Max Payne 3’s “Bullet Time” gets a sophistication upgrade

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Rockstar’s take on Max Payne in the third entry in the franchise worried many gamers with its sunlit Sao Paolo location; a stark contrast to the gritty night-time New York that gave the series its Film Noir flavour. Rockstar’s done much to appease fans, saying that although its visually less dark, its tome has remained intact, and that Payne is still a man wracked by anger, regret and guilt.

Another fan concern is how the game’s pioneering bullet-time mechanic – now well worn and bordering on the cliché would be handled. Here’s your answer.

“A massive part of this in all three games is the concept of Bullet Time: the choreography of shooting and manipulating time to create the most precise, action-packed gunplay possible,” said Rockstar’s Rob Nelson to IGN. “We want players to get a sensation of placing and reacting to every single bullet with precision and style and getting to savor the results.”

“Max’s signature Bullet Time moves are back, but upgraded with the level of sophistication and detail that we can bring to an action game in 2011. A combination of our RAGE engine, blended animations and Natural Motion’s Euphoria system control Max’s movements, making him react to the world around him realistically, bracing for impact from a diving shoot-dodge or transferring his weight from foot-to-foot while in Bullet Time – the player has an amazing amount of control over the player when running and targeting.”

“There are also some additional new features to gunplay in Bullet Time that we’ll reveal soon,” he teased. “Our goal is to set a new benchmark for sophistication and feel in a third-person shooter – we’ve really tried to make the experience as intense and focused as possible.”

I’m cautiously optimistic about Max Payne 3. I’ve previously expressed worry that Rockstar Vancouver, developers of Bully : Canis Canem Edit, might not be quite the right fit for franchise – but it looks like they’re determined to prove me wrong. Max Payne 3 will be released on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in March next year.

Last Updated: October 3, 2011

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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