Rockstar has explained how it updated Bullet Time in Max Payne 3 to look on par with current action titles, while also noting the amount of work which went into the modeling individual bullets.
Speaking in an interview with IGN, art director Rob Nelson said the direction Rockstar took with the game was all about "combining groundbreaking action with powerful characterization," but in a way that felt completely fresh and new to the player.
"A massive part of this in all three games is the concept of Bullet Time: the choreography of shooting and manipulating time to create the most precise, action-packed gunplay possible," he said. "We want players to get a sensation of placing and reacting to every single bullet with precision and style and getting to savor the results.
"Max's signature Bullet Time moves are back, but upgraded with the level of sophistication and detail that we can bring to an action game in 2011. A combination of our RAGE engine, blended animations and Natural Motion's Euphoria system control Max's movements, making him react to the world around him realistically, bracing for impact from a diving shoot-dodge or transferring his weight from foot-to-foot while in Bullet Time – the player has an amazing amount of control over the player when running and targeting."
Nelson said that bullets in the game were individually modeled, and hits will register dynamically and individually on every enemy.
The weapons in the game were modeled "as accurately as possible," and when shooting, the hammer and slide will cock back after each shot.
"There are also some additional new features to gunplay in Bullet Time that we'll reveal soon," he teased. "Our goal is to set a new benchmark for sophistication and feel in a thrid-person shooter – we've really tried to make the experience as intense and focused as possible."
Max Payne 3 is out in March for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.