Max Payne 3 saw Rockstar Games assume responsibility of the iconic Remedy title. Released in 2012, the game received positive reviews, but didn’t sell as well as other Rockstar titles like Grand Theft Auto, which is why it is unlikely that Rockstar has any plans for a new game in the franchise. However, the game was successful enough to get a series of DLC packs for multiplayer and arcade game modes. The last of these DLCs was named “Deathmatch Made In Heaven” and included “Dead Men Walking,” which is a co-op wave defense mode, though it has now been revealed that this DLC was originally meant to include a lot more co-op content.
Max Payne 3 was quite a departure from Remedy’s first two gritty noir shooters. The third game transported the story out of the crime-ridden New York streets and into sunny São Paulo, but retained the same grittiness and slow-motion, bullet-time shooting the series was famous for.
This bullet-time mode was apparently one of the biggest challenges in designing a co-op campaign mode that was meant to release as DLC for the game. The campaign would have served as a prologue to the main game’s story, with a co-op partner playing as one of Max’s old NYPD partners and perhaps giving some insight into the past of the series’ often mysterious protagonist Max Payne. The development team worked on the mode for over a year before it was scrapped so that focus could shift to the “Gang Wars” PvP multiplayer mode.
Max Payne 3’s main story did have a few missions set in Max’s past New York days, but the co-op prologue would have apparently re-used level designs from the game’s main campaign, including everything from the New York flashbacks to the Panama Canal. This casts doubts over how canon the co-op campaign would have been to the story or whether it would have simply been an opportunity to replay the singleplayer missions with a co-op partner. Although if Rockstar wanted to add a couch co-op mode to the game, it could have added a nameless second bodyguard for a co-op partner to play as in the game’s main story.
Max Payne 3, like many single-player games released around the same time, came with a vastly underrated multiplayer mode that solved the game’s bullet-time diving problem with an ingenious line-of-sight mechanic. This made it so that whichever player triggered bullet-time, all the players they could see at the time would also have bullet-time activated. This meant that on one side of a given multiplayer map there could be a slow-motion battle with players diving cinematically through the air, while simultaneously normal gunplay could be happening on the other side of the map.
The line-of-sight effect was a bit strange for characters using sniper rifles, however. These players could be far enough away from the action to not be caught in the bullet-time bubble, but could also clearly see players wading slowly through the air.
Max Payne 3 is available on PC, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and Xbox 360.
Source: For The Win