2012 Flushies: Best new MMO music

rohan2Lots of great MMO soundtracks were released this year, and while I’m still plowing through them, here’s the standouts from the ones I’ve experienced.

Winner: Lord of the Rings Online: Riders of Rohan

In my opinion, Chance Thomas topped his already-iconic LOTRO score with this recording.  It’s just such a great soundtrack full of emotionally evocative and aurally awesome songs.  From the LOTRO Legacy medley to the wild themes of riding across the plains, it’s a soundtrack that I could listen to again and again.  It’s got a lot less of the bombastic, hard-to-listen-to tracks that were dominant in Moria, which has my gratitude as well.

Runners-up

  • Spiral Knights: I’m only through the first volume, but dang if this isn’t a catchy, clever score.  “Lucky Knight” gets a lot of play at my house.
  • The Secret World: I just love the theme song — not a lot of MMOs do “eerie” well.
  • Mists of Pandaria: Another excellent World of Warcraft score, par for the course.
  • Pirates of the Burning Sea: I almost, almost put this as the winner, because I’m totally in love with the high seas tunes.  You really wouldn’t regret buying this, I don’t think.
  • Guild Wars 2: Or, you know, this one.  Should I have put this as the winner?  78 tracks, quite a few of which instantly entered in heavy rotation on my player.  But I think I’m going to stick with my choice, as sometimes Soule’s songs get a little samey.
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5 thoughts on “2012 Flushies: Best new MMO music

  1. My lovely bride thinks the TSW soundtrack is *too* eerie (she said “depressing”), which means it’s probably just right.

  2. Am I the only one who thinks the GW2 soundtrack is utterly snore-inducing?

    Mists of Pandaria would get my pick. Sometimes I think the only reason I still play WoW is the music. Even though I’ve let my sub lapse temporarily, I sometimes go on YouTube and listen to Watchers on the Wall. Just amazing.

    I’m also quite fond of TSW’s music. It’s much more subtle than I’m used to, but it’s got a lovely haunting quality, and it does a wonderful job of setting the mood. My only complaint there would be a lack of variety. To be fair, I haven’t played through the whole game yet, but it seems to mostly just be the same few songs wherever you go.

  3. If you think of an MMO soundtrack as a symphony, rather than a collection of songs, the sameness makes more sense. Much like movie soundtracks are basically modern symphonies, Game soundtracks will often repeat themes, and no single movement will sound very different from another, though there will be variation. Now, whether it works as an entertaining whole is a different question, with an entirely subjective asnwer.

  4. I love me some MMO music. Thanks a lot for making this post.

    Also, I couldn’t agree more that Jeremy Soule’s songs feel very samey. Honestly, I wish he would go back to his earlier styles. One of my favorites of his is Total Annihilation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxAdOQtAFEs) back from 1997. Since then he has gone from exciting tracks to boring background tracks… well, in my opinion :)

  5. While I like the music in Guild Wars 2, I have to be honest and say it probably shouldn’t even be a contender here. That’s because the vast majority of the music is just recycled from the original Guild Wars.

    I played Guild Wars since the E3 Open Alpha and hearing the exact same tracks in Guild Wars 2 that I got bored with after hundreds of hours of playing the previous game was definitely a disappointment.

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