I am Scoring SOCOM 4 (UPDATED)

… and one of you will get to attend the next orchestral session!

IO9.com recently announced a contest for an all-expenses-paid trip to hang out with me during our final SOCOM 4 recording session, at an “ultra-awesome, secret location in Northern California.”  (I wonder where it could be? **cough!**cough!**)

The game is my second (or technically third) entry into the video game world, after my scores for Dark Void and Dark Void Zero.  The most technically ambitious entry in Sony’s groundbreaking hit series, SOCOM 4 will feature a score unlike any other.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve dreamt of a video game score that would feel as if it were being composed specifically for each player, adapting and shifting perfectly to capture the mood of the individual gamer.  Thanks to the powerful technology available today, and the talented artists and programmers at Sony and Zipper, I was able to write a score that fulfills this promise.

The game will satisfy SOCOM fans and likely energize newcomers to the franchise as well.  “A militant revolutionary has unexpectedly seized control in an important South Asian country,” describes Zipper Interactive’s Jeremy Dunham. “As the Ops Com, your mission is to command an elite five-man squad charged with stopping his aggressive agenda before it’s too late. In only six days, you must lead your team through a hostile jungle and urban environments against an army of well-armed rebel insurgents that completely outnumber you.” In addition to SOCOM 4’s single-player operation, players will also be able to enjoy a 32-person multiplayer mode that boasts more Special Forces units than ever before.  To learn more about the game, check out IGN’s exclusive game preview.

My approach to SOCOM 4 began with the South Asian setting of the storyline.  I matched a full orchestra with Asian instrumentation, ethnic soloists, and a gamelan ensemble, producing over eight hours of original music.  SOCOM 4 may be a sequel, but musically, it’s a franchise re-boot.  You won’t hear patriotic soaring horn lines, or military marches.  Instead, the exotic location and international band of characters are represented by ethnic percussion, virtuosic Asian stringed and woodwind instruments, and the spectacular, other-worldly tones of the gamelan.  And like all my other projects, these instruments are recorded live and performed by some of the best musicians in the world.

SOCOM 4 not only leaps the franchise forward in terms of gameplay, but represents an unprecedented focus on the narrative storytelling.  The story is compelling, and created opportunities for me to write a sweeping, thematically unified, cinematic score.

I’ve been working on this project for over two years, and soon you will all be able to experience it.  Expect to hear more about this exciting score as we get closer to the game’s release, later this year.

-Bear

UPDATED – August 2010: WIRED.com is running two great videos about my SOCOM 4 score.  Here they are: