By Philip Friedman | February 19th, 2013
In the world of entertainment. the world “trilogy” can mean various things. Sometimes it’s that a franchise is so solid that it needs three installments to get its point across (Back to the Future/Lord of the Rings/etc). Other times, it’s franchises in desperate need of cashing in while the iron is still hot (Robocop/Species). Sometimes a franchise just needs a fresh approach, and that’s exactly what Rockstar games and writer Dan Houser (Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto 4) did when they released Max Payne 3.
Max Payne 3 features everyone’s favorite alcoholic, painkiller addicted, rough around the edges ex-cop, Max. No longer is he roaming the crime filled underworld of New York City; he has now moved on to “sunnier” landscapes in Sao Paulo Brazil as a personal protector for a wealthy Brazilian family. Of course, Max finds himself in a conspiracy as he searches for the abducted wife of his boss.
Rockstar has carried on with what made previous versions of the game successful, but with some of the most realistic action that they’ve conjured up yet. The cut-scenes from the game have also been revamped with a seamless integration from cinematic scenes to game play, ditching those loading screens that often took the fun out of the shoot em’ up action.
Another new approach that Rockstar incorporated is the game’s soundtrack. Instead of hiring a composer or using various bands, Rockstar hired the L.A. noise rock band Health to score the game. Most importantly, they gave them the artistic freedom to make a killer soundtrack. Featuring plenty of slow ambient type tracks, as well as some very Reznorish, industrial sounding elements, Health has managed to make one of the best video game scores of the past year.The track “Tears” can easily stand on its own as a single (as Jason pointed out to us way back last May); same goes for a track by Brazilian rapper Emicida that was featured as a bonus track on the soundtrack.
Max Payne 3 shows that an amazing soundtrack and great game play are the perfect recipe for rounding out a successful trilogy.