Rock music and games go together like Simon and Garfunkel, George and Ringo, Tango and Cash.
That is to say, both are mostly enjoyed by young people before they grow up and resign themselves to crosswords and James Blunt.
Let’s take a look at where rock and gaming joined together to make beautiful digital music, maan. Or just weird games.
Iron Maiden are pretty much the Beatles of heavy metal. Whether that’s a good thing is up to you, but no metal band has been more influential.
Iron Maiden is also the reason metalheads have appalling dress sense and awful taste in trainers. The band also fashioned a video game and, naturally, it was terrible too.
It was a shoot-‘em-up where you went through various album covers… erm, shooting things. Truly you will ‘run to the hills’ when you see this abomination.
Brutal Legend wasn’t the best game, but it was – as the kids would say – ‘metal as heck’.
The art design was brilliantly gaudy and over the top, with cliff faces made of amplifiers and lots of steel skulls – channelling the album covers that inspired it so.
Not only that, Brutal Legend featured voice acting by metal gods like Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne.
Ronnie James Dio of Rainbow, Heaven and Hell and Dio fame was meant to be the bad guy, but he couldn’t do it, so Rocky Horror Show star Tim Curry took over. Pretty good trade-off, that.
Not a game about music per se, but it shared many of the metal genre’s traits – in that it’s daft, simple, over-the-top fun about an immortal man with a big sword.
A bit like Highlander, then.
Where Christopher Lambert’s finest hour had Queen as its soundtrack, this had the unmistakable thrash of Megadeth. It was a cracking theme song too, big daft solos and Dave Mustaine being a mad beggar over the top of it.
Earache Extreme Metal Racing
This was an absolute dog of a racing game, with probably the most niche appeal ever.
Remember Carmageddon? It was like that but bad, with the added bonus (or detriment) of an extreme metal soundtrack, meaning you could enjoy the soothing strains of Morbid Angel, Napalm Death and Decapitated whilst running over everything.
We do wonder why it didn’t sell.
Rise of the Robots 2
Remember Rise of the Robots? Remember how it looked amazing, but ended up being one of the worst games of all time? Ever? It got a sequel.
Not only that, but Brian May of Queen did the soundtrack for it. Check out those widdles! But it’s still not as good as the theme he did for Starfleet.
Queen: The Eye
Queen again! And why not, Queen are brilliant.
Saying that, The Eye (or The eYe as it’s stylised) was more of a fat bottomed girl than bohemian rhapsody.
It was an action-adventure set in a dystopian future, like a bad prog rock concept album. Freddie Mercury would have been more of a Banjo: Kazooie man we think.
Omikron: The Nomad Soul
Guess what, it’s another game set in a dystopian future! Only this time the game was fairly decent, and David Bowie had a lot to do with it.
Bowie had some input into the plot and setting and even played a couple of characters in the game.
Maybe David Cage’s later games like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls would have been better if Bowie was involved. Bowie makes everything better.
Kiss: Psycho Circus
Without Kiss, there would be no Slipknot. There would also be no Insane Clown Posse.
Whether this is a bad or good thing depends upon personal preference (personally we are big fans of Insane Clown Posse and Miracles is our Smells Like Teen Spirit), but Kiss are, like Iron Maiden, extremely influential.
Psycho Circus was a first-person shooter that was massively popular among the Kiss massive (they’re that fanatic, they’d buy Kiss toilet roll). It even got some decent reviews too.
Lollipop Chainsaw was surprisingly successful and drastically underrated. It had a great soundtrack too.
The absolute best bit of the game came when the two worlds collided, when protagonist Juliet charged at the gargantuan final boss at high speed, with Speed by Atari Teenage Riot blaring away.
So effortlessly cheesy it was impossible to hide a big goonish grin.
Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series
We wonder just how many people found out about their favourite bands through videogames.
We know for a fact we got into stuff like Dead Kennedys, Unsane and Fu Manchu through hearing them roaring out of our PlayStations whilst playing the Tony Hawk’s games.
And who said games were bad for you? They helped us be cool!