One of the most important aspects of the video game experience, that never seems to get the respect it deserves, is the music. Setting the mood and creating the right atmosphere is crucial when playing video games. When the game has stellar music, the overall enjoyment can rise dramatically.
Game music has always been extremely important to me personally. No joke, it may be one of the top three reasons why I became a serious gamer in the first place. Starting with the unbelievably addictive synthesized sounds of the NES and other early systems, music in games has evolved to include full orchestras belting out the scores for today’s top games. Iconic series like Final Fantasy, Zelda and Mass Effect have brought musical genius to the forefront of the industry and have made the games even more atmospheric.
The mainstream entertainment community seemed to finally realize how great game music can be with the nomination of Austin Wintory’s work on Journey for Best Soundtrack for Visual Media at this years Grammy Awards.
Although we are die-hard PC gamers here at Xfire, when a quality original title like Journey comes along, we will always take note. I am consistently on the lookout for new video game music (my Spotify playlist is dominated by this genre) and Journey is a strong example of how good it can really be.
Even though the Journey soundtrack was amazing, and deserves all the accolades it receives, the end result at the Grammy’s was not extremely surprising. Just take a gander at Mr. Wintory’s competition this year:
John Williams – THe Adventure of Tin-tin
Howard Shore – Hugo
Trent Reznor – The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo
Hans Zimmer – The Dark Knight Rises
Ludovic Bource – The Artist
Damn, thats a pretty brutal list of nominations for the new guy in town. When you add this “murderer’s row” of Hollywood heavyweights with an awards show that is famously behind the curve, it can be expected that Journey would not make it to the winners circle. Either way, great job to Mr. Wintory for creating an unbelievable score to go along with one of the best games of the year.
What are your favorite video game soundtracks? How important do you feel that music is to the overall experience?