The last couple of games I have played are indie games, and it isn't until now I realize what makes these games stand out over larger triple-A titles in my mind.What makes these game stand out from the rest is the music. Sure, the music in larger games like The Last of Us has a good sound track; but it was games like Furi, Fez, Hotline:Miami, and others that really made me realize just how great music in video games can be and just how important music is in video games.
When I think of the best sound track I have ever heard in a game -one that combines with the game like butter and toast and is something that I would listen to without the game- that game isn't a multi-million dollar game made by a big company that has dlc release early to certain systems. The game I think of is Furi. Even if I think of any great video game sound tracks, I think of indie games. Sure, I haven't played every game in the world, so I'm sure their are great sets of music in big games. But I still find time and time again indie games to have the best sound tracks in my opinion.
When I listen to the music of a big-budget game, I get the same vibe from that sound track as from any other soundtrack from other big games: the music being put on the back, and sounding monotonous. When you are near some heated-action, some epic music plays. When you near something peaceful, peaceful music plays. And all of it sounds the same to me. But when I play indie games and I listen to the music in those games, I get the sense that music plays a big role in the game and is diverse from each other. I listen to Hotline: Miami and I get a retro synthwave, while Furi gets me a modern, fast-paced electronic vibe. Hyper Light Drifter emits a quiet-yet-curious sound while Shovel Knight is loud and retro. The music in these indie games play such a major role in the game as well as diversifying each game from one another. Having diverse games allows for diverse ideas which gives a diverse experience, and having a diverse experience is what gaming is all about.
So if the music is so great in indie games, what does is do for the experience of the game other than diversify itself from other games? Well, the music sets the mood for what you are currently experiencing . It makes a dull moment interesting. It conveys the overall tone of the game. And so much more. Take Furi, for example. The music is fast-paced electronic, which matches perfectly with its face-paced action and neon colors. But it was also the mood of the music that conveyed the personalities of the different bosses. Just from the music, I could tell is someone was cocky, valiant, humble, etc. But what surprised me the most was when I enjoyed the music the most; in the walking parts between each boss fight. In between each boss fight, you have a scene of you just walking to the next boss, with a rabbit man telling you about what to expect and music playing while you are walking. At first, I thought these scenes were terrible. But it was when I noticed how amazing the sound track is was when I began to love the walking scenes. Now, they are the perfect parts to build me up with excitement for the next boss as the strange rabbit man tells me about who I'm about to fight. Music is such an important part to the game that without it, games would be emotionless and would overall not be as fun to play. And sure, the same exact words can be said for bigger games, but I feel it's the smaller games that put more of an emphasis on music, and do a much better job on setting the mood of the scene and the feel of the game.
Music is very important to games as a whole. Without it, emotions would not cut as deep, the epic boss fight you are in would not be as epic, and the game would not have a great feel and uniqueness to it. Music drives games, and it seems that indie developers understand that best. Now don't get me wrong, their are triple-A games that have great sound tracks. But when I think of great OST(Original Sound Track,) I don't think about the big games, I think about the little ones.