Let’s Get MusicalApril 15, 2010
I’ve made posts about the soundtracks in MMOs before, but I’m playing a whole new set of titles now with more of that musical goodness to stir up my emotions while I’m playing my games. Does that sound nerdy? Maybe so, but when soundtracks are done well, they just add to the immersion, and very rarely do I substitute the original game music with my own mp3s when I play. I’m curious as to how other people feel about this. Is game music not a big deal to you, or are you like me and have favorite tracks in games that you like to listen to as well?
My current favorites from the games I’m playing now:
1. OST in STO
Even though there are a ton of good tracks in Star Trek Online, my favorite track has got to be the main title, especially at 1:30. It’s already epic by itself, but it’s especially more powerful when I’m in a crazy space fight and that part comes on. It’s invigorating, and in those few moments I actually feel like a Star Trek captain with the lives of 200+ crewmen in my hands, so I damn well better blow those enemies out of the sky before they do the same thing to me (okay, I know…nerdy again). Another reason I like this is that it sounds distinctively Star Trek-y, but I know others might not agree with me about that. I don’t know why the STO music gets bashed so much, but I do like it and wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a soundtrack if Cryptic ever releases one.
2. The hills of the Shire are alive with the sound of music
There’s a lot of good music from Lord of the Rings Online, and on nights I can’t sleep (which happens often) I would play the soundtrack on my iPod and listen to the more soothing tracks to try and catch some Z’s. My favorite track has to be The Hills of the Shire, though in-game you actually only get to hear snippets of it (at least that’s what I’ve noticed while questing in the Shire). The full version is so beautiful, I don’t know how anyone can listen to this and not be moved by it. Let the music take you away to a warm, summer night in the Shire, and you’re sitting under a starry sky around a crackling campfire with a lute in your hands, playing a little song with three of your closest friends. This is LOTRO.
3. The haunting hymns of Hyboria
I have a feeling this is just me, but Age of Conan is the first MMO I have ever played where a particular song will come on and I would go find myself a nice little place to hide so I can listen to it. My character is Aquilionian so I hear this one, Hamlets of Aquilonia, quite a lot when zoning in and out of Old Tarantia, but I never get tired of it. My praise to the composer Knut Avenstroup Haugen for the AoC soundtrack, because it’s so perfect for this game. Like someone mentioned in the comments for this song, it’s clear he wanted to give back the same amazing melodies that Basil Poledouris did with Conan the Barbarian. As someone who really liked the score to that movie, I can really appreciate the effort that went into creating the music for this game.