Rather than simple objectives that are entirely separate from one another and strung into a series of random matches in random environments, Rockstar Games has elected to take a unique, narrative approach to the world of multiplayer mayhem in Max Payne 3. They’re calling this new mode “Gang Wars,” and players will experience a story with voice acting and motion comics that ties their actions together from moment to moment.
When you sit down to play multiplayer, you’ll be playing a plot line rather than randomly structured matches. For instance: you’ll steal money in one match, and then you’ll protect that same loot in another match as the story unfolds.
“The narrative element of Max Payne 1 and 2, and what we’re doing with 3, is obviously very strong…So when you start thinking about the multiplayer version of Payne I think you’ve got to address that part of the game. But there’s also a narrative unique to any multiplayer game, though – you sort of get this drama that unfolds.”
While I love standard, plotless multiplayer gaming as much as the next fan of the genre, I’m also a big stickler for the production of story and narrative in games. I find that having strong characters and plot devices actually works towards making a game a better experience for me, and having them present in multiplayer actually drives me to play that portion of the game more than I would were it just a simple objective-based shooter.
If Rockstar can pull off a wonderfully enticing story in the competitive multiplayer arena, I’ll be sold on the Gang Wars mode entirely.