Video games are an art form, I think we can all agree on that, just as much as any movie, book, or painting can be considered art. But just like movies, video games have the opportunity to pull together a variety of different elements to complete the experience, one of which is music. But how important is video game music to you? Do you prefer games with a banging drum set, or maybe a more ambient soundtrack? Or maybe you prefer games to which you can just chuck on and listen to your favorite playlist/podcast? Whatever it is, we want to know how important music in video games is to you.
Let’s take two wildly different examples. First up we have the latest DOOM games, and forgetting all the recent controversy surrounding the DOOM Eternal soundtrack, DOOM (2016)’s music was pure eardrum porn. And the best part of it was that it felt like it was propelling the over-the-top violence on screen to a whole new level, guiding you on your violent rampage. After playing DOOM for a couple hours you feel like you could punch through a wall, and you probably could if you put on Mick Gordon’s incredible shredding soundtrack.
But then we have the complete opposite end of the spectrum, games like FTL: Faster than Light which so perfectly capture the ambience of a neverending universe. Passing by stars, docking next to space stations, or fighting for your life against enemy ships, the music is a composition of your journey, and never gets in your way. Whilst it may be entirely different to DOOM’s soundtrack, both games would feel somewhat lacking without their musical counterparts.
But there are other games too, much more relaxing ones which under no grounds will require you to listen to them, you can have just the same experience either way. I find myself sometimes listening to podcasts as I drive down icy roads in SnowRunner, there’s a certain transportive beauty to these kinds of games.
So how important is music in video games to you? Is it an essential part of the experience? Or just another feature to turn off? And what kind do you prefer? A handcrafted soundtrack? Or a transportive ambience? Let’s debate!