Irrational Games

These two people singing this gospel standard sell a game much better than dubstep

These two people singing this gospel standard sell a game much better than dubstep

When white singers go into African American churches, we get Elvis. When rock music is inspired by rock music, we get Nickelback. This is the problem with games like Crysis 3, where good ideas were watered down by the influence of other popular first-person shooters. The blood gets thin. Everything runs together. Gaming gets bland.

Let’s take a moment to listen to Bioshock Infinite voice actors Troy Baker and Courtnee Draper perform Will the Circle Be Unbroken for the game’s soundtrack.

I grew up in Ohio and Kentucky, and this is a song I’m intimately familiar with, to the point where I felt the need to set the record straight when people began to claim that references to God were removed from this version of the song.

I love games that inspire those sorts of stories, and this is one of the reasons I’m so excited about Bioshock Infinite: We’re all dealing with games that were influenced by the same four or five things, over and over. We rarely hear spiritual songs, in any context. The video game industry seems to think the only music that will get our attention is either dubtsep or something inspired by the soundtrack of Inception.

It’s wonderful to see a game that is clearly influenced by something other than Aliens or Lord of the Rings, and to bring in music that helps to set the tone in a way that adds to the game instead of merely making everything louder.

There is nothing perfect about Baker’s guitar playing in that video, but that’s even better. It sounds like there is a human being behind the instrument, someone who may enjoy playing but never made a living out of it.

If Mr. Baker is a professional guitarist, I apologize in advance.

I have no big news to share here, but this is the sort of promotional material that gets me more excited about a game than a dozen developer diaries or quick-looks at enemies and weapons. More details on the game’s soundtrack can be found on the official blog post. Just remember to flip the game’s cover around once your copy comes in.