This time round Origami Killer wants to talk to you about what music means to him, particularly when games use it.
I’ve always been a musical person, in my life I’ve learnt how to play Guitar, Violin and now Piano. So when I play a video game the soundtrack is always something I listen out for. For a game to be great it is essential for it to have a really memorable soundtrack in my opinion; it helps me connect with the game.
What has really brought the subject of soundtracks to my mind is the recent “Video Game Heroes” show as part of the Vision Sound Musical Festival. Here the London Philharmonic Orchestra performed many pieces of music from a series of different video games. More can be read here thanks to our very own TSA News Team.
Moving on from the event I would like to talk about some of my favourite or most memorable soundtracks that I have encountered. There are only a handful of games that I have played where I have stopped playing just to listen to the music in the background. Of course one of these games is Uncharted 2.
The soundtrack of the game is without a doubt the best on any game this generation; it’s varied, compelling and powerful. Other than that, the way it seamlessly changes into different moods is a big part of the Uncharted experience. At one point the music is spurring on action and makes you feel like you are right in the middle of the gunfight, similar to the feeling of a huge blockbuster movie. Then, with a snap of the fingers, the music is low and ominous, filling the atmosphere with tension for the gamer. It is utterly fabulous and ultimately a huge part in making Uncharted 2 the great game it is today.
Another main part of a strong soundtrack in a game is its ability to promote emotion. The title that does this best for me is a tie between Heavy Rain and, although not entirely a game, the Dead Island Teaser Trailer. The music scores in both have really made my eyes water and sometimes even shed a tear. It’s these types of soundtracks that I think connect you with the game most efficiently and they are so intense that you don’t even need an image on the screen to get the same feeling. Also for me the Dead Island melody is so difficult for me to describe, other than moving and compelling I can’t think of any other words that do it justice.
I also think that a soundtrack is a very good way to immerse you into a game or help you adjust to the culture of that game. L.A. Noire is a prime example; the in game radio features some wonderful songs recorded and produced by various artists around the world who have all re-mastered the 30/40’s Jazz vibe to near perfection. This makes it very easy for me to imagine the world of the game, but this time it is not by emotion but through the culture of the era.
I hope these examples have shown how music can be used so diversely in video games, which as a result refines the experience of gaming. The soundtrack is something I always keep an ear out for, and can sometimes even be a deciding factor in the decision of purchasing games. With the time and effort that goes into recording these musical scores they really should be more appreciated in gaming.
So do you share the same love for game soundtracks – If so have there been any stand alone soundtracks in your gaming experience? Don’t be shy either when admitting that a certain tune made your eyes slightly misty.