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Max Payne is a Remedy Entertainment and Rockstar Studios neo-noir third-person shooter video game series. Max Payne, a New York City police officer turned vigilante after his family was killed by drug addicts, is the protagonist of the series. Sam Lake wrote the first two editions of the game, while Dan Houser of Rockstar Games mostly wrote Max Payne 3.
Max Payne, the first game in the series, was released in 2001 for Microsoft Windows and in 2002 for PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Apple Macintosh; a Game Boy Advance version was released in 2003. Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne was published for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Microsoft Windows in 2003. Max Payne, a film adaptation partially based on the original game, was released in 2008, starring Mark Wahlberg and Mila Kunis as Max Payne and Mona Sax, respectively. Rockstar Studios’ Max Payne 3 was released on May 15, 2012, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and on June 1, 2012, for Microsoft Windows.
Although Max Payne 2’s sales were regarded unimpressive, the franchise is renowned for its usage of “bullet time” in action sequences and for being highly reviewed by critics. The Max Payne franchise has sold over 7.5 million copies as of 2011. The film adaptation garnered mixed reviews, but it was an economic success.
Max Payne, a renegade DEA agent and former NYPD cop, is on the hunt for the people who murdered his wife and kid, as well as framing him for the death of his NYPD colleague, Alex Balder. As the story progresses, he gains a number of “allies,” including Vladimir Lem, a suave, old-school Russian mobster, and Mona Sax, a female vigilante seeking vengeance for the death of her twin sister, and uncovers a major conspiracy involving the trafficking of a narcotic known as V, or Valkyr”named after Norse mythological figures”that is somehow linked to Max’s family’s death.
Max Payne has returned to the NYPD two years after the previous game and has been absolved of all accusations related to his murdering spree owing to his connection to Senator Alfred Woden, the leader of a secret club known as the Inner Circle. During a typical murder investigation, Max runs with fugitive Mona Sax, who unwillingly agrees to help him with his inquiry. As they work together to unearth the truth, they develop affections for each other and uncover yet another massive plot involving Vladmir Lem, the Italian Mob, and the Inner Circle.
Max Payne has left New York and is working on a private security detail in So Paulo, Brazil, nine years after the second game. When his employer’s wife is abducted by a local street gang, Max and his old buddy Raul Passos band together to save her, sparking a conflict that leads them to confront a wider plot.