After buying "Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence" early in 2007, I was treated to one of the best gaming experiences in recent times. There was one aspect of it that stood out to me: the music. The music was emotional, engaging and not just a little bit movie-like in quality.
Deciding that I wanted to be able to listen to the songs over and over again, I bought the soundtrack to Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater (which is essentially the same game, just without extra features) in June.
My impressions didn't change: the music was just as good, if not better played on CD. Harry-Gregson Williams and Norihiko Hibino are the main composers here, with a few vocal tracks done by artists either hired exclusively for the game, or licensed (such as Starsailor who did "Way to Fall").
Mr. Williams composed most of the dramatic non-battle music, including "Virtuous Mission". It's a rousing military piece and, along with the introduction of Naked Snake, sets the theme for the rest of the story. "KGB vs GRU" is one of the tracks that while energetic on it's own, works much better when viewed with the accompanying action. "Underground Tunnel" is haunting, mostly quiet with an intense part halfway though and manages to make the listener feel they are about to infiltrate a high danger area.
Mr. Hibino composed most of the battle music, including "On the Ground ~ Battle in the Jungle". This is played through most of the game, as Snake spends most of his time outdoors. It's my personal favorite, as it starts off slow, introduces some beats and then jumps right into a pace that uses wind instruments to really hammer in the danger of hiding ten feet away from enemy patrols. "The Fury" is a boss battle theme that, while keeping the player on edge, uses a small bit of guitar at 1:10 in a very nicely done transition. Finally, "Battle In The Base" is the fight theme used in the latter half of the game, and while it relies on remixes of prior Metal Gear music, it adds in it a bit of 60's superspy flair and flute to stand on it's own.
Both composers elevate the overall feel of Metal Gear Solid 3 from "well done video game" to "action-espionage movie".
I want to applaud series creator Hideo Kojima on choosing "Way to Fall" by Starsailor: it makes for good credits music and the lyrics match up VERY closely to the events Naked Snake experiences.
This soundtrack might be somewhat expensive on Amazon ($50) but is still an excellent buy for fans of video game and movie music as well.