Video Game Music: Ten of the Best Soundtracks
Video game production is, in many ways, quite similar to film production. With computers gaining in speed, power, and storage all the time, companies are producing games on a much larger scale and with huge teams of developers. Strangely, one of the aspects that are frequently overlooked is the music: that is, it is overlooked by the gamers, not the companies. However, if you love the music tracks that are you find in your favorite game then checking out avandalagu.com is a great way to download and enjoy those intense soundtracks for free.
Developers have long understood the importance of a good soundtrack. By definition, game music is repetitive: given that a gamer is going to spend scores, if not hundreds of hours playing, it’s practically impossible to provide a unique soundtrack for the entire duration. Consequently, it is vital to provide background sound that is not annoying.
Over the past decade or two, this aspect of the video game industry has advanced incredibly – going from bleeps and whistles to fully orchestrated suites of music. It has produced such pieces as the theme from Halo 3, which is regularly voted as one of the best individual works in the genre, and the malicious A.I.’s hilarious rendition of Jonathan Coulton’s “Still Alive” in Portal.
Here’s a list of ten of the best: not just one song, though – the entire soundtrack.
- Star Control 2
It’s dated now and sounds a little too much like a trip back into 80’s-style synth music, but this game’s soundtrack was exceptional at the time. Every alien race had their own theme which worked really well with their personality in-game and, given the number of races, repetition wasn’t too bad.
- Evil Genius
Not only one of the most humorous games ever created, but one with a great soundtrack. Dramatic, Bond-style opening titles, and superb in-game pause themes were backed up by other tunes that captured the atmosphere perfectly.
- The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
An excellent orchestral soundtrack, with a remarkable main theme, but this one into the list. The game itself was epic in scale, with the music adding to the player’s immersion.
- Rome: Total War
Somewhat more repetitive, given the length of time a player spends in the game, the soundtrack is still quite remarkable. Beautifully scored orchestral pieces accompany the menus and battle results. The producers did an excellent job on this one, especially on the introduction video sequence, where the animations tie in smoothly with the music.
- Dungeon Keeper 2
In a daring move for game music, Bullfrog stepped away from the genre standard here and opted not for purely orchestral music, but a mix of medieval-style choral sound and modern rock and dance tunes. And they really mixed it: the Horned Reaper’s theme, for example, goes from a choral/organ combination into hard rock. Superbly executed.
- Tropico 2: Pirate Cove
Much lighter, in keeping with the game’s tongue-in-cheek style, the music was not only very well matched to the game’s feel but had a tendency to stick in the player’s head for hours. Worse than elevator music in that respect, it was still a great soundtrack!
The original Tropico game had a wonderful Cuban-style soundtrack. Performed by Daniel Indart, a collection of a dozen songs played behind the scenes as gamers built their tropical paradise. Very mellow and memorable, one could even find oneself humming along without realizing it.
- No One Lives Forever
Stand back, Austin Powers! This sixties spy romp game was not only hilarious to play (with some of the best dialogue ever written for a game) with a superb storyline, but the music backed it up completely. The opening theme manages to communicate exactly what to expect and the other pieces never let the player down. Excellent.
Another memorable game, with an excellent story and great execution in gameplay. The soundtrack captures the feel of the period setting perfectly, to the point where it can sometimes be tempting to steal a car and go for a drive (in-game, of course) just to hear another tune. Dramatic when needed, lighter when appropriate, this one’s really great.
When Homeworld was named Game of the Year in 1999, a special ‘GOTY edition’ was released which included the soundtrack on a separate CD. The music was quite simply that good. Tracks such as Samuel Barber’s haunting Agnus Dei (a choral piece) provide the perfect counterpoint to the compelling storyline, and the bulk of the music (original pieces were written by Paul Ruskay) befits the grandeur of the game. Truly memorable.