The game is played from a third-person perspective. Throughout the single-player mode, players control Max Payne, a former detective who has become a vigilante after the murder of his wife and daughter. Nine years after the events of the second game, Max becomes employed as a private security contractor in Brazil, but quickly becomes entangled in a quest filled with death and betrayal. An online multiplayer mode is included with the game, allowing up to 16 players to engage in both cooperative and competitive gameplay in re-creations of multiple single-player settings.
As part of their research for the game's setting, the developers conducted field research around São Paulo throughout development and captured footage for the design team. Development duties were shared between many of Rockstar's studios worldwide. At release, Max Payne 3 received highly positive reactions from critics, with praise particularly directed at its narrative, atmosphere, attention to detail and action, though some criticism was aimed at the change in style from its predecessors, as well as its linear design and depiction of São Paulo. Max Payne 3 achieved high sales, shipping approximately three million units in the first week of release. It was nominated for multiple year-end accolades from several gaming publications, winning a variety of them.
2 discs and manual included.