Music to soothe the savage soulBy Ryan Noik 17 February 2015 | Categories: feature articles
Game soundtracks are often ideal accompaniments for the working day, particularly those where providing sweeping orchestral music has been lifted to an artform. Worth noting is that most game soundtracks are particularly designed to help players focus on the game, without distracting them. Below are a pick of five of the best soundtracks that you may wish to add to your working life.
Music to start the week to: Shadow of the Colossus
Scrub ‘Eye of the Tiger’ from your playlist and instead get the work week off on the right foot by starting it with the uplifting Shadow of the Colossus soundtrack. Even as the week may loom like that game’s titular giants, the soundtrack manages to be strong without being overly strident, inspiring without being distracting and uplifting enough to wave goodbye to the post weekend doldrums. Alas, it is the only soundtrack on our list not available for purchase on iTunes; tracking down a copy of your own may require a little perseverance.
Music to tackle a tough assignment to: Darksiders 2
Often sweeping in its scope, the Darksiders 2 (review) score alternates between relaxing one and striking chords of determination. Often beautifully and unobtrusively filling the silences, it’s the kind of music that strikes just the right note between allowing listeners to clear their minds and concentrate, while occasional choral voices and the periodic more strident accompaniments keep one awake and alert enough to accomplish the task at hand. At more than 80 minutes long, there is plenty of focused determination on offer.
Music to relax and revitalise to: Rayman Legends
The game itself was full of joyous whimsy, and the score echoes that perfectly. Often upbeat, playful, and frequently surprising, the score lightly dances from one tonal range to the next. Much like the Rayman Legends game (review) it accompanied, this is one score that successfully keeps boredom and the mid-week malaise far at bay. It too has not scrimped on running time – at 97 minutes, there is a fair amount to dip into as the day progresses.
Music to prepare the year-end report to: Dragon Age: Inquisition
One of the more recent additions to the soundtrack world, the score for Dragon Age: Inquisition (review) is every bit the peer of the game it was created for, which is certainly saying a lot. It is notably darker than the other scores on this list, more serious and more somber at times, but also more given to inspiring a sense of triumph, resonating with purpose and resolve. Occasional and subtle choral voices, along with distinctive percussive strains also provide the sense of an epic undertaking, subtly urging one to press on.
Music to usher in the weekend: Destiny
The longest soundtrack on this list, clocking in at close to two and a half hours, Destiny is also the one that speaks loudest of unexplored promise, of great and grand things to come. Whether the game that shares its namesake delivered or not, its soundtrack still inspires hope that what is to come – namely, your weekend – could. Even if your plans entail no more than sending malevolent aliens back to the Void on the tip of an explosive bullet, Destiny is a worthy soundtrack to bid the working week goodbye and welcome in the weekend.
If game soundtracks cost more than you are willing to spend, then consider taking a look at Audiomachine’s albums – Epica and Tree of Life are particular favourites - or to stream, visit its YouTube channel.
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