2019 TechRaptor Awards - Best Soundtrack Award

2019 techraptor awards best soundtrack

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2019 TechRaptor Awards - Best Soundtrack Award

January 7, 2020

By: Andrew Otton

 
 

The importance and impact the music of a game has is often forgot by people. There are definitely songs that stick with folks, but, with some rare exceptions, the soundtrack to a particular game is not the thing most people bring up first when reminiscing about a game. It cannot be stressed enough, however, just how much the right piece of music at the right time takes the experience, whether that be an epic fight or emotional moment, and raise it to the next level. Here's the games we thought did it best in 2019.

Here's the list of nominees (and here's the list of nominees for all award categories):

Readers' Choice - Death Stranding

Developer: Kojima Productions | Release Date: November 8th, 2019 | Game Page

More than just a game to play, Death Stranding is a world and story Kojima wanted us all to experience. The music of Death Stranding definitely enhances that. A mix of original music and songs from various groups, much of the game is spent with just the sounds of the world to accompany you. However, choice moments have one song or another come alive to perfectly complement the mood of the story at any given time.

 
 

Third Place - Cadence of Hyrule

Developer: Brace Yourself Games | Release Date: June 13th, 2019

cadence of hyrule

By Austin Suther

It’s no surprise that a game that remixes classic Legend of Zelda music deserves a spot as one of the best soundtracks of 2019. Once those iconic tracks from the series start to play, you get put into a trance and become engrossed with the exciting gameplay of Cadence of Hyrule.

Indeed, Cadence of Hyrule’s soundtracks are undeniable bangers. What makes this particular game so special—and its predecessor, Crypt of the Necrodancer—is the intersection of gameplay and soundtrack. Players must move their character to the beat and rhythm of the songs while fighting bokoblins and other signature Zelda enemies, and it must be no small feat to create these sweet beats that also dictate how players control their character. 

Second Place - Death Stranding

Developer: Kojima Productions | Release Date: November 8th, 2019 | Game Page

 
 

death stranding

By Nick Maillet

Music is often an overlooked factor in what can make a good game great. Death Stranding is one of those examples where the music carries a scene or section of the game from pretty cool and unique to extraordinary and impactful. From the licensed songs by CHVRCHES, Low Roar, and Bring Me The Horizon, to the incredible score from Swedish composer (and long time Kojima Productions asset) Ludvig Forssell, it’s clear that just as much attention and creativity went into the Death Stranding's beautiful but often times claustrophobic and dissonant soundtrack. It’s not often a video game gets a score as unique and cohesive as this one, so even if the game itself didn’t capture you, it's worth a listen. Also getting Ollie Sykes to scream again in Ludens is a gift we all didn’t know we needed.

Winner - Sayonara Wild Hearts

Developer: Simogo | Release Date: September 19th, 2019 | Game Page

 

sayonara wild hearts

By Robert Scarpinito

Often, a soundtrack props up the rest of a game’s strengths. Dramatic story beats are bolstered by a swelling score, and there’s no shortage of iconic battle themes that make each encounter engaging. Sayonara Wild Hearts, however, puts its soundtrack front and center, to the point where developer Simogo describes it as a “pop album video game.” The vibrant visuals pair perfectly with the poppy choruses, creating an audio-visual soundscape unlike any other. In many ways, Sayonara Wild Hearts presents a synesthetic delight that shouldn’t be missed.

Across its 23 levels, you’ll come across all sorts of tracks that vary in length, with a majority of them being instrumental. Sayonara Wild Hearts contains a few overarching chapters that all have different feelings to them, and the music Daniel Olsén and Jonathan Eng bring to the table sells those distinct atmospheres. From the opening moments with a dreamy remix of “Clair de lune” to the pounding beat of “Hearts & Swords,” everything comes together to create one big fever dream of color and sound.

Arguably, though, Sayonara Wild Hearts puts on its best performance during its setpiece moments, when vocalist Linnea Olsson joins the fray. These could be seen as “boss battles,” but these segments go beyond that. As an example, early on you’ll play “Begin Again,” which starts with a meandering melody laid over a low-key beat. As it swells into a soaring chorus, the arcade-like gameplay shifts, and your character begins to fly along to the music. The things you do as a player changes based on the music, bringing you one step closer to being in touch with the soundtrack. Sayonara Wild Hearts offers an experience most video games don’t, and it’s something everyone should try at least once.

What did we get right? Wrong? Miss anything? Let us know in the comments below!

Andrew Otton
EIC

Editor in Chief at TechRaptor. Writing about games since 2014, he has long believed Dynasty Warriors 4 to be the pinnacle of gaming.

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