Venice, CA (June 30, 2004)–More of a simulation than a traditional game, Full Spectrum Warrior was originally designed to train the US Army light infantry the basics of urban combat. Bringing sonic realism to the visuals was the ultimate challenge for Machine Head. The brief for the composers–Machine Head’s Tobias Enhus and Chris Neilman–was to create a score that would further enhance the simulation factor.
Neilman explained, “FSW is an unusual game in that it is based in reality. Our job was to compose music that would further simulate the feeling of being in a knock down, hard-core war.” For Enhus, writing for a simulation game was different from his usual role in composing for film. His own military experiences in the Swedish Air Force and his work on Ridley Scott’s Black Hawk Down probably came in useful in creating the soundtrack. Enhus describes a meticulous process of collating sounds and creating music to achieve the ultimate goal of the soundtrack.
“The idea with the music for FSW was to create the auditory illusion of being dropped right into a foreign hostile city. We actually worked really hard keeping the feel of the music gritty and dirty. We hear the music bounce from the walls of bombed-out buildings, a call of prayer from a broken transistor radio, etc. Then, once engaged in battle, we hear more traditional orchestral action elements merge together with an array of exotic instruments.” New technology helped augment the composers’ work, too. Enhus continued, “We used the full power of Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound to create spatial environments, to enhance the realism of how the music delivers to the player. It was a constantly evolving creative experience.”