GTA3 -- best. soundtrack. ever.
I didn't want to bundle this with the GTA3 Japan thread, as it's unrelated. So sue me.
Anyway. GTA3 has one of the best game soundtracks ever. Is this even up for debate? As Amanpour once said about Rushmore, the soundtrack in GTA3 is so good, it's almost a character in the game. I can't think of any other soundtrack with such obsessive detail, nor can I think of one with such breadth.
The PC version makes it relatively trivial to extract the audio. Listening to the radio stations outside the game, without game-induced distractions, makes me appreciate the work that went into this amazing soundtrack even more.
Here are the raw stats.
KJAH - 19:04
LIPS - 20:07
Chatterbox - 58:04
Head radio - 23:26
Flashback 95.6 - 18:46
Game radio - 15:44
MSX FM - 25:00
RISE - 26:08
Double Clef (classical) - 20:36
That's 3 hours and 47 minutes of music. It occupies 400mb on the play disc for the PC version. I was able to encode all the music as VBR MP3 in "only" 250mb.
I found a fantastic IGN article that covers the audio aspect of GTA3 in some detail. A five part series, to be exact:
http://ps2.ign.com/articles/098/098444p1.html (head/lips/double clef)
http://ps2.ign.com/articles/098/098614p1.html (detail on game radio)
http://ps2.ign.com/articles/098/098753p1.html (interview-- essential)
http://ps2.ign.com/articles/098/098907p1.html (complete tracklist)
http://ps2.ign.com/articles/099/099194p1.html (detail on flashback)
I'm telling you guys, there's some incredible stuff in there. Example. Did you know all the flashback FM tracks are actually from the movie Scarface? Wow.
Except for the obvious parody stuff, which is genuinely funny, most of this is real music and real DJs. All that, plus pogo the monkey. Those nasty scientists deserve to die!
Best. Soundtrack. Ever. EVER!
GTA3 also has my favorite intro of any game, ever. It has a nice, laid-back 70's cop movie feel. The music certainly makes this so more than any other aspect of it. Brilliance, I say.
I agree Wumpus, Rockstar did some amazing work with the cutscenes, the writing, hiring terrific voice talent, and those radio stations in particular. Pity the controversy eclipsed that. Flashback floored me with it's "We play the music you got sick of 20 years ago" tag line and Chatterbox in particular is so dead-on it's scary.
Re: GTA3 -- best. soundtrack. ever.
Agreed. Definitely ... best ... soundtrack ... ever.
Originally Posted by wumpus
BTW how did you extract the audio ? (Yes I am a lazy S.O.B. and haven't checked myself).
You can just copy the \audio folder from the CD to the game's \audio folder on the PC. In fact the latest patch supports playing the music this way, which is faster.
The audio is ~400mb compressed ADPCM WAV files, at roughly.. 256kbps MP3 type quality. Just double-click on the large files and you'll see.. er, hear. No conversion to MP3 is necessary, unless you want to cut the file size in half like I did.
It's just refreshing in this era of checkbox game design and a seemingly endless array of AAA disappointments to see a game that really fires on all cylinders. GTA3 was really a labor of love and it shows.
It's just a pity the PC port was such an afterthought, but it will only be a drop in the bucket next to the hundreds of millions the PS/2 version will make. And given the agreement Take2 signed with Sony, I guess we're lucky to have a PC version at all.
Still it would have been cool to have half way decent mod support ala morrowind or UT, since there have already been some interesting mods (like the snow mod http://www.gamestar.de/news/pc-spiele/action/9249/ ) and a visual map editor http://www.gta3mods.com/
The best part is that if I leave it on the in the background while doing other things, it sounds just like real radio. It's only when I stop to listen to what people are actually saying that I realize it's completely bogus, and hilarious to boot. Even better, many of the URLs have been mocked up so that they actually work. :)