Video games are rad. I used to be an avid gangster in GTA V and a grunt killer in Halo 4 before moving to San Francisco where I sadly have no time to enjoy video games like I used to however I am still involved in the culture. For me, the piece of the puzzle that completes a game is the soundtrack. Just as much as visuals contribute to the gameplay so does what the player hears. I was reading an article on The Verge about Noct, a 2D top-down multiplayer survival horror game with a killer soundtrack. The soundtrack was created by guitarist Robin Finck of Nine Inch Nails and Wordclock. These two geniuses have come together for the paycheck and what is arguably one of the best soundtracks for a video game this year. The track I specifically am going to highlight here is ACAS.
- Noct is a horror game and one would expect the music to be ominous. There needs to be a feeling that at any moment the character will die. In the game you think you are safe and even with your back against the corner you are completely open. That is what the first part of the track conveys. Darkness and no hope for survival.
- Then almost 1:30 seconds into the track we hear the sound of Robin's guitar as he strums out powerful chords. I haven't played the game so I don't know where this song comes in but I would have to say this is the point when the sun comes up, the character is scarred for life, and time moves on from the horrible happenings from the game. The fact that I can vividly think of the game's progression just by listening to the music tells you that the music is powerful.
- In terms of the composition, it is completely sublime. Wordclock's sound design and composition of ACAS leaves you in a state of awe because of the beauty of the track while you are deathly afraid of what is going to happen in the next phrase. Robin's powerful guitar playing gives the track the boost it needed to become epic. These two working together turned out to be a very fruitful endeavor and I hope Robin goes on to lend his guitar mastery to more games.
Listen to ACAS below and be sure to check out Noct for the full, epic soundtrack.