The 55th Battalion of the City Police (55th Batalhão Polícia da Cidade or 55th BPC) otherwise often known as the Unidade de Forças Especiais (English: Special Forces Unit), often shortened to UFE, was a special forces police battalion for Sao Paulo's military police, dedicated on engaging criminal gangs like Commando Sombra.
They are infamously known for police corruption and brutality with notable members like former captain, Alvaro Neves and commander of UFE, Armando Becker having a criminal record of extrajudicial killings and trafficking. They are the final and dangerous enemies that Max Payne had to face in the final chapters of the game.
UFE suffered massive casualties under Max Payne during his attack on their HQ and the airport with many members killed, vehicles destroyed and officers like Becker and Bachmeyer killed. Along with their crimes exposed, the unit have been disbanded indefinitely.
Not much known about UFE's history but it is presumed to form around 1970 with the certificates in the station dating back to 1970. The unit is formed to engage the criminal elements in Sao Paulo. They also write intelligence reports about criminal gangs. They are heavily corrupt and ruthless as they work with politicians for favours and commit extrajudicial killings against criminals and innocent people who caught in the crossfire.
Notably, Cracha Preto's high ranking members like Alvaro Neves and Milo Rego are formerly UFE members with Neves committing numerous crimes before leaving UFE. Despite leaving UFE, the ties between the Cracha Preto and UFE remain tight as UFE supplied the Cracha Preto both members and equipment and doing deals in the organ harvesting trade. Armando Becker is also close friend and ally of Victor Branco, a politician who uses both UFE and Cracha Preto as tools for power, they are enemies with the criminal gang Commando Sombra as they are the largest gang and situated around the Sao Paulo region.
Favela Wars Case
With Fabiana kidnapped and failure of Max and Passos' efforts to rescue her, Rodrigo allowed Victor and Becker to use UFE to rescue Fabiana. On 27th February, the UFE attack Nova Esperanca in full force, killing many of both Commando Sombras and innocent people in the favela. Max also engage small squads of UFE on his way due their 'shoot first, ask questions later' policy. They also kidnapped many favela residents and transferred them to the Cracha Preto who use them for human organ harvesting, the UFE also taken Marcelo and Giovanna hostage and handed over to the Cracha Preto only to be executed in order to frame as criminal gang killing.
UFE's action in Nova Esperanca have destroyed the Commando Sombra organisation with their leader captured, many members killed and HQ destroyed, a decisive victory for UFE as not only they destroyed the Commando Sombra, they gained popularity for their war on crime. The UFE's attack received mixed response with one mayor candidate, Camila Machado criticising the UFE's lack of restraint on their action whereas her opposition, Victor Branco, supported the UFE action as he believed more police funding is needed to eradicate crime, partly 'influenced' by the deaths of his 2 brothers, who were victims of crime.
Despite their victory, Max and Da Silva decide to deal with the UFE to bring justice. Max managed to infiltrate the UFE's HQ while Da Silva release the cells, causing a prison riot. Although the riot ended in failure with many prisoners killed, it gave Max enough time to fight his way through the station to get to Becker. Many soldiers were killed with around 100 men including UFE's second-in-command, Bachmeyer. Victor and Becker managed to escape the station with Max and Da Silva pursuing them.
Becker and Victor escape to the airport in order to flee overseas, the UFE act as a security detail for their escape and act as the airport security. Despite their numerical advantage along with advanced training and equipment, Max managed to fight his way through the airport terminal in order to pursue Victor. UFE received heavy casualties in the process and failed to stop Max and Da Silva, nearly 100 men were killed, their vehicles destroyed and the commander, Becker was died of his mortal wounds. The damage to the UFE was fatal as not only their organisation is completely damaged, their crimes was exposed and UFE was disbanded indefinitely. What remain of the members either escaped or arrested for their crimes.
Equipment and Tactics
UFE tactical units are extremely well-equipped and some of the most difficult enemies to kill in Max Payne 3, with their body armor allowing them to survive several assault rifle bullet hits to the torso and be only temporarily staggered or knocked down, rather than killed. Their heavy vests are particularly resistant to lower caliber rounds, able to resist up to half a mag of submachine gun fire. Many of them also wear ballistic helmets, which must be shot off before they can be killed with a headshot.
They are usually equipped with military-grade full-auto weaponry, favoring the G6 Commando or FAL assault rifles, as well as the MPK submachine gun. A number of them carry shotguns, primarily the M4 Super 90. For sidearms, they generally carry either the M1911 or the PT92. A handful of UFE troops wield the M972. UFE troops will often have green laser sights attached to their weapons.
Some UFE teams will deploy smoke grenades in order to assault a dug-in cover position; these teams are generally equipped with gas masks. UFE soldiers will also occasionally use frag grenades to flush Max out of cover, but they often do not carry grenades, unlike the Crachá Preto who use grenades frequently.
One or two UFE members are equipped with heavy riot gear, being visibly more heavily armored than other UFE tactical units. They are not as heavily armored as the Crachá Preto's heavy soldiers, dying after only about a full mag of assault rifle fire or a couple mags of submachine gun fire to the torso, but are considerably more maneuverable, unable to use cover but able to run and charge at Max at the same speed as regular enemies. These heavy units have heavier armor vests, additional armor pads on their arms, legs, and thighs, and wear ballistic helmets with clear ballistic face shields.
The UFE members are seen operating with a small, but efficient fleet of vehicles:
- The lighter ground unit is an off-road jeep similar to the Crachá Preto, but marked as UFE.
- The helicopter is their main operation aircraft, which are used by the Comando Sombra.
- A large unmarked transport van, which are protected by UFE members for black market purposes. Blue lights and barriers are seen, hinting to a police-oriented vehicle.
- Battle trucks are their heaviest vehicle in the fleet. With a heavy machine gun turret, this vehicle offers transport, protection and riot control over certain situations that require force.
All of them are seen through the storyline and are usually destroyed in different ways by Max Payne.
- Victor Branco - Behind the scenes Leader (unknown - 2012)
- Armando Becker - Official leader and Commander (unknown - 2012)
- Bachmeyer - Second-In-Command (unknown - 2012)
- Álvaro Neves - Captain (c. 2001 - c. 2005)
- Arthur Fischer - Associate (unknown - 2012)
- Milo Rego - Associate (unknown - 2012)
Behind The Scenes
The Unidade de Forças Especiais is a fictional police force created for the Max Payne 3 game by Rockstar Games. It is based on and inspired by the Rio de Janeiro's BOPE unit, and São Paulo's own GATE, GARRA, ROTA and GOE troops.
- Max Payne 3
- "Rockstar Research: The Weapon-Wielding Gangsters and Special Police Commandos of Max Payne 3" at the official Max Payne 3 website. Retrieved March 20th, 2012.
- "Lots of Deals Happening At Midnight For Mass Effect 3 Launch At EB Games/ Gamestop Canada" at Trendygamers.com. Retrieved March 20th, 2012.
- "Max Payne 3 | South African Pre-order Incentives Revealed" on Zombiegamer. Retrieved March 20th, 2012.