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OpEd

Heavy Metal In Video Games: A Second Look At The Limited Offerings Available

Photo of Lamb of God

Band Photo: Lamb of God (?)

Two weeks back we asked a simple question: why isn't there more heavy metal in the video game world?

Our Facebook page blew up with gamers offering up their favorite titles with metallic soundtracks, and we took a closer look at several worth your time. In that post still available here if you didn't read it, we looked at the king of heavy metal video games – Brutal Legend – as well as Saint's Row The Third, Killing Floor 2, Painkiller, and Guilty Gear X2 Reload.

After that post went online, Zynthetic – responsible for much of the music in Killing Floor and Killing Floor 2 – wrote up an article attempting to answer the question of why more metal doesn't show up in video games since they seem like a perfect and obvious match.

For his take on the lack of metal in gaming, including the difficulties in licensing existing music and the lack of metallic knowledge among composers, read the full article right here.

Since we love gaming and we love metal, it seemed like a good idea to keep checking in every so often with new entries that combine the two, and this week we'll cover four more solid games filled to the brim with extreme metal. Don't see your favorite game listed? Don't worry, we'll cover more in the future, but be sure to still give us your picks in the comments below.

Splatterhouse

Five years ago a reboot of the '88 arcade game Splatterhouse hit consoles, and it was very much notable for the inclusion of an all-metal soundtrack featuring the likes of Lamb of God, Mastodon, Municipal Waste, Cavalera Conspiracy, and Goatwhore.

As the name would suggest, it's filled with buckets of blood and guts, and the action-oriented beat 'em up style is somewhat similar to Dante's Inferno/God Of war/etc. The frantic combat will see your character Rick frequently losing limbs and more, but that's not a problem because they grow back – and hey, you can pick up the severed appendages of your foes to continue beating them down!

This one's filled to the brim with all sorts of horror goodies (and ridiculousness) like time travel, cosmic horror deities, and plenty of nods to Lovecraft with names like “Dr. West” and places called “Arkham.” Someone helpfully put all the songs from the soundtrack together into one playlist at YouTube here, and you can check out a game trailer below:

Twisted Metal 2

Remember those devilishly laughing clowns followed by the sound of screeching wheels? That's forever burned into my mind thanks to this early entry in the all-car combat series.

I played this till my thumbs bled (I was the asshole who always picked Spectre and waited on the other side of a room to hit you with those missiles that could pass through walls) and probably destroyed the Eiffel tower somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 times.

I still remember that sinking feel of horror when accidentally accelerating off the side of a building in New York or over the ice bergs in Antarctica – and you can relive all that with the heavy metal themed soundtrack below, including the metallic/car mayhem rendition of lullaby “Are You Sleeping?”

The Witcher

Some of you may be wondering what the hell The Witcher is doing in this list. Sure, swordplay, witchcraft, and lots of getting in on with all the wenches in any given town is pretty metal, but the music itself sure isn't.

While the main soundtrack for The Witcher is pretty standard orchestral fare along what you'd hear in Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age, and so on, the enhanced edition of The Witcher actually came with a companion CD of music inspired by the story.

Based around a series of books by Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski from the '90s, The Witcher has managed to make it into comic books, T.V. shows, a role playing game, and yes, even metal. The game's bonus disc had some truly odd and interesting moments (“They Want To Suck” in particular stands out in that regard) but where the metal came through was with a track provided by Polish death metal band Vader. Several of the other tracks have a distinctly metallic flair, including Rootwater's “Born Again.”

The various songs from the companion CD are of course all on YouTube, but you can also get the full soundtrack and companion album for free when you buy The Witcher for PC at GOG.

Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost And The Damned

The radio stations in Grand Theft Auto IV were half the fun, listening to both news about your latest destructive exploits but also going through the various stations that lambasted both right wing radio pundits and left wing public radio.

Since the fourth entry in the series was based around a version of New York named Liberty City, the developer wisely chose to include a hardcore station titled Liberty City Hardcore – and it will give you something to be angry about!

The station focused on classic New York hardcore bands like Cro-Mags, Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, and so on. The ante was upped significantly for metal fans in the expansion “The Lost and the Damned,” however. 10 new tracks were added to the station in that particular DLC, including “Slaughter of the Soul” by At The Gates, Cannibal Corpse's “I Cum Blood,” and “Call From The Grave” from Bathory.

That's it for this week, but check back soon as we continue exploring video games with heavy metal soundtracks, and be sure to offer up your suggestions below.

xFiruath's avatar

Ty Arthur is a freelance writer who writes for both entertainment and technical instruction sites. An avid fan of many different forms of metal, he has been involved in reviewing music for several years and is currently a contributing editor for Metalunderground.com

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6 Comments on "A Second Look At Heavy Metal In Video Games"

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Anonymous Reader
1. marcos1992 writes:

Vrock

# Aug 19, 2015 @ 5:22 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

Content Manager

2. xFiruath writes:

^ Another solid entry from the GTA series. They tend to do well on the rock/metal front, although unfortunately GTA 5 took a nose dive in that department.

# Aug 19, 2015 @ 5:53 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
3. The Roadie writes:

Brutal Legend. I'm sure that will count. Heavy metal in video game...Heavy metal video game I think is more appropriate, and I think Motorhead is coming out with their videogame as well.

# Aug 19, 2015 @ 11:07 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
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4. Drum_Junkie writes:

Don't forget about Ray Herrera. I wonder how much of his work in the videogame industry has helped to increase its use of heavy metal.

# Aug 20, 2015 @ 8:43 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
Anonymous Reader
5. Golden goose writes:

Vrock kicked major a$$ on gta vice city.

# Aug 20, 2015 @ 9:13 AM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address
xFiruath's avatar

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6. xFiruath writes:

What IS Ray up to these days? Haven't seen him commenting lately.

#3 - Brutal Legend is pretty damn good and it made the top spot in our first article (link at the top of this page).

There's actually several indie 2d style games upcoming based around specific metal bands and we'll look at those in the coming weeks.

# Aug 21, 2015 @ 12:45 PM ET | IP Logged Reveal posts originating from the same IP address

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