Gaming and rock music have a long and rich history heading back to the nineties and most of the time when they meet great things happen. Even EA has joined in on occasion, with Mastodon’s Blood and Thunder appearing in Madden and Nine Inch Nails’ Copy of A appearing in a recent edition of FIFA. Appearances like these are pretty decent but there are some transcendent moments where rock and metal have made the games more than they were otherwise.
Here are five of the best moments where rock and metal have made for some memorable gaming moments…
5. Ministry kicks a Watch Dogs shootout up a notch
Watch Dogs is not a great game. It does have its moments though and Ministry’s Jesus Built My Hotrod is at the heart of the game’s most memorable moment. It happens while the game’s hero Aiden Pearce is hiding out in Pawnee, outside Chicago, trying to recruit a well-known and extremely paranoid hacker to his cause.
That hacker just happens to live in a junkyard which he has booby-trapped with some massive robots and it’s here that plays host to the most memorable moment. As Pearce winds up his work task which will encourage the hacker to join him he attracts the attention of some rather nasty militia-types. They chase him back to the junkyard where a large shootout ensues.
In kicks Ministry and all of a sudden the game kicks into overdrive. The industrial setting and the pacing of this scene are perfectly amplified by frantic and relentless pace of Jesus Bult My Hotrod. It actually reignited my desire to finish Watch Dogs until a game-breaking bug ended my quest to rid Chicago of the corrupt tech company tearing it apart.
- Saints Row gets a comic hero spin-off Agents of Mayhem
- This song was 'banned' from Grand Theft Auto 2
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4. Pantera pops up as an Easter egg in Doom
Way before this year’s Doom made fast-paced run and gun first-person shooting action cool again, the original Doom was making bloody waves and building foundations of gaming as we know it today.
All of the guys responsible for creating Doom were huge heavy metal fans and this reflected heavily in crushing riffs that permeated the game’s soundtrack. One riff was insanely familiar though. The tune that accompanies the first mission in episode three is particularly familiar for lovers of Pantera. In fact it is a basic MIDI version of the verse riff from Mouth For War, first track on Pantera’s Vulgar Display of Power.
It does indeed encourage a vulgar display of power by shooting a hellish array of flesh-tearing demons in the face. Repeatedly.
3. Quake adopts Nine Inch Nails as ammunition
After making Doom the boys at id Software created Quake and, basking in the new-found fame and riches that Doom had afforded them, they managed to hire Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor to create a dark and brooding sound track for their next game, Quake.
The result was a deeply dark and broodingly atmospheric soundtrack that perfectly complemented the action in Quake, with players fending off all kinds of nightmarish creations that id Software created.
As well as providing the soundtrack, Nine Inch Nails also gave their name to the ammunition for the wildly memorable Nailgun and Super Nailgun. The NiN logo featured on every box of Nailgun ammo in the game, adding an extra layer of metal to a game that was already blood-curdlingly heavy.
2. Sublime sing-alone helps cement the awesomeness of Saints Row: The Third
The Saints Row games have a penchant for the ridiculous but there are some moments that manage to strike an amazingly personal touch in the midst of a lot of wacky action involving Dubstep Guns and massive purple dildo baseball bats.
One of the best moment comes early on in Saints Row: The Third as players are getting introduced to the new city of Steelport after being stranded there after an insane bank robbery involving stealing the entire vault with a Skycrane helicopter and a skydiving shootout that passes through a crashing jumbo jet.
After all that adrenaline the game kicks back a notch with a bit of a cruise around Steelport in a sports car. Sublime’s What I Got comes on the radio to add to the chill factor and then the game kicks things up a notch when the player character and his buddy start singing along with the radio. Its a surprise smile moment that makes you want to keep playing and cements Saints Row: The Third as a special entry in the series.
1. Soundtrack is everything in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Rockstar games have a special knack for creating deeply involving open worlds and they don’t come much better than GTA : Vice City. The game is a cross between Scarface and Miami Vice in a neon-soaked eighties caricature of Miami. The world is incredibly well realised and the characters remind us of some of our favourite characters from 1980s movies and TV shows.
The thing that really seals the deal is the incredible soundtrack. Radio stations packed with licensed music in what is quite possibly the best licensed video game soundtrack ever assembled.
Rock and metal fans are spoiled rotten with V-Rock which includes classic tracks like Judas Priest’s You’ve Got Another Thing Coming, Megadeath’s Peace Sells, Ozzy’s Bark At The Moon, Slayer’s Raining Blood, Anthrax’s Madhouse and more from others including Twisted Sister, Motley Crue and Iron Maiden. The crowning glory however, is a fictional rock band called Love Fist who add a little bit of eighties rock star insanity to some of the game’s missions as well.
There is also a nice line in cheesy eighties rock ballads over on Emotion 98.3 with Toto’s Africa, Foreigner’s Waiting for a Girl Like You and Mr Mister’s Broken Wings to name but a few.