March 29, 2012 at 4:45 PM ET
Rockstar Games recently revealed the multiplayer mode in "Max Payne 3." Many hoped that bullet time, a key feature of the single-player component would be worked in -- and the game's makers are making what seemed impossible happen.
The goal was to bring the game's highly cinematic action from the single-player portion into multiplayer. Being able to assume the identities of the various storyline-specific characters certain helps, but it's the inclusion of bullet time that is the real shocker.
Bullet time is the ability to slow the entire game down for a few moments. It not only allows for more precise aiming and dodging, but also adds a dramatic flare to the proceedings. It has been a hallmark of the franchise since day one, and many have come to believe that such a mechanic is not possible with other players (which would explain the previous games have only been single-player experiences).
If such a singular action was executed in a multiplayer environment, the action would constantly slow down for everyone, which would be disorienting (as well as annoying) for players who are not part of a situation that necessitates its use.
Yet Rockstar has managed to figure a way, by having it only affect players in the initiator's line of sight. So bullet time exists, not just for everyone, all at once.
It's conceivable for a player, who is minding his or her own business, while going from point A to B, to stumble across other players in the midst of an exchange, except when they're all moving in super-slow motion.
Just the very thought is hilarious, though it remains to be seen if it actually works as well as the game’s developer hopes, or if it's turned off entirely (provided such an option exists). But hey, we finally have bullet time in a multiplayer game, something no one ever thought was possible.
The following is the first of a two-part look at the various multiplayer features the game will have:
Matthew Hawkins is an NYC-based game journalist who has also written for EGM, GameSetWatch, Gamasutra, Giant Robot and numerous others. He also self-publishes his own game culture zine, is part of Attract Mode, and co-hosts The Fangamer Podcast. You can keep tabs on him via Twitter, or his personal home-base, FORT90.com.