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Max Payne 3 Multiplayer: Weapons, Perks & Modes Hands-On


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Dave Cook

Max Payne 3 multiplayer is massive, so we go hands on to test out Rockstar's explosive new modes, weapons and skills.

Max Payne 3 multiplayer 11.jpg

Published on Mar 28, 2012

Max Payne 3 multiplayer isn't developed by the same team as Red Dead Redemption's online offering, yet it underlines Rockstar's rapidly growing proficiency at crafting well-balanced, expansive multiplayer components that don't feel tacked on to the single player campaign.

We sat down with Rockstar to play a few hours of Max Payne 3's multiplayer, and found it to be big, bold and very, very insane. Read on to find out more.

Max Payne 3's multiplayer bullet-time works perfectly

Rockstar has ensured that Max Payne 3's multiplayer component doesn't make concessions and instead, plays exactly the same as the campaign at base level. Players can still use bullet-time in the same way as Max does, and rather than being a clumsy gimmick, it works rather well.

When you perform a slow-mo leap, everyone else within your line of sight slows down to a near halt, giving you a window for the kill. So while it's in your interest to avoid making yourself visible to someone using bullet time, you can still see them packing with an old fashioned melee finisher if you happen to get too close to them.

Scoring hits and kills will refill your adrenaline gauge which lets you use more bullet time. However, you can choose to bolster your bullet time skill with many of Max Payne 3's awesome multiplayer perks, which are called Bursts. More on these later.


Max Payne 3's multiplayer delivers cinematic gunplay

Again, Rockstar hasn't trimmed back in any area when it comes to multiplayer. Any gun wielded by Max during the campaign can be used online, but they must first be unlocked by gaining experience online, then by buying them with money earned by winning games.

You can dual wield a massive combination of guns, and sling a two-handed weapon over your shoulder, as well as packing explosive devices. The sight of people leaping off rooftops while dodging RPG fire and returning the favour with dual wield Uzis in slow-mo is incredible, and insanely good fun.


Max Payne 3's multiplayer character customisation gives you an insane degree of control

As you level up and earn cash, you can buy new weapons, Bursts, attachments, avatar gear and passive skills. You can customise your character's appearance with a wide range of clothing, tattoos, accessories and more, although a popular favourite in our session with Rockstar was the rather terrifying gas mask and giant afro combination. 

All gear aside from clothing adds to your character's overall weight. The heavier you are, the slower you move, which also stunts your health regeneration rate. There is a clear trade off between packing serious firepower and staying nimble enough to survive longer. It's a neat bit of balancing that makes you really consider your load out.

Max Payne 3's Burst system is tactical and innovative

Earlier in this preview we mentioned Bursts, which is Max Payne 3-speak for skills. You can unlock many Bursts by levelling up in multiplayer and equip them in character customisation. Paranoia is already a favourite, making everyone on the opposing team look like an enemy as you stand back and watch your enemies gun each other down.

Trigger Happy will sacrifice your current weapon for a grenade launcher when you need a big push, Intuition reveals the location of all hostiles on the mini-map, while Big Dog will give your whole team a health boost. You can also stack up to three levels of adrenaline to unleash bigger variations of each power.

The mix of singular and team-wide buffs and effects are what make Max Payne 3's wild and unfettered multiplayer suddenly enter tactical territory, which elevates it from being just another shooter to something much more compelling. This is just as well, because Max Payne 3's multiplayer modes require plenty of teamwork.


Max Payne 3's Gang Wars mode runs alongside the campaign

Throughout Max Payne 3's single player campaign, the deadbeat cop will tussle with various gangs around the city of Sao Paolo. The Gang Wars multiplayer mode focuses on what these gangs get up to behind the scenes of the single player, with each game spreading across five rounds. 

Each of these mini-multiplayer campaigns throw tons of modes at you, from capture the flag inspired bag snatch mode, which sees teams scrambling over two bags of cash then dropping them off at constantly changing drop zones.

You also have a bomb defusal mode, a straight-up multiplayer face-off and point capture games. All of these modes can be played outside of Gang Wars, with maps changing layout depending on how much of the 16-player lobby has been filled.


Max Payne 3's Payne Killer mode is outstanding

One mode which can't be played in Gang Wars is Payne Killer which is absolutely brilliant. Each game begins with all players battling in free-for-all, and the first person to score a kill becomes Max Payne, while Max's first victim respawns as his buddy Passos. These guys are tough, and have two bottles of painkillers each, although they don't have regenerative health.

The rest of the players must hunt down Max and Passos and kill them, and the cycle repeats. For example, whoever scores the most hits on Max will become him when he dies, which is a great way of preventing kill-stealing. This mode is a manic dash to hunt the duo while remaining cautious of their increased power.

Who ever spends the most time as Max and Passos is likely to geet the biggest score and win the round, thanks in alrge part to their increased resilience and firepower, so it's in your best interest to try and respawn as Max or Passos as much as possible.

That's all from Max Payne 3 multiplayer for now, but as always, NowGamer will be on-hand to cover more Max Payne 3 information as it happens.



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Game Details
Xbox 360
Release Date:
Rockstar Games
Rockstar Vancouver
No. of Players:
Summary: Chunky gunplay, insane slow-mo effects and tons of character progression make Max Payne 3's multiplayer a winner.
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