Game music of the day: Mass Effect 2

GR's ongoing tribute to the beloved world of videogame music

Game: Mass Effect 2

Song: Callista (Afterlife Club)

Composer: Saki Kaska


Above: Callista from Mass Effect 2

Games try their damndest to immerse you in a virtual world, to make you forget you're sitting on a couch staring blankly at a television screen. One of the best ways to secure such immersion is audio - the more realistic the effects and music, the more believable the world can become. Mass Effect 2is tremendous at this, and nowhere is it better exemplified than the seedy, smokey Afterlife club on Omega.

The first ME had some small nighclubs and "sketchy" areas, but they still felt remarkably clean. Afterlife, on the other hand, is a garish, glitzy assault of colors and sound, and feels more like a real place than 90% of the areas we've seen this year. But without this perfect background club music to tie it all together, it'd be just another well-designed room with no soul.


Above: A nice sample of strolling through Afterlife, plus the Asari who runs it all

I was so taken with this track that I started to look into the ME2 soundtrack solely so I could hear it again. To my surprise, Callista wasn't on the OST I paid for (thanks, EA), which naturally turned me to the internet. After some quick browsing I noticed Callista was a licensed song, not something composed for ME2 - that explains why it's not on the OST. However, that also means it could be licensed elsewhere...


Above: Derp, futuristic nightclub atmosphere ruined

So not only was Callista used in another game, it was used in a 1999 Need for Speed, by EA, who later published Mass Effect 2. Oh it's still a great song (along with the entire ME2 OST), but it's always a little heartbreaking to find out something you thought was unique has actually been used before... nearly 10 years ago.


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