Music often plays the role of a neglected child within video games, as many people mainly just focus on visuals when describing their game.
You don’t believe me? Well then, just completely turn down the music the next time you’re playing your favorite adventure game (or movie) and you will see that the effect is quite tremendous.
We barely pay attention to musical details when playing, but there are so many good soundtracks out there being worthy of a closer look. With this series I’ll try to showcase diverse selection of old and new game OSTs (original sound tracks) alike.
I hope you enjoy listening to my selection of top game soundtracks as much as i do. 🙂
Descent by itself was a game way different from what you would normally expect from a shooter. Instead of being able to move int he classic 2 directions you piloted a small maneuverable ship within mines, a setting that was granting you full 360° navigational freedom (and a lot of confusion on top). Fighting mainly against fierce-looking robots the musical score perfectly underlined the experience, blasting a selection of ambient, industrial rock and electronic beats towards your ears.
Descent 2 has been an evergreen to me, still being on my portable players for the occasional listening experience. Due to the age of the game the soundtrack is rather hard to get these days. Your best bet is either YouTube or GOG, where the OST comes included with the game. To give you a good first impression, have a look at the title song below:
Descent 2 – Title
Bastion is one of the newer examples of how an indie game can greatly profit from not only having a unique narrator voice but also a great musical score to boot. The game throws you into a post-apocalyptic setting, throwing in a mixture of steam punk, and western and wrapping it up all up with a lot of humour and colourful graphics.
While the narrator surely is something that left a huge mark in the indie gaming scene, the soundtrack is not falling short in any way, featuring lots of good acoustic guitar tracks on a very high production level:
Risk of Rain
Risk of Rain was not only impressive from a graphical point of view, i would also go as far and consider it as a milestone when it comes to roguelikes, as i stated in my review of the game. The pixel visuals are reduced and minimalistic, but the setting on an alien planet was transported perfectly.
This is mostly thanks to to the outstanding musical score which manages to combine a dark, ambient chiptunes with catchy and sometimes soothing melodies. I have a hard time finding a favourite among these tracks as they all are very unique in their own way:
FEZ has been a very interesting game in both gameplay and world design. The pixelized look of a seemingly 2-dimensional world is nothing new when taken by itself, but the musical score truly gave this game a sense of exploration, driving you forward just to explore new levels and their corresponding music.
FEZ is a great example how relaxing music can sound both interesting and catchy. The tunes of this soundtrack will remain in your ears long after you laid down the controller:
Deus Ex – Human Revolution
Deus Ex is an impressive game that tried to improve upon the many good traits of its predecessor – with great success i might add. The game features a futuristic setting where mankind is on the verge of redefining their very existence by pushing artificial augmentation and bionic body part replacements in the center of every aspect of our daily lives.
The score in the game perfectly underlines this unsettling futuristic scenario, perfectly setting the mood with the dark and epic opening theme called “Icarus”. The sound in this game reaches a level of fidelity that you only know from blockbuster movie, and it fits the gameplay just like an augmented glove.