That’s according to USA Today, who spoke to a source familiar with the project. This co-op campaign mode would’ve seen protagonist Max team up with an old cop partner from New York.
Both players would have been able to use the game’s slow down bullet-time mechanic during gameplay, and played through modified versions of the single-player maps, which included the Panama Canal, New York alleys, a cult compound and a South American gem mine.
“The London studio worked on it for about a year before the whole co-op campaign mode was dropped. Focus moved over to the multiplayer modes including Gang Wars. Some of the maps ended up in the single-player campaign,” the source said.
One of the hardest challenges when developing this co-op prologue for Max Payne 3 was making sure bullet-time worked with multiple players at the same time.
“It took a real leap of imagination from the lead designer in London to solve the dual problem of needing to avoid all players being dragged into slow motion by someone triggering bullet-time out of sight and not disadvantaging the effect-triggering player by having them move slowly while everyone else stayed in real-time. The line-of-sight chain concept that makes it work was a moment of inspiration,” said the source.
“It was all a bit cart-before-horse […] I think you could make a great co-op campaign for Max Payne 3, but you’ve got to design a game around it rather than try to add it to a single-player game design.”
In other news, Bethesda’s lead designer has talked about how the game will cover “so much new ground” when it releases later this year.