Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for the pretentious nonsense printed below.
Obsidianís Fallout: New Vegas
has cemented itself in my metaphorical heart as one of my favourite games of all time. New Vegas
told a devastating story of a collapsed behemoth of a country struggling to drag itself from the sand into a recognisable representation of the United States. It was a game of genuine beauty: a melting pot of recognisable film elements, from the loneliness of a marauding wanderer devoid of any sort of moral code in a dry desert setting to the tendency of the big city to chew up and spit out those not accustomed to its ways.
I was enamoured with New Vegas
from day one. I admit that I was too busy reassembling the lives of broken wanderers of the Mojave or messing with the politics of The Strip for my own personal amusement to stop and enjoy the beauty of a wasteland sunrise or the sound of age-old undisturbed sand being blown over rocky outcrops unaffected by the years of bloodshed which followed the all-consuming fire of nuclear devastation.
Eventually, however, I stopped. I froze in the heat of the Mojave, holstered my weapon, and allowed perhaps the most beautiful in-game soundtrack I have ever heard to play uninterrupted. Inon Zurís Mountain Day
rang out -- and I forgot about the fast living of The Strip and its secret internal conflicts and just listened to the music, man. Mountain Day
paints a thousand pictures of the Mojave wasteland. The music retains the hot, dusty harshness of the Mojave, but is also very fragile. Iím not much of a musical theorist -- if such an occupation exists -- but the soundtrack is so clear, so direct, that I can sense exactly what Inon Zur was aiming for with his composition. It is littered with sounds which relate to the Mojave, debris of the desert, but conveys such a clear melody. The soundtrack relates exactly to its subject matter -- the mountains. Itís so simple: the soundtrack features none of the hollow diversionary methods many artists drop into their music to create the illusion of depth, none of the irritating lyrical quirks which exist purely to spur debate. Mountain Day
is nothing if not simple: a beautiful melody which aims to describe a certain object or event (in this instance, a place), much like an Impressionist painting.
Since first hearing Mountain Day
, Iíve been listening to Inon Zurís creations constantly. Whatís funny is that I have actually heard Zurís compositions before in such games as Fallout 3
, but I have never stopped previously to actually listen to the content. Taken out of context, it is easy to forget that soundtracks are soundtracks -- they begin to demand actual attention from the listener. In game, however, the soundtrack has no significance: it is simply filler, a tactic which aims to escort the player from one place to another, from one major event in the plot to the next. Personally, I think that this is unacceptable in an industry in which talent is quite simply evolving: not only is art design and innovation blossoming, sound tracking is, too.
I have one piece of final advice, dear reader. The next time you hear what you think is a simple piece of musical fluff interrupting the delicate silence, stop what youíre doing. Stop what youíre doing and appreciate exactly what it is you are listening to.
LOOK WHO CAME:
Lord Death of Murder Mountain