At the beginning of the first game, Max Payne is content and quite ready to slip into a quiet, suburban life with his beautiful wife and newborn daughter. Alas, contentedness is a state that, by nature, is temporarysometimes violently so. Max's family is cruelly snatched away from him when two junkies high on a drug called Valkyr" break into his home and murder them. He shoots down the invaders and then, at his familys funeral, requests a transfer to the DEA to fight against the distribution of the drug. It's during his time as an undercover agent that he slips away from the traditional characterization of a detective as someone opting to use brains over brawn whenever possible. Through the events of the series, Max accumulates a massive body count as he fills gun toting buffoons and mafia caricatures full of hot lead. Max becomes an action hero, albeit a reluctant, brooding one. And even in that role, he performs somewhat miserably, truthfully remarking within the first hour of the second game that, Like all the bad things in my life, it started with the death of a woman. I couldnt save her. Payne can never save anyone he cares for, except for Raul Passos and Giovanna Taveres, but even that instance feels like a hollow victory in comparison to everything our poor detective has endured.