Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Bioshock 2 by Gary Schyman (Review)

We return to Rapture with Gary Schyman’s absolutely amazing followup score to Bioshock 2. The best video game scores are those that you can listen to apart from the game and immediately be transported back to the world in your mind. The main theme itself is haunting and beautiful. It echoes memories of a lost paradise and you can hear the loss and mystery within the music. In fact I will go ahead and make the statement that all the emotion felt in this game comes from the score. Sure the world of Rapture is disturbing and you can credit the game designers for constructing a breathtaking world, but it’s the music that brings it to life.

The music has a sense of timelessness to it. It gives us that Americana feel of the 1950’s, but credit that to the song usage in the game. The score finds balance between the songs to create the overall soundscape to the game. That wailing violin has become the signature of the score and to me that defines the score and is what gives the world and characters life.

While it’s hard to place this score in the realm of horror it does feel that way in certain points. The games themselves especially the first one were pretty scary and intense. The second game story-wise didn’t have that same visceral impact so there wasn’t that much the score could do to expand I suppose. It’s nonetheless an incredibly haunting experience. Schyman really accomplished something with the first score and he continues that here. We will forever associate Rapture with what Gary Schyman has crafted on this amazing musical journey.

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