Dead Rising’s soundtrack borrowed heavily from the types of tunes you might expect to hear at your average shopping mall. Music piped through the zombie-filled halls was familiar and forgettable—in other words, it was perfect for its setting. Dead Rising 2’s action shifts from that shopping-center location to the glitzy casinos and strip of the fictional Fortune City.

If you’re wondering what that might sound like, you’re not alone. We talked with the audio team at Blue Castle games to find out what kinds of things would be hitting our ears in Dead Rising 2. Audio director Dieter Piltz and music composer and producer Oleksa Lozowchuk were kind enough to answer our questions.

Is Lifeseeker on the sequel's soundtrack? The convict’s theme “Gone Guru” kind of grew on a lot of us.

Oleksa Lozowchuk:  “Gone Guru” actually inspired one of the ambient music tracks in DR2 and was a perfect fit for the outdoor battle in DR 1...this time round, however, we focused on a darker/edgier palette, and tighter rhythmic energy that would help propel the battles, yet still have enough variety for prolonged listening…Another thing we did to make the experience more enjoyable for users, was to implement battle tracks that had vocals, in such a way that you’d only hear the vocal version the 1st time you play the battle, and thereafter, only an alt/instrumental version.

What kinds of influences did you draw from when composing the game's ambient music?

Lozowchuk: Dead Rising has a very strong and loyal fan base, so first and foremost, we drew inspiration from and tried to stay true to DR 1, and its use of ambient music.  People have come to expect a certain unique underscore to their DR experience, and we simply wanted to expand on what that world might be.

DR 2's ambient music centers on striking a contrast of emotion while sandboxing, versus the energy felt when shifting into boss battles, which like the story-based score, has plenty of its own motivation.  In some cases, where I had the chance to look at art concept or 'themed' environments beforehand, I focused on adding another dimension to the space, and tailoring the music to work well with the killer enviro-based sounds our SFX artists created, which very often had their own tonal character.  However, the majority of the music came from immediate/emotional responses I had to simple casino/mall map legend names, since much of the world was only grey-boxed, and didn't exist as I created the music.  Thankfully, when you hear it on the mix stage, along with the crazy SFX, and amusing dialogue, you know that you are in a world none other than Dead Rising.