Killzone Mercenary Interview: Scoring Music For The ISA And Helghast

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Walter: In 2013 I wrote the music for Killzone: Mercenary, as well as the movie ‘The List’ (starring Sienna Guillory who plays Jill Valentine in the Resident Evil movies) which will see its world premiere later in 2013.

With Killzone being a spectacular sci-fi/action game and ‘The List’ being a thriller, the musical requirements were quite different. For me it is the diversity of working on different types of projects that makes working in both worlds - films & games - so rewarding.

Gaming Blend: Did you have any particular moments of the game that you really enjoyed and subsequently, enjoyed scoring?

Walter: There were many moments that were extremely satisfying from a composer’s point of view. One of these moments was the shift from ISA to Helghast with the music being required to change in mood/sound/instrumentation but still keep consistent with the overall vibe for Killzone. Another example would be the many cut-scenes which were directed so well - watching them makes you feel as if you are watching an epic movie.

Gaming Blend: The game's soundtrack recently released on the PlayStation Network. That sort of easy access to game soundtracks is only just becoming more commonplace. How's it feel knowing that people who enjoy his work in the game can now easily access the music and add it to their collection?

Walter: This is a great development and I welcome the opportunity for fans of soundtracks, be it games, film or TV, to have easy access to their favorite music. With tools like iTunes, iPhones it is easier than ever to access music wherever you are, on the move, in the gym etc. This enhances access and portability of everyone’s personal music library.

Gaming Blend: Following up on the last question, how do you feel about digital music sharing? Seeing soundtracks on alternative music communities like Band Camp and YouTube where the soundtrack is up and available for public consumption? Do you feel it broadens the exposure for a game or cuts the artist out of potential buys?

Walter: In general I think these are great tools for creating communities, spreading the word and ultimately supporting the awareness for a movie or video game.

With some of these sites there is still an ongoing dispute with royalty collection societies about the royalty scheme. I, for one, believe that there are a lot of channels out there that are great opportunities to help build and support a fan base.

Gaming Blend: There are a lot of favorable reviews for Killzone: Mercenary so far, including our own review of the game. If offered the opportunity, would you consider returning to score another Killzone game?

Walter: Yes, absolutely. This is such an amazing franchise with great potential and creative space, allowing the composer to expand his own palette of sounds and style of writing.

Our thanks to Walter Wair for taking time to answer our questions and to Top Dollar for setting up the interview. You can learn more about Walter's work by visiting his official website or scope out our review of Killzone: Mercenary to learn more about the game.
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