IncGamers Network

Max Payne 3’s gameplay made easy

A detailed breakdown of the primary game mechanics… those we know about, at least.
The New Yorker-in-a-trench-coat is due to return next year, which probably explains why we were invited to Rockstar HQ to get the skinny first-hand for ourselves. In short, it’s largely what you’d expect; high-octane, violent, brash and featuring characters not suitable for pre-9pm television.
For an in-depth at Mr. Payne’s latest adventure you can read our full preview which examines the gameplay as well as the way the character, the story and the ‘vibe’ are shaping up; all essential elements of the first two games. 
Alternatively (or in conjunction with our preview), continue reading beyond the pic below to get yourself up-to-scratch with the basic gameplay mechanics and how they work in-game.

Bullet Time
Yep, it’s back. How could it not be? At present Bullet Time is built up whenever you’re being shot at, visualised by a slowly filling white bar at the bottom-right of the screen. Once the bar is full you can kick you slow-motion, gold saturated screen that is Bullet Time. 
There’s no auto-lock in Bullet Time so you’ll actually have to work to make use of your slow-motion quota. It’s also worth pointing out that the manner in which it’s built up has yet to be finalised. Already Rockstar have played with the idea of it being awarded when you take damage, when you shot your own gun and even having it constantly fill up very slowly – so don’t be surprised if it changes again.
I know what you’re thinking… typo, that should be two words. It shouldn’t, the official ‘Max Payne’ way of writing it is as one word. Shootdodge-ing is a simply a succinct way of saying diving for cover or getting your ass out of the way of fire. 
It can be used when in Bullet Time or not (so, in slow-mo and real-time) and is incredibly effective if you can marry it with sharp aim and a touch of action movie style. At its most basic you can simply jump to one side, land on the floor and shoot those shooting at you. At its best you can kick in Bullet Time, jump backwards over a balcony, shoot the guys dumbfounded by your acrobatics at the top before landing on the stairway below and headshot-ing the guy at the bottom.
Exit Bullet Time, walk away. Perhaps walking away in slow-mo might like cool?
Final Kill-Camera
It’s a kill-cam, but not the sort you might find in Call of Duty. This is, like everything is Max Payne 3, a kill-cam designed to make things look enough more stylish and over-the-top. Upon killing the final enemy in an arena or specific wave, the bullet that leaves Max’s gun is tracked (in golden-saturated slow-mo, of course) all the way to its final destination – in the body of its target.
The Final-Kill Camera does serve a purpose, though. It acts as an indicator that tells you that the enemies have been beaten and you’re now safe for a while. Think of it in the same way you would the musical chime in LA Noire used to tell you that all the key clues have been found. 

Check this out: Max Payne 3 is a modern third-person action game that doesn’t feature a regenerating health system. I know, crazy (are you all picking up on my sarcasm here). Health works in the same way as it did in the original titles in that items must be consumed to have Max recover when injured.

In this case those items come in the form of painkillers which can be found scattered about the game world. For the purposes of our demo they were scattered very liberally, whether that will remain true in the final version remains to be seen; in all likelihood it will be linked to your chosen difficulty settings.
Last Man Standing
Max Payne 3’s version of a ‘downed’ state is triggered when you satisfy two criteria, 1) you run out of health and 2) you’re carrying at least one painkiller. When in Last Man Standing you’ll fall to the floor and automatically enter Bullet Time, you’ve then got the opportunity to kill any enemies around you.

If you’re successful you’ll regain a little health at the cost of one painkiller. Unsuccessful and you’ll die.

Difficulty Levels
‘Several’ difficulty levels are promised, although the exact nature of the changes between each one haven’t been announced or shown as yet. The targeting system can also be altered, from complete free aim to assisted aim and reticule movement.
Max is limited to carrying three weapons at a time, two single-handed guns and one two-handed (rifles, shotguns etc). The single-handed weapons can be dual-wielded, allowing you to fight with two pistols, two uzi’s, a pistol and an uzi etc etc.


Thanks to cut-scenes being rendered on-the-fly using the in-game engine, any weapons that you’re carrying at the time appear on Max in cinematics; along with bloodstains and sweat.
Like Red Dead Redemption, weapons are selected via a pop-up weapon wheel. There is also melee combat.

Cover System
Unlike previous games in the series, Max Payne 3 features a cover system. Over and over again we were told by Rockstar that using cover is ‘optional’ and that it is possible to ‘run ‘n’ gun’ your way through the entire game if you like.

What was nice about the cover system was that it’s linked to other elements. For example, if you Shootdodge over a cement block, Max will position his body upon landing to make use of the cover and stick his arm over the top or around the side to shoot enemies. Cover will also degrade, but to what extent is unclear right now. We saw chips fly off concrete and office wall dividers being shot through but little else, Rockstar did tell us that environments would be ‘highly destructible’ however.
Rockstar have confirmed that Max Payne 3 does have multiplayer, but they’ve not said anything more than that.

For a more in-depth look at Max Payne 3, see our full preview.


Become a PC Invasion Supporter

Support PC Invasion by becoming a supporter. Ad free, actively shape the site content, and gain priority access to contests and giveaways.

Related to this article