Rockstar has detailed Max Payne 3's online multiplayer Crews, a clan feature that "[goes] beyond traditional online clans by allowing players to join large public Crews or simply create a private Crew that members can customize". Why should you care, hypothetical person who isn't looking forward to Max Payne 3? Because as we reported last week, you'll be able to carry these same Crews over to Grand Theft Auto 5.
Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser discussed the game's networking features at length with IGN. "Crews are groups of players that you can join up with via the [Rockstar Social Club] that go beyond what's possible by using your Xbox or PS3 friends list, and joining crews will have benefits both in-game and out. There are two types of crews - private crews for you and your friends to create and customise, and public crews open to everyone.
"Performing tasks with crew members - like avenging a fallen Crew member or killing rival ones during a Feud - will earn you XP bonuses. As a casual player of multiplayer, it will be easy to quickly reap at least some of the benefits of being in a crew.
"In addition, there are no member caps on public crews, so thousands of players across the world can join the same crew. Alternatively, Private Crews provide an exclusive group experience for players that want to take it to the next level.
"Players who join a crew will automatically be matched up with other crew members if they're in the same lobby, and players can join up to five crews. Crew members will have visible, customizable emblems on their equipment in-game for your crew and your opponents to see, which is one of the great advantages of third-person multiplayer - but you can also turn that off if you prefer.
"In multiplayer games we have a feature called Vendettas - if someone kills you twice, you can initiate a vendetta against them, which lets everyone know that you're out to get that person.
"For you, a special X marks their blip when they're visible to you on the map. If you take that person down, you get extra XP. If they survive your vendetta though, they get that XP."
Crews can take out group Vendettas against one another, fighting mini-battles with their rivals during normal competitive matches. "Crew Feuds are essentially Crew Vendettas: impromptu skirmishes between crews that can spring up in multiplayer matches that quickly spawn a first-to-10-kills battle.
"You can be playing any team-based game with a completely new set of players, but if you spot two or more members of a crew you're feuding with on the opposite team, any kills you get against them will count to the overall feud so rivalries will spring up automatically - and when they do, you'll be notified and the grudge will come to the forefront of the game.
"We'll track who you're feuding with, how long you've been feuding, and who's winning. You'll get extra XP for taking down members of crews you're feuding with, so you'll be able to remember those grudges for future matches. Again, we want to create more drama out of the interactions that go down in typical multiplayer matches.
"And the beauty of this system is that crews persist over time and across future games. Multiplayer is an ever-more important part of all our games moving forward, and by creating crews through Social Club the crews that you create in Max Payne 3 will be ready and available for you to play in Grand Theft Auto V from day one.
"It's all part of our larger approach to make multiplayer deeper and richer than what's currently available, much more easily accessible to the newcomer and rewarding for the hardcore."
Grand Theft Auto 5 will offer 32 player multiplayer, according to a highly suspect info blowout over the weekend. For more on Max Payne 3's multiplayer and how it succeeds despite the disruptive effects of Bullet Time, consider Matt's hands-on.