Gears of War: Music in Video Games
Since the arrival of Gears of War I haven't stopped hearing about its awesome graphics, it's become the must see game for the Xbox 360. I have yet to play it, I'm waiting for Brando to let me borrow his for a few days.
There has been a secondary, slightly smaller buzz about the music from Gears of War, notably its trailer. It's a brilliantly executed trailer, partly because of its choice in music. The despondent texture of the song accompanying Marcus's life and death struggle in a bombed out city is a delicious twist. Its somber note strikes with an impact harder than any driving metal or techno beat.
The song is "Mad World" performed by Gary Jules. Jules' version of this song also appears on the Donnie Darko soundtrack and is suspiciously climbing the charts. Mad World was originally written and performed by Tears for Fears, better known for the 1985 international pop hit "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". "Mad World" appears on their 1983 debut "The Hurting". The whole album is dark with Goth undertones. It's a truly depressing but powerful album with introspective songs about the singer's childhood.
It's not surprising music in video games have reached levels of sophistication to match the games themselves. I admit to having purchased 'premium' versions of games just to get the included soundtrack CD. My iPod has soundtracks of Guild Wars and Halo2. There's even a video game music tour called Play! A traveling symphony that performs the music we love from our favorite games. Play! just completed a tour that ended in Toronto last Sept but they're scheduled to begin again next year.
Imagine a symphony performing music from games. I can hear the musician now: "I got my music degree at Julliard so I can go on tour performing the music from Super Mario Bros.!?!".
It's a very, very mad world.