Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Soundtrack Suggestion: The Enemy of the State - John Debney

Enemy of the State
Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and Trevor Rabin

The Tony Scott film explores the concept of our fading privacy with the influx of technology and the government's focus on maintaining national security.   Will Smith plays a young lawyer who finds himself suddenly under surveillance when he unknowingly receives a key piece of evidence that could place a certain corrupt political figure in trouble.  The movie, while grossly inaccurate in many ways, has a wonderful balance of mystery and action with sequences that are sure to get one's heart pumping with the growing suspense.

When it comes to gaming, this soundtrack can prove to be a godsend so long as two things are considered true in your game:  it is set in either the modern or futuristic age, and there is a conspiracy/mystery element that stands in the forefront of the game.  The soundtrack makes good use of synths and bass beats to build both mood and harmony.  The movie makes use of a good main theme, which recurs quite often in many other tracks for a much more thematic fit.   And like many other soundtracks that I find to be good fits for gaming, this one has tracks that can easily be set to loop over and over.

The very first track, Main Titles (Track 01) actually would be one of those tracks that you can always use to open the game session with.  You can play it as a signal for the players to settle down and prepare for the game to actually start, and from that track, move to practically any other track to begin the actual game.

Enemy of the State track suggestions
WTF moment: Coal Yard Part 1 (track 12),
Introspective/calm moment: Enemy of the State Main Theme (track 02), Wish You Were Here (track 17)
Tense/mystery moment: The Ferry (track 04), NSA Research (track 07),  Brill and Dean Meet (track 08), Face to Face (track 13)
Combat music: Hotel Chase Part 2 (track 05), Zavitz Chase Part 1 (track 06), The Tunnel Part 1 (track 14),
Hopeful moment:  Brill's Theme (track 03), Final Confrontation (track 11),
Drama/sad moment: Free Ferry (track 09), Nanny Drive (track 10), Coal Yard Part 2 (track 15), Rachel's Found Dead (track 16)

Best Used In: Modern or Science Fiction genre games.  Mystery elements are, of course, an absolute.  The soundtrack can function to enhance games that feature cyberspace or hackers.  The soundtrack can even enhance anime games which feature mecha and psionic powers.  Definitely not a soundtrack that can function for medieval games or games that focus on high fantasy.

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