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.

Lead Multiplayer Designer Charlie Bewsher spoke with IGN about the narrative stylings of Max Payne 3‘s multiplayer arm in the site’s exclusive interview:

“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.

Max Payne 3 will launch for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in March of 2012. We’ll have more on the game as it’s available.

[via IGN]

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