One of the key ingredients that makes a brilliant video game idea such as Fall Out 3 into a timeless classic is the sound-engine behind it and it’s subsequent output. However, a special FX and algorithm based sound environment means naught if not for as emphatic and cinematic a soundtrack as that which is showcased in this legendary title. Every time I hear that main theme, in my mind I am instantly transported back into the wasteland, mid-battle a fight against some lowly raiders.
One of the key things that struck me about this particular soundtrack was the fact that it seemed to draw up the nostalgic feeling of a once great America. I can picture it now the revolutionary troops in red, blue and white fending off a foreign enemy. That is, until the inconceivable happened. And what what was left to remind the future generations of what once, is a blend of brass instruments backed by hits and big drum sounds.
What adds to the eerie yet immersive aura that this game evokes is the blend of 1940s big band and easy listening by the likes of The Ink Spots. The Ink who? I know what you’re thinking; you haven’t a clue who this group was. But trust me back in their heyday these guys were pretty big news.
The game’s main theme changes in demeanour, tempo and melody as your situation progresses into a fight to death between you and a highly irradiated mutated animal or the opposite ensues; as you emerge victorious, the music slows down again.
I believe that most gamers would agree when I say that the key ingredients of an effective video game soundtrack are melody, mood, emotion, tempo and of-course, well-constructed and functional algorithms. You could have the best visuals, a well constructed control mapping system, but if you lack the right sound environment backed by a killer soundtrack then you’ll fall just short of a good game, let alone a great one. I for one cannot wait to see or rather hear what Fall Out 4 has to offer in terms of sound and music.