The Sound of Music
There are a lot of elements that go into a game but there are a lot of things that are over-looked because of gameplay or scripting. The thing that I find drawing myself into a game is music.
Games like Bastion and Mass Effect are praised for their musical score and for good reason. You can have amazing graphics, deep characters and amazing scripting but if you don’t have something to tie it all together; your audience may just miss the message. And sometimes, music just happens to take over.
Take the aforementioned Mass Effect. It’s not a secret that I wasn’t a huge fan of the series until lately and even not I’m still not entirely sold on the game but something I adored was the effort that went into the soundtrack. Mass Effect 2 soundtrack was composed by a guy named Jimmy “Big Giant Circles” Hinson and for me, the sound made the game. In addition to the work that made the game, he’s released unused music for Mass Effect 2. (Available here)
After a while, music speaks louder than the game. Your memory allows you to re-enact the level just by listening to a certain track of your favourite OST.
One thing I’ve found in my years of gaming is that not all OST’s hit the right note. Borderlands OST, for example, doesn’t always make me want to get right into the action. Since I’ve invested more about 70 hours into my favourite game, I’ve done a lot of research for what does get me in the killin’ mood. It has to match the level or your experience.
My Borderlands playlist consists of Jay-Z (Don’t judge me), Cage the Elephant, AC/DC, The Grates, NIN, Muse, Queen, Phoenix and more. There’s a lot of different sounds working there.
I issue a challenge to my readers: Go through your music list and try to make something that suits your favourite game. Comment back telling us of your achievements or failures (depending on what you listen to.) You’d be surprised how easy it is.