Metal Gear Rising -Revengeance- Collector’s Edition Soundtrack
Metal Gear Rising -Revengeance- Collector’s Edition Soundtrack
Konami Digital Entertainment
February 19, 2013
Buy Used Copy
Metal Gear fans sort of have it tough when it comes to the series. We wait for years on end for the newest game, and we’re lucky if we get one trailer per year. The last main console entry in the series was 2008’s Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. About a year later, series creator Hideo Kojima announced Metal Gear Solid Rising at E3 2009. The announcement shocked people two-fold. First off, the game would be a multiplatform title and secondly, the protagonist would be series love-him-or-hate-him supporting character Raiden. Two years went by without almost any new news until we saw a new trailer at the 2011 Spike Video Game awards. The title shown was completely different and completely changed our prior speculation. Sneaking was no longer the name of the game, and now the installment had a new over-the top-name titled Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance. Kojima Productions was not alone this time around. They teamed up with legendary Japanese developer PlatinumGames, who were well-known for acclaimed action games like Vanquish and Bayonetta. Instead of being a stealth game, Revengeance was now a fast-paced hack and slash title. There were still some primordial stealth elements thrown into the mix, but it was obvious that the game focused on cutting through everything. Despite these huge changes, the game was a success with most critics and fans alike.
With a radical alteration in gameplay, the music went through heavy changes as well. Many associate Metal Gear series’ music with Harry Gregson-Williams’ orchestral cinematic scores for the series’ lengthy cutscenes and Norihiko Hibino’s more ambient pieces for gameplay. Revengeance chose none of these styles and instead opted for a blood pumping, high tempo rock soundtrack with original vocal songs composed for boss battles and enemy fights. Since this was a huge departure from the series’ usual norm, Jamie Christopherson (Lost Planet, Lineage) was hired by Konami to craft the score. This album came only with the Limited Edition of the game as a bonus. Do Christopherson’s scores both stand on their own and when compared to the rest of the series?
To meet Rising’s fast-paced gameplay, all tracks on the score have very short running times with most barely make it past the two minute mark. The album opens with the game’s main theme “Revenge with a Vengeance.” This brief track has a build-up of the background orchestra along with heavy synth. Towards the end, the orchestral melody comes more into focus, but the track’s short runtime means that there’s unfortunately very little development. A handful of the tracks here have two parts, a “high” and a “low” section. “Virtual Reality” is used during the games VR training modes. The high section is an electronica track with rock and other orchestrations fused in, while the low section is more subtle, akin to the series’ past ambient gameplay themes. The high track of “Ambush” begins with heavy percussion, but then shifts into hard rock. It’s an energetic theme that still manages to bring a lot to the table, despite being only 2:44. The low track is still rock-themed, but the synth here takes center stage making it more subdued.With “Underground” we have the high section as an industrial-beat percussion theme, while the low track relies mostly on ambience. There’s not that much development here so to say, and the overall composition feels experimental.
“Mystical Ninja” is given three sections, a “high,” “percussion,” and “low.” The high track is a combination of what sounds like rock and Oriental music, likely reflecting on Raiden’s Japanese-influenced cyborg ninja character. The percussion track is just like the name suggests. With a running time of only 33 seconds, it’s definitely the most underdeveloped track on the whole album. The low track is an ethnic piece that uses Japanese woodwinds and strings in addition to ambient electronic synth. Speaking of ambience, “The Haves” is purely that, with almost no development in the entire piece. I’m sure that it’s effective in the game, but when taken out it simply falls flat.
“Two Sides of the Coin,” “Hideout,” and “City Silhouette” all really go nowhere with their synth/subdued rock composition. “Domestic Scars” and “The Other Face of the City” are both similar in style to one another, but with stronger metal percussion in the former and the occasional electric guitar riff and ethnic inspiration in the latter. I enjoyed both “Chasing the Wind” and “Black Sea” though. The former is an interesting combination of rock and techno, while the latter is an ethnic piece highly reminiscent of the Middle East. “Dwaf Gekko” is another interesting track with its electronic synth and chirping noises. “Rewired,” “The Truth,” and “Charging” are all ambient tracks which aren’t bad, but again nothing too special.
“Endurance” is longest on the album, and not surprisingly, it’s the most developed. Rock inspired, orchestral, electronic, and cinematic, this is one of the strongest pieces Christopherson offers here. The three tracks, “Open Frontier,” “The Mastermind,” and “Might Makes Right” are cinematic in style and highly benefit from the great use of Hollywood-inspired orchestrations paired with heavy rock. While those three tracks were more orchestral styled, the three tracks dedicated that make up “Rising Action” are heavy, pulse-pounding rock pieces with jamming electric guitar and synth. Interestingly, we have instrumental versions of the game’s rock vocal songs “Dark Skies,” “Return to Ashes,” and “A Soul Can’t Be Cut.” These tracks being included on this release is an odd decision, seeing as how they are already included on the full vocal tracks album release. Even still, they fit right along with the rest of the soundtrack and prove to be enjoyable, high energy pieces. All in all, the tracks mentioned in this paragraph are the best on the album and had me impressed with the expertly molded composition and mixing.
The soundtrack to Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is an uneven experience at best. Some tracks I genuinely liked, but I found a lot of others to be underdeveloped and even boring. On the plus side, the synth quality, production values, and mixing are all top notch; as expected from Konami and Christopherson. The music works perfectly when put in the game, and I commend Jamie Christopherson for crafting a fitting soundtrack that does the job well. But when put on a stand-alone level, it’s simply works only half the time. I think, though, that it’s pointless to compare the music to the previous games because it’s so different. Jamie Christopherson and the previous series’ composers all have different styles that are meant to be used within their respective games. If Christopherson had just given some of these tracks just a little more development and a longer running time, I might have given this album a higher score. I’ll just say that what’s presented is decent, but only with a few pieces that really shine. The score here feels very experimental, but the different styles of music work well. Even still, the only way to get this disc is to have bought the Limited Edition. It would have been a better choice to release this as a retail release, rather than a bonus. Check it out if you’re a fan of the game, granted that you’re also prepared to hear something that’s different from Metal Gear’s usual type of soundtrack.
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Posted on March 10, 2014 by Oliver Jia. Last modified on January 17, 2016.