Dead War (Multi, 2020) Video Game Music Review


Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s ongoing hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-ass sounds they make. Today we’re preparing to fight off the undead as we listen to fantastic tunes from Zombie Army 4: Dead War.


I played Zombie Army 4 (playlist / longplay / VGMdb) back when it came out last year. It was good! I liked it a lot, even if it wasn’t the most original idea. Recently I got back into it as Zombie Army 4 got added to Game Pass and it’s one of this month’s PS Plus freebies. I’ve been co-oping with my brother which has been fun, but because we talk a lot, I do miss out on the music.

That’s a shame, because a big part of the game’s cool atmosphere is created by the fun, eerie soundtrack.

Let’s take a listen:

Rebellion (YouTube)

The soundtrack was composed primarily by Nick D. Brewer, with other musicians helping on various tracks. The songs aren’t what you usually get in horror games. Instead of scary pianos or ominous singing, Zombie Army 4 is filled with John Carpenter-like synth tracks. One of my favorites, “At A Time Like This,” features some incredible synth action that could easily fit in any low-budget, mid-’80s action film:

Rebellion (YouTube)

It might seem like an odd choice for a WW2-era shooter about fighting off zombies, but the tone and world of Zombie Army 4 feel like they were ripped straight from some cheap ‘80s film. You know, the kind of stuff you would find at a drive-in, or the kind of movies the gang over at MST3k would riff on. So tracks like “The Village (Reprise)” feel perfectly suited to the over-the-top world of Dead War and help elevate its large-scale zombie fights into something more exciting and intense.

Rebellion (YouTube)

Often on Morning Music, we’ll recommend you listen to the songs we write about and you should! That’s kind of the whole point. But in this case, if you have a PS4 or Xbox One, I’d suggest also downloading Zombie Army 4: Dead War and playing it. It’s currently free on PS Plus and Game Pass, so what do you have to lose? Nothing. And you have so much to gain. Plus, in this case, while the music is great, the whole atmosphere it helps create in-game is worth experiencing. Imagine killing zombies or exploring a creepy village to a track like “Imminent Arrival.”

Rebellion (YouTube)

Or stop imagining, and play it!


And that’s it for today’s Morning Music! It’s 2021 and I’m still playing and enjoying zombie games. Who would have thought that would be true? Got any great music to share from other zombie games? Let us know in the comments. Or feel free to talk about anything else!

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