Monday, October 6, 2008
In my opinion, music is one of the most important parts of any game. A good soundtrack can turn a decent game into a fantastic one. Everyone recognizes the music from their favorite games, we even buy the games soundtrack these days. There are well loved bands who do nothing but play music from games, others who are inspired by certain games.

Here before you I will catalog a few of my favorites. Music that I think really illustrates the role a good soundtrack can play in a game. If all goes well, by the end of this you should have a primer for what good game music really is.

Advent Rising

First up, Advent Rising. The best way to illustrate the power of this games music is to see it in action. Unfortunately, the best video I could find was this trailer. It isn't the opening sequence I wanted to show you but the music is from the game. That is, it's one of the less spectacular pieces from the soundtrack and it still blows me away. The game itself had a few technical issues but the art direction, story and certainly the sweeping music held the game together throughout it's entirety. To this day, I have yet to hear a game soundtrack to match the power and feel of Advent Rising.

Silent Hill

I was terrified by Silent Hill. We all were. That eerie little town shrouded in perpetual fog. What was it that stuck with you after the nurses were gone, the lights were back on and the game was finished. Chances are it was this. The makers of Silent Hill are to blame for more of my sleepless nights than creepy hobos outside my apartment. For some people it's the imagery that really gets them, but I can't hear this music without feeling like something is right behind me. The music was what sold me on the horror and I bet it was the same for you.

Medal of Honor

Now when it comes to shooters, few have ever made me feel emotional about what I was doing. As strange as it may sound, Medal of Honor was the first game that made me cry. No, it wasn't because I realized my calling as a sniper, no it wasn't (entirely) because I got to dish out some vengeance on some evil Nazis. It was the theme. This music made me feel brave, made me feel like I was part of something bigger than myself.

Shadow of The Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus comes up a lot on this site. Trust us, it's for good reason. The story was amazing, the art direction superb, the gameplay astounding and the level of fine detail unrivaled. However great those aspects were, the music has always stuck with me. I hear it every time I see a sunrise, look out over the lake or see something truly amazing. All the beauty of the world around us is encapsulated in the haunting melodies of this soundtrack. If you don't believe me, look at the sky while you listen to this.

There's more to come from this post. Check back later in the week for the next installment of this piece on game music.