Composers in games are always the bloody bridesmaids. While Kojima, Clifford Bleszinski the Third and Shigeru Miyamoto lap up all the credits, complimentary hookers and free mini muffin baskets, the men and women behind their games' epic music go unnoticed.
Steven Spielberg famously said that composer John Williams' score in Jaws was responsible for 50% of the movie's success. And when you consider the iconic tunes from Super Mario Bros. or Shadow of the Colossus' sweeping score, it's hard to underestimate the impact a well composed soundtrack can have on a title. But while the music itself is often celebrated, the talented folk behind it rarely are. That's why we're giving some of gaming's finest composers the long overdue recognition they deserve. Oh, and don't worry peeps, the mini muffins are in the post.
Harry Gregson Williams
Notable scores: Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
Before a certain suave owner of the sexiest in specs in gaming approached him about scoring a mildly anticipated game, Williams was a big time Hollywood composer. His works include Enemy of the State and Team America: World Police (F*CK YEAH!). Ahem.
Anyway, during the development of Metal Gear Solid 2, Hideo Kojima sent Harry a sample tape with loads of the composer’s music on it, some of which he hadn’t even been credited for. Williams was so impressed by the effort Kojima had gone to, he immediately agreed to start work on Snake’s megaton adventure, even though he’d never scored a game before. And as your eardrums will attest, the results were nothing short of epic.
Notable scores: Men of Valour, Fallout 3, Prince of Persia (2008)
After assumedly realising there was only so much emotion he could squeeze out of the men-in-cheap-plastic-suits genre, Zur made the wise move of switching to game composing. While we love the melancholy tunes of Fallout 3, his theme for Vietnam shooter Men of Valour is pretty inspiring.
Notable scores: Mass Effect, Myst IV: Revelation, Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow
Despite these kick-ass accomplishments, and his award-winning work on Myst IV, Jackie boy will always have a special place in our ears for the Mass Effect menu music. Known as Vigil, we spend hours just listening to the ethereal melody that so beautifully encapsulated the mythic wonder of exploring space. God, just thinking about it makes us want to treat our earlobes to a damn good stroking.
Notable scores: Freedom Fighters, Hitman series, Assassin's Creed II
While we love what’s he’s done in the murder folk for moolah genre, our favourite score of his comes from 2003’s criminally overlooked Freedom Fighters. A pulsating, rousing composition, it made the already frantic squad shooter even more intense. The Battle For Freedom, which we’ve included below, is pretty incredible. And we can say with confidence, there’s no other piece of music we rather shoot Russians in the face to.