Witcher 3: Short-shrifted for Best Music 2015?

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FireBurger

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#1  Edited By FireBurger

Hi all!

I was just rewatching the GBE Witcher 3 Playdate and remembered something--the Witcher 3 has REALLY GOOD music! It's not just typical, swelling, high fantasy fluff. It goes back and forth between calming and powerful and it's got great instrumentation. Not to mention, the occasional vocals are eerie and awesome.

Alas, it wasn't even nominated during the 2015 GOTY awards for Best Music. Do you think this was an oversight or am I just part of a small contingent of fans? What do you think of the music?

Samples

The Trail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju3kFMVhSJU

Commanding the Fury: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=trxSGpAA31Q

Silver for Monsters (skip to 0:45): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQS4o_bYA_M

Steel for Humans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFt8OQOwVIk

Whispers of Oxenfurt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQBQj-vi5hM

EDIT: BTW, the nominees that year were:

Splatoon (Winner)
Metal Gear Solid V (Runner-up)
Crypt of the Necrodancer (Runner-up)
Axiom Verge
Hotline Miami 2
Galak-Z
Assassin's Creed Syndicate
Ori and the Blind Forest
Undertale
Rebel Galaxy
Hacknet
Assault Android Cactus

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Isslander

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Really great music, I listen to it all the time on Spotify. If it wasn't for Vinny, this game probably wouldn't even have made the top ten list (was in 10th place) so it's no wonder it was over looked in some categories. Won Best Looking, though.

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TheRealTurk

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I agree that is has really good music, but also pretty much no one at Giant Bomb ever played it, so I'm not surprised it was left off the list.

Although, Splatoon winning is just a travesty given some of the other games on that list. I want someone to look me in the eye and tell me that Splatoon's soundtrack is better than Ori's while keeping a straight face.

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Efesell

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That's a fuckin' strong year for music I dunno.

Much as I love Wolven Storm.

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frytup

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The game came 10th on their overall GoTY list. I think that probably tells you all you need to know.

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Justin258

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So how many years will it be before people stop saying that The Witcher 3 was shafted somehow in 2015 GB GOTY's?

This isn't me being a smartass, I've just seen similar sentiments a lot since 2015. It's a great game but the GB crew, for the most part, doesn't really get into fantasy stuff. When they do, it's the exception rather than the rule.

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FrodoBaggins

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Definate top 3 for me

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Seauton

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My background theme for my PS4 Pro is one of the theme's from The Witcher 3. I think its "Geralt and Siri" one. I catch myself leaving it on just to hear it while doing stuff in the background or waiting to download a game as opposed to using the "rest" feature.....long way of saying yes, the music is incredible.

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deactivated-629ec706f0783

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@justin258: I mean people still scream about Skyrim winning over Saint's Row 3 so...

Buckle up :(

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OMGFather

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That category was a travesty for many reasons. Ori and the Blind Forest anyone?

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haneybd87

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This had the best music of the decade IMO but the bomb crew barely played it. I’m really looking forward to playing this game again in 4k after I get a 2080ti.

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nutter

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Witcher got fucked that year at Giant Bomb, in general. Music was one of many categories.

But, hey! It’s all subjective and the GB crew wasn’t huge on Witcher (aside from Vinny). Witcher was never going to get its due. It is what it is.

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The_Patriarch

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Justice for Eastern Bloc Shakira.

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Onemanarmyy

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#14  Edited By Onemanarmyy

the thing you need to remind yourself of with all awards is ....according to the GB staff.

They didn't care for the Witcher enough, so it didn't win anything. That choice for Splatoon is very defendable from that viewpoint.

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nutter

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@justin258: It’s probably the most criminally underrated current-gen game among the staff. It’ll be a while.

People will speculate about game of the generation, and Witcher will come up. That conversation still comes up around the 360 generation and we’re probably 1-2 years out from the next generation after that!

I’m all for the crew making their top 10 THEIR top 10. At the same time, I totally get people asking why it was barely represented.

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deactivated-6321b685abb02

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Haha, I was shocked when I saw this wasn't a necro. I love the music in TW3 and would have had it higher myself but each to their own and that. Some of those other games did have really good soundtracks too though tbf.

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Justin258

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@nutter said:

@justin258: It’s probably the most criminally underrated current-gen game among the staff. It’ll be a while.

People will speculate about game of the generation, and Witcher will come up. That conversation still comes up around the 360 generation and we’re probably 1-2 years out from the next generation after that!

I’m all for the crew making their top 10 THEIR top 10. At the same time, I totally get people asking why it was barely represented.

Number 10 on a top ten list isn't barely represented, though.

Divinity Original Sin 2 was barely even talked about, if you want to talk about fantasy RPG's that didn't get enough attention from Giantbomb as a whole. Pillars of Eternity falls into the same place. This just isn't a site you go to for fantasy RPG recognition.

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nutter

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#18  Edited By nutter

@justin258: For as great as it was, I feel 10 was kinda a snub. I also think Witcher 3 is way more accessible than Divinity, Pillars, Torment, etc. It’s not much more hardcore than most other open-world games. That accessibility makes it feel more “snubby” to me...it’s all subjective, of course...

I’d love to see those games get more recognition as well, though. And I agree, there’s not a lot of fantasy love aside from Rorie and Vinny...

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FireBurger

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#19  Edited By FireBurger

Just to be clear, I never meant that the GB staff did anything wrong in their choices or that I demand a re-count. I get that fantasy RPGs aren't really their thing (especially with Dave and Drew gone) and that's fine. Really, the topic is just an excuse to talk about the Witcher 3's music and see if others think it's as damn good as I do!

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nutter

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@fireburger: It’s fucking great. Though there’s very little I’d knock The Witcher 3 for...

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Barrock

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#21  Edited By Barrock

Definitely. I'm really bummed I missed out on the vinyl release.

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loafofgame

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I still remember washing ashore the Skellige Isles and hearing that music for the first time. It was awesome.

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Fezrock

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The Witcher 3 was shafted in some other categories, but not music simply because musical taste is so subjective. And the GB crew has made clear over and over again that do not care about orchestral or classical sounding music, no matter how good it is.

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nutter

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@fezrock: I agree with them generally. I think the orchestral stuff needs to be fantastic to beat remembering a good hook.

Something like the organ playing in Interstellar’s docking scene. I’ve always been partial to the treatment the Elder Scrolls theme got for Skyrim. I can’t hear that without wanting to buy another copy of Skyrim.

I think most orchestral music we get in games and mobies complements a scene well, but doesn’t stand out on its own as something memorable.

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CheapPoison

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The Witcher 3 did'nt get a whole lot of attentino from the crew, while it was easily top 3 games that year.

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Junkerman

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Wolven Storm is awesome - A witcher video came up on my youtube feed last night - inadvertently watched another hour of cinematics that could happen from Blood and Wine if you take a different path... no other game has had such quality.

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haneybd87

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#27  Edited By haneybd87

@fezrock: The Witcher 3’s soundtrack is neither orchestral nor classical sounding. It leans very heavily on Eastern European folk music. That’s what made it so interesting, it was completely unlike anything I’d ever heard in a game.

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nutter

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sparky_buzzsaw

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I can't tell you how many times I've popped on Youtube and put on Fields of Ard Skellig in the background while I work. It's amazing.

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liquiddragon

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What do y'all consider the biggest GB GOTY "mistake?"

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SSully

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I think taste in music is incredibly subjective, and I almost never agree with the crews choice for best music. I think it's a crime against humanity that Austin Wintory hasn't had any of his scores win - specifically for Journey or The Banner Saga.

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Honkus

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#32  Edited By Honkus

Just playing The Witcher 3 for the first time: Music is awesome!

Music is a matter of taste btw.

Don't hate people who don't like "your" music!

I'm out

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doctordonkey

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Every "best music" category on the site is terrible, this is not a crew of people to trust when it comes to musical taste.

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nophilip

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While Witcher's music is great, Axiom Verge is the soundtrack from 2015 that I am still listening to semi-regularly. Some real good atmospheric stuff I pull for D&D sometimes too.

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Efesell

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What do y'all consider the biggest GB GOTY "mistake?"

Mine would be weird since its not even about a game I actually love but Andromeda got like Worst Game in a year where things like Bubsy remakes existed and it was just because some people were too emotional over what Mass Effect used to be.

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nutter

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@liquiddragon: Witcher 3 at #10 was my biggest gripe.

Mass Effect 2’s Shadow Broker DLC losing to Bioshock 2’s Minerva’s Den was another huge one.

Witcher 3 is more my taste (and the taste of much of the industry that year) not meshing with the crew’s...fair enough.

Shadow Broker...go back and listen. Shadow Broker was robbed!

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nutter

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@doctordonkey: Hmm...Donut County’s Quack Anthem was pretty great, but I wasn’t into the rest of that game’s music.

Older pull, but Ryan’s falling in love with Hotline Miami during that first stage that play’s Moon’s Hydrogen was no coincidence...

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Junkerman

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@nutter: That's a good point about Shadow Broker, forgot about that. Shadow Broker felt like the first "DLC" that came out (for me as a consumer anyway) that got the cost/fun ratio down alright. When the credits rolled on shadowbroker I was cool with my 10-12 bucks spent or whatever it came down too.

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liquiddragon

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@nutter: While I agree Minerva's Den shouldn't have won, I feel Shadow Broker is a piece content that should've been in the vanilla game so I wouldn't feel good about awarding it best DLC.

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liquiddragon

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@efesell: I haven't played ME:A but it did seem excessive.

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nutter

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@liquiddragon: Between Andromeda and Destiny 2, 2017 had some massive bummers...

Destiny and ME1-3 were two of my favorites. I love older Bioware stuff and older Bungie stuff. Both studios are pretty much dead to me at this point.

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Onemanarmyy

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#42  Edited By Onemanarmyy

@liquiddragon: the problem with the worst game category is that if they really wanted to nail that category, they would have to look for the sub 1$ games that hardly work or just shove a bunch of achievements to your steam account. Bubsy is at least still a game that lets you complete levels & beat bosses. Going for the absolute worst game would just not be very fun, so that approach is not used.

Sure, there's an obvious difference in quality & ambition between ME:A & Bubsy. That said, if you give a huge team a huge franchise and ME:A is the result after all these years, i can see where they come from. It was not just a dissapointing game, but also a technical mess of a game for them. At some point, the damage is worse than this budget platformer that is around the same quality as the previous bubsy.

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Efesell

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#43  Edited By Efesell

@onemanarmyy: I think what made it stand out was that it had already "won" most disappointing which is the category it absolutely deserves, and Worst Game in the past has always been something completely irredeemable and not something you mostly are just super bummed about what it has done to a series.

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ripelivejam

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Oh I always love people's lingering hurt that GB wasn't capable of validating everyone else's tastes. ;)

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Teddie

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The thing that usually drives a soundtrack home for me is how it's used in the game, and the context given to the music through playing the game, and you can't really expect everyone at that table to have/understand that for every game that gets nominated. Granted, they could probably find a better middle ground between that and the "would I listen to this in my car?" test.

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cikame

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I'm no doubt forgetting what mine would have been, so in the face of no other evidence, Assault Android Cactus wins it.
The Witcher 3 should have been a runner up though.

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mavs

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I can't really fault them for not nominating a game that didn't hold their interest. But I also think they got the top 3 right.

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Fezrock

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@haneybd87: For the purposes of GOTY discussion, basically everything European/North American that sounds pre-Jazz counts as "classical." Whether it's folk, baroque, romantic, renaissance, or anything else. The Witcher 3 soundtrack was created primarily with a variety of wind and string instruments that are not used in modern music, and it isn't rock, pop, rap, synth, blues, jazz, metal, or country. That kind of music is always discounted by the GB crew; whereas for a long time they have overly rewarded (IMO) chiptune music.

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mems1224

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I honestly don't remember any music from the Witcher 3. The nominees you posted were way better and more memorable

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Sahalarious

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@fireburger: nobody on staff really liked Witcher 3, Vinny played all of it but he does that for pretty much anything and didn't go to bat for it, not on anyones mind. I will love it forever though. Splatoon still deserved it