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Soundtrack Spotlight – “The Soundtrack to My Life [Main Menu Theme]” (Max Payne 3)

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I don’t quite understand why people dislike Max Payne 3. The internal monologue is nihilistic almost to a fault, but the lines are delivered well, and with just enough panache to make it amusing without losing the character at the heart of the dialogue. Plus, it’s got a fantastic menu theme.

For those unfamiliar with the Max Payne series, this melody is essentially the franchise’s theme. A depressing Superman, if you will. The first game’s theme is this song’s closest relative, with an emphasis on piano you don’t see in the following themes. But when you open Max Payne 3 for the very first time, you aren’t treated to Health’s remix of Max Payne 2‘s theme. It’s just a simple piano, with some mesmerizingly slow violins backing it up. This one song tells new players – of which there were assuredly many – everything they need to know about this game’s tone.

The world depicted in this game is bleak, as is befitting a game in this franchise. Max himself is one of the most depressing protagonists ever depicted in a videogame; a man known for his low points at the lowest he’s ever been. So, as a song that needs to convey those ideas from the word ‘go’, it’s perfect.

(Also, it’s not really called ‘The Soundtrack to My Life’. It’s not called anything, for that matter. I just got creative)

Mike Cosimano
Mike Cosimano resides in the coldest part of an area known for its already frigid temperatures, where he complains that every game isn't just Spider-Man 2 again. He also enjoys podcasting and being confused by PC gaming in his spare time. You can talk to him if you want to hear about his Fast and Furious crossover fan fiction.

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