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Rockstar adds cover, zoom-aiming to Max Payne 3

But promises core is "very much run and gun".

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Rockstar is fitting Max Payne 3 with familiar shooter mechanics cover, and over-the-shoulder zoom aiming.

"We've introduced a left trigger, over the shoulder aiming feature that most games have, where you can sort of zoom in a bit closer and aim more precisely on your target at the expense of your ability to move around quickly," art director Rob Nelson told GameSpot.

"So we added that, and we've added a cover mechanic, but those are ancillary additions to the core of the game, which is still very much the run and gun."

Max Payne 3, like the Max Paynes before it, also has bullet-time.

"As far as the way bullet-time works now, compared to the way it worked in the old games - and what the greatest addition, enhancement is - it works pretty much the same," Nelson said.

"It's still there for players to use as a tool to slow-down time to give them an advantage over their enemies when things get hectic, which they do all the time. And that is something that we really needed to keep - allowing players to have that control.

"It really, it hasn't changed," he added. "But yet it looks and feels completely different because of the depth at which we've integrated it."

Max Payne 3 also retains shoot-dodge, which refers to Max jumping all over the place trying to avoid bullets. You can even stay grounded after a dive, which enables you to shoot 360 degrees around you.

Helping all of this look realistic is the improved Euphoria engine - the same one used for Grand Theft Auto 4 and Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar has blended physics and animation, so that when Max dives around, he does so appropriately according to his surroundings.

Shooting enemies in Max Payne 3 looks more realistic than in other Rockstar games, too.

"As far as Euphoria, it's basically a set of behaviours that you can tune, and so it's really how much effort you put into that. With Max, we put a lot of effort into the different aspects of Euphoria and how we use it. So there's the hit-reacts for the enemies - we sort of evolved that and made them feel more connected," explained Nelson.

"I think we had a good jump from GTA4 to Red Dead, and you're going to see another good jump from Red Dead to Max, where you want individual shots to react properly, you want people to fall realistically.

"We're always pushing it. Plus we have bullet-cams and things like that."

Max Payne 3 is being made internally at Rockstar. Max Payne 1 and Max Payne 2 were made by Alan Wake developer Remedy Entertainment.

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