Soundtrack Saturdays: Metal Gear Solid V – Love Deterrence (Acoustic)

I haven’t had much free time to play video games lately, but I’m finally starting to dig into the backlog I’ve accumulated. The first title on my list was Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. You might recall that I’m a huge Metal Gear fan, and for good reason; the series has some of the best cinematic storytelling and cleverly designed gameplay mechanics in the industry. Ground Zeroes wasn’t a full game; it was essentially an early-release prologue for The Phantom Pain, which came out months later. It’s set in 1975, and you’re tasked with infiltrating an American black site in Cuba – a not-so-subtle commentary on Guantanamo Bay – and rescuing two of your allies imprisoned inside. Despite being a playable preview for the bigger game, Ground Zeroes more than proves its concept; you’re allowed to freely explore this massive map, discover its layout, and evade dozens of guards the entire time. The interactivity with objects and vehicles, the use of lighting and perspective, and the acoustics of the rain and voices are amazing.

What I enjoyed most, however, was the music. The series has always been known for its killer soundtracks, but only a handful of the games let you change the background music during gameplay. This time, you can listen to different cassette tapes – again, this is 1975 – thus giving your spy mission a little more flavor. One of the unlockable songs is this acoustic version of Paz’s character theme, “Love Deterrence.” She’s one of the prisoners you have to save, and the somber, romantic guitar melody sums up her relationship with Big Boss perfectly. Explaining the details would spoil the story of Peace Walker, but let’s just say there’s a good reason why a young woman like Paz would be locked up in a military prison…

If you want something a little more lighthearted, you can hear the original J-Pop version of “Love Deterrence” from Peace Walker here. If you want more Metal Gear Solid V, you can find the full OST here.

Good gaming, good music.

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Soundtrack Saturdays: Metal Gear Solid V – Sins of the Father

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned the sheer awesomeness the Metal Gear Solid series before. It revolutionized gaming as a medium; it made storytelling an essential aspect of how people play, resulting in games that felt more like blockbuster movies. Thanks to the technological developments and a popular following, the series has escalated with each passing entry. It’s not just about the incredibly detailed graphics, but the memorable characters, setting, theming, voice acting, and (of course) music. Sung by Donna Burke, Sins of the Father is the main song of the recently-released Metal Gear Solid V. It’s a reflection of the game’s theming: loss and pain, and to what lengths someone will go for the sake of revenge. It’s not a happy song, but it’s appropriately epic for a story about the world’s greatest hero becoming its worst villain. For better or worse, a legend is about to ride again.

If you want more MGSV, the full soundtrack can be found here and here.

Soundtrack Saturdays: Metal Gear Solid 3 – Snake Eater

Video

Metal Gear Solid 3 was one of the most anticipated games of its generation. After its unveiling, there were some doubts; the MGS games usually involved sneaking through buildings and industrialized areas, not the jungle depicted in the trailer. Once the game finally came out, all those doubts were quickly forgotten. You still played as Snake, albeit a previous version of him set in the 1960s Cold War. The Snake Eater theme deliberately took cues from the old James Bond movie intros. Since the in-game technology was designed to fit with the setting, gamers had to rely more on actual sneaking and use of the environment instead of high-tech equipment. And it showed. The natural sounds and ambiance were some of the finest on the PS2. You blended into the environment the old fashioned way: looking at your surroundings, and painting your body accordingly. Since guns attracted too much attention, you could take everyone down with newly-implemented grappling techniques.You want a tough boss battle? Try an hour-long duel against a near-invisible sniper. It’s even more awesome that it sounds.

What begins as a generic spy mission quickly evolves into a sad tale of trust, betrayal, and sacrifice. The passing of time and how it affects your beliefs is its defining theme. While it has plenty of silly moments – it wouldn’t be MGS without them – the plot gradually builds in tension and poignancy. Snake might be one of the greatest game heroes ever, but it comes at a terrible cost. For every moment of epic action, there’s tragedy to balance it. It’s not done in a cliched, way, either; by the time you beat the game, you’ll realize just how much effort went into humanizing what could’ve been a one-dimensional character. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it’s become famous for being one of the few video games to make people cry. Look for spoiler videos at your own risk.

If you want more Snake Eater, you find the rest of the OST here.

Good gaming, good music.