Hey everybody out there, I worked on sound design in Anarchy Reigns. My name’s Sakata. Today I thought I’d use this blog to talk about the game’s sound effects.
While the sound effects in Anarchy Reigns were made using a realistic sound base, the game also features characters that have gigantic weapons built into their arms. So the sounds maintain realism, but are also somewhat altered.
What this means is, for example, Jack’s weapon is a giant chainsaw. That has presence. If we were to use the noise an actual chainsaw makes, the sound would pale in comparison to the picture. So we decided to use a motorcycle, revving up.
Out of the multitude of sound effects that exist, perhaps most important in a fighting/action game is the sound of hitting something. The bam!/pow!/boom! when laying one on your opponent.
We wanted these hit sounds to be realistic, but as we played the game, we also wanted sounds that felt right, sounds that left a hefty wallop in your ears when you heard them.
During production, the director would often try to tell us what he wanted. Thus began the back and forth brining different variations of sound samples and being told “not that”, “no, not that either”… which continued until we found something we liked and he liked. And that was difficult. Sometimes the sound just wouldn’t fit. And sometimes the most basic of sounds ended up being the hardest to figure out.
There was often a limit to how much could be communicated by just words. Something like “The sound when —– does —— in that movie” is… doable, but when we were told “Like, when something kind of bounces off something and goes powannnn, you know, powwaannnnnnn?” we thought, are you insane!? I have no idea what you’re talking about we had to stretch our creativity as far as it would go until we honestly couldn’t think of anything else.
Here’s a short movie displaying some of the hitting sounds we worked with the director on coming up with:

Finally, I’d like to mention the voice acting in this game. Anarchy Reigns is one disc with five language options: Japanese, English, French, Italian and Spanish. Each character has five different voice tracks, which are used in cut scenes and during actual gameplay. The game has some very talented voice actors for any language you choose, so it might be fun to switch it up once in awhile. Try it out!