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Dead Nation

Original Soundtrack: Ari Pulkkinen
Sound Design: Ari Pulkkinen
Publisher: Sony
Released: 2010 / Q4
Music Style: Hybrid genre (rock, industrial, orchestral, ambient)

Dead Nation is a top-down action video game for PlayStation 3 developed by Housemarque, released in 2010 on Playstation Network. Dead Nation takes place in an apocalyptic world that has been overrun by a zombie virus. Players help human survivors battle hordes of zombies that have overrun a post-apocalyptic city.

Dead Nation original soundtrack reflects the tensions and the horrors of the post-apocalyptic world. The soundtrack, composed by Ari Pulkkinen, changes dynamically in-game, variates from different tension levels and locations. Melancholic/melodic distorted guitar and syntheziser lines layered over pounding biomechanical rhythms are heard throughout the game and the pacing shifts from percussive attacks to more atmospheric pieces.

Sound design was created in realism in the mind but it’s also a homage to classic zombie and splatter movies. Sound design takes advantage of high-end surround systems and custom mix-matrix that creates a Hollywood style audio experience, bringing up the special effects, guns and explosions. All zombie vocals were also custom made for Dead Nation with the help of enthustiastic and motivated actors, from game designers to audio professionals. You can also read Sony’s audio blog about Dead Nation.

Dead Nation Soundtrack (OST) track list
(Dead Nation Soundtrack is not yet available)

01: Ari Pulkkinen – Dead Nation Main Theme
02: Ari Pulkkinen – Shop of The Dead
03: Ari Pulkkinen – Brain Damage part 1
04: Ari Pulkkinen – Last Barricade Fallen
05: Ari Pulkkinen – Zombies on The Run part 1
06: Ari Pulkkinen – Zombies on The Run part 2
07: Ari Pulkkinen – Zombies Inside, Do Not Open, Ever
08: Ari Pulkkinen – Brain Damage part 2
09: Ari Pulkkinen – The Dead are Waiting
10: Ari Pulkkinen – The Dead are Stalking
11: Ari Pulkkinen – The Dead are Closing
12: Ari Pulkkinen – The Dead are soon permanetly Dead
13: Ari Pulkkinen – Brain Damage Part 3
14: Ari Pulkkinen – Wail of The Souls
15: Ari Pulkkinen – Wail of The Rotten
16: Ari Pulkkinen – Wail of The Dead
17: Ari Pulkkinen – Wail my Bullets, Bitches!
18: Ari Pulkkinen – Sacrifice of The Body
19: Ari Pulkkinen – Sacrifice of The Mind
20: Ari Pulkkinen – Sacrifice of The Soul
21: Ari Pulkkinen – Sacrifice of The Life
22: Ari Pulkkinen – Enough of Sacrificing, Here’s Johnny!
23: Ari Pulkkinen – Biting down the Capsule

Quotes from reviews  

  • “Uncomfortably realistic audio” -Joystick
  • “The soundtrack is equally as stunning with a rocking score that ramps up with the action of the game and a fantastic lineup of sound effects for all of the various weapons and explosions. All of these aspects create what could be one of the “creapiest” environments ever created in a game. It is very hard to describe the tension that the game builds up when a player is strolling down a deserted alley, only to here a door bust open and a seemingly never ending stream of zombies explode out, running at you… just like when the first time you experienced a rushing horde in Left 4 Dead. There is a polish found on Dead Nation that other games could and should study and make note of.” -GamingNexus
  • “Ominous sound effects round out the impressively grim atmosphere, setting a great stage for your fight for survival.” -Gamespot
  • “The incredible detail contained in Dead Nation is only heightened by
    perhaps the greatest use of audio I have ever heard in a videogame.”
  • “The sound department is also worth mentioning. The guitar heavy music takes its cues from 28 Days Later, but the sound effects were the star of the show. Walking over a pile of slaughtered undead resulted in horrifying squishes and crunches, and kicking around junk all over the street sounded surprisingly realistic. Gunfire penetrating zombie flesh and routine explosions also hit their marks, but what surprised me was every single zombie seemed to make its own noise. Rather than cover their bases with a collective zombie moan, Housemarque went the extra mile. You’ll know you’re in trouble by the wall of sound slowly closing in.” -Digital Chumps
  • “Ambient soundtrack laced with vintage Dawn of the Dead era Goblin-esque thumping that’s guaranteed to get the blood pumping. It’s truly grim stuff with a high level of action and violence. Knowing Romero, I’m sure he’d approve of the vibe of Dead Nation..” -DreadCentral
  • “The sound effects and soundtrack add a huge amount of gory flavor to this well-designed shooter. The music will kick in hardcore during moments of extreme tension (usually during level-ending encounters or when fresh swarms come at you from all directions), and the satisfying crack of a weapon along with the sickening impact of bullets hitting rotting flesh…Dead Nation looks and sounds great, and that’s a huge benefit.” -PSXExtreme
  • “Sound design is truly outstanding… perfect audio design” -PSNation
  • “Sound design and music are solid” -1UP
  • “It is difficult to heap enough praise onto the sound and audio design. In a game where darkness is all pervading and what’s hidden from the player having such a huge role, the ability of the audio to carry the show, both in creating atmosphere and providing you with information, is hugely important. In both respects, AriTunes have done a superb job. The 5.1 audio is used to superb effect, with the direction of on-screen zombie assaults brilliantly linked to an associated speaker…All the sound effects in the game are superb. Gross, dangerous and ferocious, from the splatter of a zombie headshot to the solid clunk-click of your shotgun re-loading, everything just sounds terrific and puts many full price releases to shame. Dead Nation shows that there is no excuse for not making the audio in your game work as hard as the graphics.” -GodIsAGeek