By insanejedi 10 Comments
This is primarily a response to something the Listen Up podcast said 3 weeks ago that most of today's games do not feature original music, or music that is particularly memorable, saying it's all just mood these days. I wanna prove that memorable themes are very much alive today, and there all around us, so I'm going to post up a list of video game themes of games that came out after the year 2000 that I find totally memorable (In no particular order). You guys can go ahead and post up other themes to other games, the only criteria is for games that SERIES originate after the year 2000. So games like Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess do not count as their series originate further than 2000. Let's begin!
Call of Duty
The trumpets of this song reflect the patriotism and pride that goes into soldiers during a time of war, while the violins apt on the feeling of brothers in arms between the soldiers. All this while a memorable melody plays throughout the theme.
Call of Duty 4
Maybe it's the number of hours spent in this menu screen looking for servers in multiplayer, but I find the Call of Duty 4 theme to be perfectly memorable. Infinity Wards 180 turn is evident even in the music. Flying in the face of the patriotic and heroic trumpets, we have a low bass line and a synthesized music to reflect on the high-stakes the game represents and gives it a cold feeling, while the violins play the melody, taking center stage without being too dramatic like it's predecessor.
Medal of Honor
Infinity Ward's WW2 Call of Duty wasn't really the game that kick started the whole WW2 shooter craze. Medal of Honor was noted as probably the closest thing you could get to Goldeneye on the PS1 those days, but the series went on to be something bigger in scope than that. It's also where most of Infinity Ward's team got their bearings in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. But throghout the PS1 era, all the way to the Xbox 360 era the theme of this game has changed very little, and I think that's because It's so superb in many ways. I think you can blame the fact that Medal of Honor has always been one-sided in the conflict of WW2, showing only the patrotic American hero, but that's what also makes this theme so great. Unlike Call of Duty which has to contend with several nations, Medal of Honor only needs to deliver the American patriotism and focus on it. So the song mostly focuses on very heroic sounds that are attributed to American heroism, such as the trumpets, marching drums, cymbals, and higher pitched string instruments. All of which is not lost in translation in this wonderful melody.
But the theme ended up being a lot more versatile than one would expect. Video Games Live wanted to show something a little more serious to show that video game music is very artistic in nature, and can be used in something as serious as war footage and come off as tasteful. An operatic element was added in, as well as lower pitched strings, giving it a much more somber tone, and successfully reflects on the challenge of taking the losses and the horrors of war successfully.
Edit: I just realized that the series originated pre-2000, oh well. The basis of the philosophy is the myth that modern gaming music with all the options of a symphony orchestra forgot how to do memorable themes. Medal of Honor had all the materials to create any sort of "moody" music they wanted to, but created a memorable theme when there was no actual need to.
Battlefield theme (Huh, maybe there is an order here.)
Where the Medal of Honor theme and the Call of Duty theme may reflect on the sort of patriotism and the nationality of a country during a time of war, Battlefields theme is primarily all out action. And like the Medal of Honor theme, it hasn't changed that much over the years, showing that this theme has a lot going for it. The theme represents effectively the varied elements of warfare the game represents, the drums reflect on the marching and running soldiers of the battlefield, while the solo trumpet gives the image of the fighters in the blue sky.
I'm kinda tired, so this will be a small part series. Feel free to add whatever you feel like is memorable music in today's modern gaming history.