- "Hey listen man, we better look lively, this place is a nightmare. They just got cowboys running security downstairs, and something rotten in the air."
- ―Raul Passos
Something Rotten in the Air is the first chapter of Max Payne 3.
Max Payne arrives in São Paulo to work as a bodyguard for the Branco family. The chapter starts as Max is standing at the party in the Branco Mansion's penthouse along with his friend and partner, Raul Passos. A few minutes later, several Comando Sombra gang members arrive and kidnap Rodrigo and Fabiana Branco. Max kills several gang members in the mansion, later finding Fabiana being held hostage. In an attempt to save her, he slides off the roof and kills the gang member who held Fabiana hostage, resulting in Max falling down into a swimming pool below. After discussing with Passos where Rodrigo is, Passos reveals he hasn't found him yet. Max then further explores after switching his wet PT92 for Passos', he takes a nearby elevator to a floor leading to the parking lot to find Comando Sombra enemies. Max then eliminates the CS members who are on foot. He rushes over to the gate to see a van loading in Rodrigo. Max gets past the gate to see the van attempting to get away from the area, freeing Rodrigo by shooting one of the tires, causing them to crash. Later, UFE arrives and secure the area, causing a bickering between Armando Becker and Wilson Da Silva, resulting in the UFE leaving the scene and allowing the police to help any survivors left. Max returns home to drink and consume a large amount of painkillers. Due to the abuse, Max vomits in the sink and goes to sleep. The action then skips forward to couple of days later, resulting in Chapter II.
- Max Payne (First appearance)
- Raul Passos (First appearance)
- Rodrigo Branco (First appearance)
- Victor Branco (First appearance)
- Marcelo Branco (First appearance)
- Fabiana Branco (First appearance)
- Giovanna Taveres (First appearance)
- Armando Becker (First appearance)
- Arthur Fischer (First appearance)
- Wilson Da Silva (First appearance)
- Bachmeyer (First appearance)
- Comando Sombra (First appearance)