Hiring Tangerine Dream and DJ Shadow (and a few other greats!) to make the GTAV soundtrack was a stroke of goddamned genius by Rockstar. The score is one of the best action/thriller MOVIE scores I’ve ever listened to, even coming clones to Wang Chung’s “To Live And Die in L.A.”. It’s got that chilled, mellowed, 80s aesthetic of synths and sound textures mixed with the knowledge of what makes a track dynamic and when such moments need to be used.
The psychological and emotional impact of the score on the game and the gameplay is /immense/.
Especially in the missions where you’re playing as Micheal and he’s going all John McLane (I’m sure the animator had to watch Die Hard a few dozen times to get it THAT perfectly. Even the climbing, falling and jumping look just /right/!)
The whole game is underscored not just but that beautiful and awesome music, but also by pulling just the right amount of blatant scene and/or theme-rips from successful movies. Fargo, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, To Live and Die in L.A., 48 Hours… ALL of them (and many more!) get a shout-out in this game. Some are obvious, some are subtle. But they’re all used to great effect. People who know these movies will know what it’s all about. And people who don’t know these movies (sad wretches that they are… ), will still feel the impact of a scene/moment done /RIGHT/.
GTA5 has many flaws. Some because it’s by Rockstar. Some because it’s a game of our times and the current gamer-“core”-demographic. Some because of its almost blatant sexism that isn’t inverted as much as other tropes are. But the soundtrack and the use of “movie moments”? … They nailed it. And I think it’s a big part of why the game is the most successful selling piece of entertainment the history of video-gaming.
(Don’t believe me?
“In just its first three days after release, Grand Theft Auto 5 raked in more than $1 billion in sales. Compare that to this summer’s biggest blockbuster at the box office, Iron Man 3, which brought in “only” $372 million in its first weekend across the globe.”
“The game’s publisher, Take Two, was quick to note that Grand Theft Auto 5’s mere three days needed to reach $1 billion in sales makes it the fastest selling property across all forms of entertainment. To put the games sales into context across other forms of entertainment, the global music industry sees less than $1.4 billion in record and song sales each month. In its first month of release, Grand Theft Auto 5 looks set to outsell the entire global music industry.”