When it comes to setting a dark and ominous atmosphere, Capcom set the bar high with Resident Evil (aka Biohazard) in 1996. As gamers know, a great deal of that atmosphere comes from sound design, and it wouldn’t be Resident Evil without composer, Shusaku Uchiyama.
Uchiyama has been the composer for the franchise since Resident Evil/Biohazard 2 so choosing him as the composer for Operation Raccoon City was a no brainer for the development team. As the game is a bit different than the usual RE game, Capcom knew that the soundtrack had to be different, as well. “He accepted our difficult requests with a smile and gave us wonderful music scores,” says Hideki Okugawa of the Capcom Sound Team. “We truly appreciate it.”
If you pay attention to how music and sound are used in the context of interactive gameplay, you’ll notice that tracks are mixed and programmed to correspond with your specific situation. For example, when an enemy approaches, the music will intensify, while dramatic music will be layered over action cut scenes and mellow, ambient sounds are used for exploration. The first few Resident Evil titles are a great example of using music to assess your situation – remember the trunk where you kept your supplies? Lovingly dubbed the “Magic Meat Locker” by my group of gaming buddies, we could always breathe a sigh of relief whenever we heard the room’s theme song. We knew that we could resupply without fear of zombie surprises!
Shusaku Uchiyama explains the creative process:
That being said, the tracks on this (and any other game soundtrack) disc are specifically edited for your listening pleasure, i.e. a loop might be extended to create a whole track. As you play the game, you may recognize snippets of these tracks, so I always find it fun to identify them all like a geeky scavenger hunt!
I’m the kind of person who listens to game soundtracks while I drive. (Pro tip: watch the speedometer when listening to Halo!) The Operation Raccoon City OST is music enough that you could listen to it like your favorite radio station, although you won’t have any lyrics to sing along to. The OST ranges from dramatic, cinematic scores to tense sound effects and catchy dance beats. A few tracks feature choirs and melancholy vocals that really take you into the action on an emotional level. If you’re into movie or game music, then you’re likely to enjoy this soundtrack whether or not you’ve played the game!
I have to rate this category based on how much a soundtrack inspires me. If I start coming up with stories and characters just at the sound of game music, then it’s my favorite kind. I find this particular soundtrack to evoke feelings of being a bad ass constantly in danger, which is exactly what the game is about! So brav-o, Uchiyama San!
At a suggested retail price of $15.99 USD, two very full discs are a great value. You’re really getting your geek’s worth out of this package. Capcom and Sumthing Else Music have been very generous with the amount of music and sound effects you get with the Resident Evil: ORC soundtrack!
If you don’t normally listen to soundtracks, it might not be very enjoyable for you to just pop one into your stereo or iTunes and enjoy it. However, if you love playing the game, this album is guaranteed to continue those feelings when you can’t have a controller in your hand. I haven’t played the game yet, myself but I’m enjoying all the different moods that Uchiyama has created. I can fully imagine the dark, destroyed city that I explored with such care in Resident Evil 2 & 3.
Capcom, OST, Operation Raccoon City, Resident Evil, Shusaku Uchiyama, Soundtrack, Sumthing Else Music, Umbrella Corporation, buy, listen, music, review, sound design, zombies