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Awesome Songs for First-Person Shooters
Metal (of all kinds) was always synonymous with battle, war and struggle to me; with inspiring drives, aggressive beats to fuel the thirst for victory and solos that build tensions further; fighting against all odds for high stakes or making the victory more memorable as it serenades my triumph and the total defeat of my enemy. Hence, I decided to share a collection of songs that maximized my enjoyment of my gaming sessions and created new experiences entirely; something I was yet to see in a game before combining the two.
Below, you would find not only traditional heavy metal but also melodic death metal, NU metal and metalcore; some of the more melodic sub-genres of metal which complimented my virtual crusades during some of the more intense moments.
Emphatic - "What are You Afraid Of?"
This dark yet melodic track really enhances the imposing, blood-drenched atmosphere of games such as Killing Floor 2 and System Shock 2; sounding more like a monologue of the protagonist as he fights off hordes of abominations with his ammo dwindling and weapons failing. Heavy guitar breakdowns and bass lines enhance the impact of melee weapons and fast moves to block and parry while the chorus makes the ebb and flow of combat a roller coaster of emotions; my will versus the AI.
Stryper - "To Hell with The Devil"
Yes, I know that I am breaking tradition and favoring a Christian heavy metal song over say, death metal or black metal with regards to DooM but this song truly fits the overall atmosphere of demon-bashing and being a one-man wrecking crew. This track is an absolute killer because not only do the vocals sound like an '80s action movie training montage but the guitars sound like they are on the attack; warding of demons sonically while the overall message just brings tears of cathartic joy since there are too many glorifications of evil in the media; seeing evil eat lead is truly refreshing.
Hammerfall - "Steel Meets Steel."
Now here's some chaingun-serenading power metal that scored my rampage through Serious Sam The First and Second Encounter; Hammerfall has so many great songs about big battles and mighty warriors. However, Steel Meets Steel fit my crusade because in Serious Sam it was truly steel meets steel as the enemies brought their own strengths in some of the largest clashes the FPS world ever seen with one guy fighting foes armed with rocket launchers, bombs, claws, and lasers.
Sienna Skies "Everybody's Eyes."
Metalcore is a genre that has heartfelt clean vocals that truly enhance dramatic moments when all seems lost; like this song did during my time in WARFACE; an online shooter with co-op and PVP modes. It was during a PvE battle while I was playing a medic class; sliding from cover to cover, reviving my teammates and desperately trying to keep the operation together. The song made these moments feel like a war movie with overpowering odds; everyone falls while this one guy tries to save his friends; dodging bullets and returning fire.
Sodom - "Sacred Warpath"
Sodom's career is full of dark and evil thrash metal goodness which was a perfect fit for my revisiting an equally dark, graphic game Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix. Blasting through city streets with dual 1911s, rampaging through jungles with an M4 and gutting people from the shadows aboard a cargo ship; Sacred Warpath made me feel like a demonic hitman on a real journey; my mind started imagining what would the AI think in reaction to my handiwork. The song delves into your mind's darkest corners and unchains them to play with your imagination which itself is stimulated by the action on the screen.
Disturbed - "Indestructible"
This song is one to score super soldier rampages and that it did in spades as I revisited another childhood favorite; Project Snowblind; a game where enemies fly 2 room back when you punch them, lots of crazy weapons and abilities which make for interesting firefights. Activating a bullet-proof shield and destroying an entire squad of enemies with a shotgun and punches to the face is a feat of a true master of war. Disturbed, like Sodom, also has the power to tap into your dark corners which means immersive moments when you feel like you ARE the character and the kills start feeling real.
Overall, I've chosen the songs above for the contribution to the immersion factor, the message in the lyrics and the emotion in their delivery (reflected in the vocals) which in my opinion adds to the immersion factor; whether its Sodom and Disturbed making virtual kills feel real or Sienna Skies' passionate delivery create cinematic high stakes tension in dodging incoming attacks; both made my gaming session that much more engaging.
Sometimes, the music hits the player first as does Hammerfall and Stryper which calls back to other heroic media (Stryper's '80s montage-esque vocal delivery) and scoring what's happening on the screen instead of going deeper. Hammerfall and Serious Sam, therefore, were a good combination because its the rhythm and high-energy of action; motivating the player to mimick said energy in his virtual battle.
© 2017 Jake Clawson