Saturday, 30 January 2016

Saturday Soundtracks: Disruptor

Another Saturday, another soundtrack; this time it's stylish PlayStation shooter Disruptor.

Taken from an old Ebay auction
from user Darth Baggins
Referred to in marketing as "The Mother Of All Shoot Em Ups", you would be forgiven for thinking that Disruptor is just another Doom clone; it builds on the form of the originator by adding (shock horror) an actual storyline facilitated by the greatest in FMV cutscenes. To describe them as cheesy is to do them a disservice, as they evoke all that is great in early to mid nineties American Sci-Fi TV drama with overacting on the scale on Westwood's Command & Conquer series. It's amazing that Naughty Dog, the company that put out Crash Bandicoot and later on Last of Us, were responsible for this one!

Disruptor is also a special game for me as it was the first Doom shooter I ever played on my PlayStation, when I was given a copy of the Official Playstation magazine 16 for a birthday that came with a demo disc featuring a playable demo of Disruptor. As a fan of Doom and Marathon before hand, this was a game I simply had to have; damn the cut scenes, they helped to string together several odd levels together with a reason for going to Mars, a training level on top of a skyscraper or (as in the video attached) a sulphur mine on Io, one of Jupiter's moons.

The soundtrack was one of the first times I was able to appreciate a "proper" orchestral score in CD quality for a game, lending a cinematic quality to the misty, brooding tunnels lurking with photo-realistic baddies wielding plasma rifles. To 1990s me, this was a stylish, modern FPS with more atmosphere than Doom's brash metal-inspired MIDI anthems, with real horn stabs that made creeping around a more tense experience. Not only that, the soundtrack kept up with the action; start getting into a tussle with too many enemies and the music starts getting more animated. As I have pointed out in other musings, I love it when music reacts to your play and it is no exception here, as projectiles whizz past and explode, while your trusty arsenal of guns feel suitably weighty plus your psionic mind powers sound as otherworldly and weird as they ought to.

It's still a solid shooter to this day, though side stepping with shoulder buttons is a bit dodgy when you're used to better controls.