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Early video games had a lot of technical limitations that held them back in terms of scale, complexity, and graphics. The sounds were pretty primitive too. When Pac-Man was released in 1980, music fans were rocking out to tracks like “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC, The Jam’s “Going Underground,” and Judas Priest’s “Breaking the Law.”
In contrast, Pac-Man, which was the best-selling video game of that year, couldn’t even deliver background music. Instead, players were treated to an incessant warping noise and the famous beeping sound as the hungry yellow circle chomped his way around the maze. The only remotely musical element was the short monotonic melody that played at the start of each round and when Pac-Man died.
Since the mid-1990s, however, real music has found its way into almost every video game, adding much more to the overall experience.
In the almost three decades that have passed since then, video games have featured some incredible compilations of rock music ranging from legendary ballads to some of the most intense and technically impressive metal tracks. Here are some of the most prominent examples.
Grand Theft Auto Vice City
Grand Theft Auto has always given players a choice of soundtracks while they play, creating mock radio stations that can be cycled through when in a vehicle and Vice City was no exception.
Among the nine different stations, one offers some of the best rock tracks from the era. Known as V-Rock and self-styled as “the 100% official home of rebellion”, it is where players could listen to tracks like Twisted Sister’s “I Wanna Rock,” Mötley Crüe’s “Too Young To Fall In Love,” and Quiet Riot’s “Cum On Feel The Noise.”
Vice City is often regarded as one of the best games in Rockstar’s franchise, despite it not being as feature-rich or as big as some of the more recent releases and the music is, by far, one of the biggest factors behind that.
There really is something special about driving around a mock Miami in a replica of a Lamborghini Countach while listening to “2 Minutes To Midnight” by Iron Maiden.
Guns N’ Roses Video Slot
In recent years, online casinos have been on a quest to diversify their offering so that they can appeal to a very broad mix of players. They’ve done this by creating uniquely themed games that cover everything from Ancient Greece to Italian pizzas. The larger sites have also created their own exclusive titles like Tomb of Ra, Musketeers Heroric Spins, and Diamond Stars.
They’ve also turned to movie creators, TV producers, and musicians to create licensed games that feature their intellectual property. And given that few bands are as iconic as Guns N’ Roses, the guys were an obvious candidate.
Over the years, they’ve produced some of the most iconic rock songs ever released, including “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “November Rain,” and “Estranged.” During their almost 40-year history, Guns N’ Roses have gifted several epic albums to the world, including Appetite For Destruction, G N’ R Lies, and Use Your Illusion I and II. They have all sold millions of copies and achieved platinum status in numerous regions.
With so much material and prominence in rock culture, Guns N’ Roses were always going to show up in various crossovers. One of these is the Guns N’ Roses Video Slot game that combines the excitement of modern casino games with epic tracks from the band.
Guitar Hero is a series of video games all about rocking out to some of the best songs ever written. It was a popular format during the 2000s and early 2010s, with other brands also embracing it.
Instead of a standard controller, players were given a guitar with buttons on the fretboard that corresponded with the colors they’d see on the screen. After selecting a song, they’d have to press the buttons in time with the instructions they were shown, creating the sensation that they were playing the song themselves.
The most iconic track in the entire Guitar Hero series was Dragonforce’s Through the Fire and Flames. On the hardest setting, players would be smashing buttons at a super-human rate and the song became an internet sensation with players sharing videos of them managing flawless performances of the song.