May Payne is a third-person shooter video game launched in 2001, and was the first to feature the unique bullet time-based gun-fights that was also used in the movie, The Matrix. VR-Zone was at Rockstar Games office for a sneak peek of their latest game, Max Payne 3, which is due to launch next month.
The third installment of the popular Max Payne series brings about improved and detailed graphics, new plot on Max's life, while retaining his witty monologues, the game's signature Bullet Time shooting, as well as the graphic novel style of story-telling with panels, voice overs and flashbacks.
We had our hands on one part of the game whereby it has been eight years since Max left New York City and is working in a private security sector for a wealthy Rodrigo Branco in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The wife of the boss has been kidnapped and Max needs to deliver the $3 million ransom for her safety. However, things didn't proceed as planned and Max and his partner have to shoot their way out to stay alive. The in-game health system is similar to the previous Max Payne games, whereby to refill your health bar, you will need to consume painkillers that are commonly found in places. There is also an Adrenaline bar which builds up after every kill, although you would find that you will deplete it very fast when you use the "Bullet Time" shooting too often. But that's exactly the point of building up the Adrenaline, so that you can "Bullet Time" once you have the chance.
What if you had run out of Adrenaline. Well, there's the "Dodge Shoot" whereby Max is able to enter a similar slow-motion state like Bullet Time, although that only works when Max is leaping (forward, backward or sideways) and not on the ground when avoiding enemies' shootings. And best of all, you are able to dodge and shoot at the same time. Sounds easy? Truth be told, both "Bullet Time" and "Dodge Shoot" require a lot of practice and getting used to. For experienced gamers like us, we would find ourselves making Max crouch more than often, than make him leap, dodge or shoot at the enemies.
There is a multiplayer mode on Max Payne 3 (Gang Wars) and according to a Rockstar Games spokesperson, Bullet Time will also be available in this mode. So you may be asking how would Bullet Time work in a multiplayer mode? Well, the first player to enable Bullet Time will move slightly faster than his or her opponents in sight. On top of that, any player that is within the first player's line of sight will also enter into Bullet Time state, though they will be in a slower version of that state, giving the first player the slight advantage. The Gang Wars multiplayer mode is also a series of matches based on events in the single player campaign. For example, you might need to defuse bombs set in your territory if your team grabbed the most turf, which is similar to Capture the Flag. These will be linked through Max’s narration in relation to the cut scenes.
Even though we didn't have as much time as we wanted to with the preview, we believe that Max Payne fans would not be disappointed with what Max Payne 3 has to offer. The game is scheduled to go on sale on 18 May for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 game consoles, while the PC version will be launched on 1 June.
Check out this YouTube video on Max Payne 3 Design and Technology Series: "Bullet Time"