The Metal Gear Solid series has consistently delivered some of the best original soundtrack material in games, due in large part to the orchestrations of Harry Gregson-Willams. Those smart enough to have picked up the Limited Edition Bundle of MGS4 were treated to a bonus CD featuring 16 tracks from Gregson-Williams’ killer score for the game.
For those not in the know, Harry Gregson-Williams is one of the most prolific composers of the past decade or so, with film credits ranging from “The Rock” to the upcoming “Wolverine” movie. Gregson-Williams is also unique since he is a film composer, who was sought out to lend his style to video games, starting with Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and continuing through this latest game. In fact, the only other game soundtrack to feature his music so far is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Now granted this is merely a sampler of the music from MGS4 and the Japanese got a full on two disc soundtrack release (nudge, nudge Konami), but the tracks here give you a “greatest hits” type feeling. The disc also features the game’s “Love Theme” by Nobuko Toda with lyrics by Hideo Kojima and a cover of Ennio Morricone’s “Here’s to You” (originally from the 1971 film Sacco & Vanzetti) but the majority of the music is Harry Gregson-Willams’ “solid” score, further demonstrating his blending of orchestral and electronic elements. For me the best track here is “Desperate Chase”, which is a full tilt number, propelled by orchestra, electric guitar and electronic tapping percussion.
Not surprisingly, the limited edition of the game is sold out, so either look for an imported copy of the full Japanese edition or twist your limited edition-buying buddy’s arm for their copy. Speaking of which, thanks to G4’ian Steve Norman for lending me his copy for this review. Now if only Activision would get around to releasing a soundtrack album for COD4 with Gregson-Williams’ awesome theme…