June 23, 2012, 7:51 AM — It has been nine years since the release of Max Payne 2, and Max has undergone significant changes in that time. He's a broken man. He drinks the pain away, passes out, and does it all over again. He's just killing time until someone takes his life. However, throughout the course of the third Max Payne game we see him transition from having no reason to live to having every reason to live. His transition from anti-hero to asshole and back again is portrayed so inelegantly that it's actually more authentic and believable, humanizing Max and rendering him a flawed but relatable man.
Max Payne 3 opens in Brazil, but the story really begins in Hoboken, New Jersey. Max spends his time in a Jersey bar, doing the same thing he does day in and day out, until an old friend appears claiming to know Max from their days at the Police Academy. Max doesn't remember Raul Passos, but then again, he drinks so much that he's never sure exactly what he remembers. Passos offers Max a job working private security down in São Paulo, Brazil, but Max isn't interested. He doesn't care about anything, let alone another job. During this conversation, the son of the local mob boss, Anthony DeMarco, storms into the bar harassing Max and everyone in sight. Passos tells him to get lost, but DeMarco Jr. doesn't appreciate that much and returns with weapons to confront the two. When DeMarco Jr. hits a random woman with his pistol, Max shoots him straight in the chest, taking things to a whole new level of intensity. Events in Max's life escalate at an exponentially violent level and Max, finding himself in desperate need of a place to lie low, finally agrees to take Passos up on his offer.
When they arrive in Brazil, everything seems fine; it should be an easy job. Unfortunately for Max, things rarely go smooth when he's around. Tasked with protecting the Branco family, he doesn't do a great job. The wife of the wealthiest Branco is kidnapped and later killed, as it most of their family. The situation goes from Max trying to save someone so that he can keep his job, to him attempting to make things right for once in his life. I won't spoil it, but it gets pretty great.