Playing With Payne: A look at Multiplayer in Max Payne 3

Published on March 29th, 2012

Slow down time with friends.

Whenever a singleplayer only franchise gets a dollop of competitive multiplayer, gamers shout to the heavens demanding to know why. This familiar phenomenon surrounded the release of Bioshock 2 and Metal Gear Solid 4, yet with we suspect nobody will have any complaints, as Rockstar are packing the sort of feature-set which would make Red Dead Redemption jealous.

Playing With Payne: A look at Multiplayer in Max Payne 3

There are dozens of weapons to choose from.

Obviously this franchise, which is heavily inspired by the consistently jaw-dropping action seen in Hong Kong cinema, is a much more natural bed fellow to competitive multiplayer than any of the aforementioned titles, with spin-off mods like ‘The Specialists’ capitalising on gamers wanting to dive sideways while off-loading dual Uzis into their buddies online.

As you’d expect Max Payne 3 is more than ready to satisfy that need, with a host of game modes, customisation options and an XP-based progression system to boot, but all that is just delicious mushroom sauce on the meaty steak that is sixteen-player matches with combatants all able to wield Bullet Time independently of each other.

Playing With Payne: A look at Multiplayer in Max Payne 3

Max Payne 3 has a fully functional cover system, but you don't need to use it in order to be successful.

Here’s how it works.

Unlike singleplayer where Max has a continually recharging metre which allows him to slowdown time, in multiplayer you have to fill said hourglass yourself by causing damage to other players and racking up kills. Initiating Bullet Time is exactly the same, either click in the right thumbstick or click the right bumper for a brief time-slowing dive. Crucially this doesn’t slow down the entire server, instead it only affects the players who are in the intiator’s line of sight, with the antagoniser gaining all the benefits of an increased movement speed and fire-rate, whereas prey do not however they do have the option of either initiating Bullet Time themselves or escaping from line of sight in order for time resume its normal pace.

Playing With Payne: A look at Multiplayer in Max Payne 3

Gang Wars see two different factions facing off.

On paper it sounds complicated, but during matches it works seamlessly adding an additional element of strategy without compromising what is for all intents and purposes a very fast-paced and multi-faceted shooter experience.

The deathmatch and team deathmatch modes played out as we expected with lots of blood carnage, and grenade spamming with regular bouts of Shootdodging to mix up combat. The map set around a bus depot, also allowed lots of flanking freedom with lots of room for players to make the most of the verticality the arena of death provided. However the mode which won most favour with us Payne Killer, a brilliant ‘King of the Hill’ inspired match type which involved two players assuming the role of Max and sharpshooting buddy Passos as they attempt to fight off the rest of the server who don’t have the advantage of Bullet Time. It’s an interesting dynamic and one that proved instantly gratifying as players who slayed the dynamic duo got to play as them until they themselves succumbed to the hunting horde. Points are scored in accordance with whoever does the most damage, with more points rewarded when playing as either Payne or Passos, and the result was a leaderboard which constantly shifted back and forth with one successful life killing the hunters making all the difference.

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    Playing With Payne: A look at Multiplayer in Max Payne 3

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