Rockstar explain how bullet time will work in Max Payne 3′s multiplayer

New Max Payne 3 screens guns!

Bullet time’s never really worked in multiplayer. Games like FEAR and Stranglehold all dodged the issue because, well, how exactly do you implement slow mo when there’s more than one person playing? According to Rockstar, Max Payne 3′s 16 player multiplayer pulls it off using players’ line of sight. 

According to the developer. “It’s not just a bubble around the player.” Most importantly it doesn’t apply to everyone on the map, so you won’t suddenly be stuck running down a corridor on your own in slow-mo. Instead it’s based on who a player can see when they trigger it. “When a player activates bullet time, all players within their line of sight are caught in Bullet Time. Any other players caught in an affected players’ line of sight are also caught in bullet time”.

It’s an interesting idea but will it be open to abuse? A player not in anyone’s line of sight but who can see bullet time affected players will basically be shooting fish in a barrel. Very. Slow. Moving. Fish.

They’ve also let a little more info out on ‘Bursts’. These are special abilities earned by filling your adrenaline meter as you kill other players or loot the bodies (for pain killers, ammo and other essentials). They won’t say what these bursts are yet, only that they “are all in keeping with themes of the game itself”. There are apparently three levels with the higher ones taking more adrenaline to use but as a result being more powerful.

Rockstar say that the “multiplayer feels like a natural extension of the game’s universe, expanding on the same themes, the same fiction and some of the same characters that occupy Max’s world”. So, lots of miserable angry men with guns drinking too much, then. While you’ll get the usual deathmatch modes the “heart and soul” of the multiplayer is Gang Wars. This will use single player moments and settings as inspiration “pitting two teams against each other in a series of shifting objectives, all tied together via narrative and Max’s classic internal monologue”.