at 11:43.
  8. Eldave0
    Since: Aug 2008

    Was a little sceptical until I read this cracking, thorough article. Sign me up :)

    Comment posted on 30/03/2012 at 14:36.
  9. torchedEARTH
    Since: Apr 2012

    Great article thank you!

    Bullet time: When another player is caught in the chain, does this extend the bullet time by another second or similar? I just wonder that if it didn’t you could end up with people at the end of the chain having a stutter effect from a very brief burst of BT.

    Also, how do thrown weapons react in bullet time? If I was stood around a corner of a building where there is a BT chain that I’m not part of but throw a grenade or similar that they can then see, does my grenade slow down as well or keep going at the same speed?

    Comment posted on 03/04/2012 at 14:38.

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