Music in Metal Gear Rising: Revengance | A Sting Review

David Sullivan, Sting Reporter

Have you ever wondered why you get sad when a beloved character dies, or why you get so pumped up to beat a hard boss? Well, blame it on the sound designer for tugging on your heartstrings! When playing a game that is open world or story driven, you don’t rely on the gameplay itself to rope you into the game, there are many other elements that come into play, like music and sound. One of my favorite examples of music dramatically affecting the gameplay and emotion of the story of the game is the game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

The game Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (which I will refer to it as MGRR) is a stand alone spinoff of the Metal Gear series made by Kojima Production with no predecessors and only references to the main character of the game, Riaden. MGRR is not canon (story relevant; did not happen) to the main narrative of the Metal Gear series.

(Spoiler Warning)

When playing MGRR, you face nine main game bosses, and seven that have impactful boss music. The main reason for the boss themes being so impactful is because you never hear, or see the boss characters anywhere else in the Metal Gear series, only in MGRR. In the beginning prologue of the game, you fight as Riaden who has to save Africa’s Prime Minister, N’Mani, which ultimately does not end well for the player and N’Mani. At the end of the mission, you end up fighting a boss named Jetstream Sam and when that happens his boss theme plays, but only plays the instrumentals, and not the lyrics. The game designers and sound designers are very smart for doing this, as you’ve never seen these characters before in the series, the only way you would get attached or know any background for these characters, would be from their boss fights and boss music. Later on in the game, you fight Sam again with your new and upgraded body you can fight Sam on a more even playing field. When you whittle Sam’s health low enough his boss theme plays again, but this time it plays the vocals too. Sam’s boss theme is called “The Only Thing I Know For Real”, which gets into how Sam has forgotten the reasons why he fights, but that he can’t stop himself because he feels as though it is the only way he knows how to live.

In the second example, you face a robot called LQ-84i, who appears in the first mission after the prologue. When you first fight him, it seems to only be a small mini-boss fight, but when the boss theme kicks in you realize he is an important character of the story. When fighting LQ-84i, his boss theme kicks in when the fight first begins, and his theme is called “I Am My Own Master Now.” The lyrics refer to how LQ-84i is forced to serve under Desperado (the main evil military corporation of the game), and LQ-84i’s desire to break free from their command.

With all that being said, the game itself is very good and very enjoyable. The music is also insanely good, and I highly recommend that you check out the game and the soundtrack as all of it is a jam.