In 2001, game developers Rockstar introduced us to the bleak and depressing world of Max Payne, a New York City police detective haunted by nightmares of his family's brutal killing.
Set against the backdrop of one of the worst snowstorms in the history of the city, the game followed Payne, who, outgunned... outnumbered... and outlawed (for a crime he did not commit), sought vengeance the only way he knew how - with guns blazing - in a I'll-take-you-all-on-my-own-or-die-trying show of bravado! An approach that made for some thrilling gameplay, particularly for all those who were dying to experience Bruce Willis' "Die Hard" exploits.
In 2003, Rockstar and Max Payne returned along with the ghosts of his past and a femme fatale, Mona Sax, an appropriately mysterious and wise-cracking female assassin with just a hint of a crush on Payne.
The series is set to continue with the release of Max Payne 3, already announced. While details of Payne's pains in this latest installment are few, we do know that the former New York policeman is now living in Brazil, as a middle-aged has-been with a paunch, running security for a local businessman. Retirement, it seems, has finally found our friend.
Then again, this is Max Payne we're talking about... and where Payne goes, trouble is sure to follow. Make sure you travel with him.
Check out a slideshow of screenshots of Max Payne 3.