Saturday, December 12, 2015
Mad Max video game tune asks tough question
I've taken two cracks now at the Mad Max video game. Not because I don't dig it. I dig it a lot, tell the truth. It's one of the better games in my library since the wife got a PS4 earlier this year.
I'm new to the gamer world, and don't have much of a knack for it. Which is a polite way of saying I generally suck at playing video games. And I play so sporadically that I just figure out how to play one and then have three or four weeks of other commitments that I don't get to play. When I do finally find the time, it's like I've got to figure my shit out all over again.
About two weeks ago I gave up on the 10 or so hours I'd invested in Mad Max and started over. I know, shame on me. But whatever. If I can't remember how to shoot someone, there's a problem. And I hate losing.
What struck me most about my second take with Mad Max is the music. Sure, it's a great looking game and more or less easy to get the hang of, but the beauty of the tune that plays over the opening credits really hit me between the eyes. I'm playing a game, and Steven Stern's song is asking me who I am at my soul level. And it's a game about a man who has gone mad after losing everything.
I'll shut up a moment so you can hear what I'm talking about:
Good music isn't something a lot of people associate with video games, at least when it comes to the non-nerds I know. And I know I sure wasn't expecting a video game song to be so, well, deep. It's just further proof that the medium isn't Donkey Kong and Pac Man anymore. It's every bit as rich a venue for storytelling as books, movies and non-network TV. Even more so at times.
The same is true for The Last of Us and Alien: Isolation. Along with Mad Max, these games are as close to an interactive movie as you can get. Great soundtrack and all.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some half-life war boys to run over.