Varese Sarabande (302 066 201 2)
Release Date: 2000
|7.||Mech Warrior 4 Opening Video||4:16|
|11.||Campaign Opening Video||3:04|
|15.||Closing Video A||1:27|
|21.||Let There Be||3:01|
|24.||Closing Video B||1:24|
|Total Album Time:||70:00|
|by Dan Goldwasser
on November 21st, 2000
More and more frequently these days, computer games are coming out with higher production values. As technology improves, the graphics get better, the games more expansive, and the worlds more detailed. With an increase in production budgets, gamemakers find themselves able to imbue their products with better sounding music. Game composers are suddenly finding themselves able to have their scores played by live musicians. Bruce Broughton wrote an orchestral score for the computer game "Heart of Darkness"; Michael Giacchino write scores for the "Medal of Honor" series; Lenny Moore wrote a score for "Outland", and so on. Now Duane Decker, who has written the music for all of the "MechWarrior" games, has recorded his latest installment "MechWarrior 4: Vengance" with live musicians.
The music for the BattleTech universe (which exists 1000 years from now) has always been percussion heavy. Most of the music is heard during gameplay, so a sense of foreboding and adrenaline-pumping atmosphere is certainly required. Decker's score for "MechWarrior 4" certainly satisfies these requirements. With a militaristic brass fanfare, much of the score has a dark underlying bass percussive resonance. There are a few different themes, however, that help imply a sense of personality and humanity into the otherwise cold metal of the MechWarrior.
Some of the cues utilize electric guitars and other synth elements, but all of them contain live instruments in one form or another. This is, however, one of those odd situations where live instruments sound like synth instruments. I can't quite figure out why, but the sound of the music just felt artificial - even though a lot of it was real. It might have been the way it was mixed - I'm just not sure. Each cue has something unique about it that allows it to serve a specific purpose in the game, but there are a few unifying themes that connect them all together.
Running a hearty 71-minutes, there is quite a lot of music on this album. It's not one of those scores that you'll listen to much, though - it's more for adding depth to the gameplay. I can't say that it wasn't interesting to listen to, though. It served as a great reminder why music during computer games can really add a lot to the game, and the audio quality is much better on this album than in the game - so it's worth having for that. But if you don't play MechWarrior, there probably won't be much appeal.
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