Reader Discussion

Reader Discussion – What’s Your Favorite Use Of a Song In a Video Game?

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With so many games out there, each of them need to (or at least should) have an epic soundtrack that sets them apart from the flood of others. And that sets us up for this edition of Reader Discussion: what is your favorite use of a song in a game?

When the E3 trailer for Assassin’s Creed: Revelations debuted during Ubisoft’s E3 2011 press conference, the background song instantly gripped me. I feel justified in saying it’s actually the best song ever used for an Assassin’s Creed trailer that wasn’t an original composition for the trailer.

By neofolk musician Woodkid, Iron was used to great effect as the background song to the E3 trailer for AC: Revelations. It could be that it’s my favorite only because AC: Revelations was the only game of the series to bring together all of the main pioneer Assassin characters in the franchise (Altair, Ezio, Desmond) for a very important plot element for the Desmond story arc. Or it could be just that the song is really that epic.

How about you decide? What do you think? If you never watched the trailer, you can watch it below. You can also watch the equally-entrancing music video of Iron just below the AC: Revelations trailer below.

Also, if you don’t think AC: Revelations is worthy of the honor I say it does since it’s not actually part of the game, then you’d be right in that respect.

I have two other AC songs, both of which are in one of the AC titles: Ezio’s Family and Earth from Assassin’s Creed 2. Written and composed by Danish musician Jesper Kyd, these two tracks give music-borne shape to the ultimate epicness of Ezio Auditore da Firenze in AC 2.

Of the two, I think Ezio’s Family is the more awesome and awe-inspiring one. Play the two tracks in the embed below to find out why. Let me know what you think, and whether or not you agree, in the comments below!

Of course, you might not agree with any of the above. In that case, it’s all good since that’s what Reader Discussions are all about anyway: an open dialogue between us and you and between all of you with one another. So get to commenting and debating below about what your favorite uses of a song are in games!

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Cedric Lansangan

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11 Comments

  1. Assassins Creed Revelations: Woodkid – Iron

    Assassins Creed Unity: Woodkid – Golden Age

    Batman Arkham City: Example – Playing in the Shadows (UK TV Advert)

    Far Cry 3: Skrillex & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley – Make It Bun Dem

    Max Payne 2: Poets of the Fall – Late Goodbye

    Max Payne 3: HEALTH – TEARS

    Bayonetta: La Roux (Skeam Remix) – In For the Kill (UK TV Advert)

    Bayonetta: Brenda Lee – Fly Me to The Moon

    James Bond Nightfire: Esthero – Nearly Civilized

    Bioshock Infinite: Nico Vega – Beast (Advert)

    Singularity: Vasco & Paul Reeves – Stormbreaker (Cause & Effect trailer)

    Final Fantasy X-2: Jade Villalon – Real Emotion & 100 Words

    Final Fantasy X: The Black Mages – Otherworld

    Final Fantasy X: Rikki – Suteki Da Ne

    Final Fantasy IX: Emiko Shiratori – Melodies of Life (The Layers Of Harmony)

    Final Fantasy VIII: Faye Wong – Eyes of Me

    Borderlands: Cage the Elephant – Aint No Rest For The Wicked

    Fable 3: The Black Angels – Young Men Dead (UK TV Advert)

    Left 4 Dead 2: Clutch – Electric Worry (Advert)

    Portal: Ellen McLain – Still Alive

    Portal 2: Ellen McLain – Cara Mia Addio

    Portal 2: Ellen McLain – Want You Gone

  2. If you mean IN a game then the undisputed champion is so far away in red dead redemption when that song starts playing while your going to mexico it is breathtaking………

  3. All of xenoblade’s soundtrack.

  4. I think In far cry 3 when your burning down the weed and the song burn dem by damian marley and skrillex? Really set the mood,
    And ff13 sunleth melody, I forgot when but made me pause game and enjoy the moment.
    They really do make the moment

  5. Love when Building Steam With A Grain of Salt was used in Splinter Cell: Conviction – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gXTc6RMnr8 – worked so well with Sam’s moment of utter rage.

  6. Lets see, the Metal Gear Solid 3 theme being sung while going up the huge ladder in the game.
    Every single bit of music in Assassins Creed II and Brotherhood by Jesper Kyd, not stupid trailer paid for songs. And its a testament how incredible his music is because Ubisoft had to try and reclaim past glory by remixing “Ezio’s Family” not once but TWICE for main menu music in both AC Unity (about the only good thing about that game) and AC Rogue.
    Funny well known songs that come on at specific points of story missions in Saints Row, like “I need a Hero” during one of the games final missions. :)
    Every single piece of music in Flow and Flower.
    Silent Hill games with soundtracks (and sound effects from creatures and such) by Akira Yamaoka are awesome.
    The Hitman games with soundtracks by again, Jesper Kyd are stunning and are what make these games even better. It is something the AC games are seriously lacking too since Kyd never did a soundtrack since AC Revelations.
    Just about every numbered Final Fantasy game, especially when plots got more intricate and a specific tune plays at a big revelation.
    The ending sequences for ICO and Shadow of the Colossus have the most epic and beautiful music ever.
    Every piece of music in Morrowind, Oblivion and Skyrim by Jeremy Soule. A massive reason I wouldn’t go near The Elder Scrolls Online for even a second is the fact that Jeremy Soule didn’t do the soundtrack.
    And a lot more that I could list but I think I went on long enough. Music is very important to me in a game. Well it makes a game go straight from a 8 to a 10 for me anyway e.g. AC IV was excellent but would have been even better with a Jeremy Soule memorable soundtrack. All I remember about that game was the main menu music (same with AC III also).

    1. Part of the reason I was super disappointed with Halo 4 was because of the music. The music was great, but it wasn’t prominent enough and it wasn’t Halo. Really made a huge difference in my enjoyment of the actual game.

      And yea, AC IIIs soundtrack was superb.

      1. No AC III’s was a massive disappointment and the beginning of the soundtracks forever being forgettable in the series. Lorne Balfe is supposed to be a great composer working with Hans Zimmer alot but the tracks he did in AC Revelations were forgettable and so was most of AC III. And how was the soundtrack in III forgettable too? Because he didn’t write music for when you are free roaming in the wild or the cities.
        Was it not the same person who did the music for Halo 4 that did the rest of the series? So that’s something else 343 screwed up then? I guess the best news to come out of Gamescom 2015 is that there is a new Halo next year NOT being made by 343.
        Yeah music makes a game even better for me. From what I have heard so far in Fallout 4, it sounds like Inon Zur is doing the music again but nobody will confirm this at Bethesda :(

        1. Lolz, that’s what I get for replying to a comment right after waking up n the morning. There were certain pieces of music in ACIII that I liked, the menu music being one of them, along with the chase music near the end of the game when you track down your fate.

          And with Halo 4, Marty O’Donnell was the man behind the music originally, but is now working at his own studio Highwire Games after leaving Bungie and Destiny. Neil Davidge did the music for Halo 4, but for Halo 5 they’ve gone with a new composer whose bringing back the classic Halo music. There was a documentary on it if you check Youtube. I’m not too worried about it.

  7. I think this is really two separate discussions. There is “song” or licensed music, and then original score music. Cedric’s piece and the responses seem to be tending towards the musical score side, so I’ll throw in one of my all time favorites, which I’ve written about before. I could go on ad nauseum on this topic, but I’ll pick one for brevity.

    “From the Wreckage” By Hulick & Wall from the first Mass Effect is a perfect ending piece for the game. It stands well alone for listening purposes, but is even better when played against the game here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h7AB2c-LAI8 Starting around the 1:15 mark.

    In less than 2 minutes it transitions from heartbreaking, to triumphant, defiant and then hopeful. It strikes genuine emotion thanks to the player’s investment into their Shephard and the gaming experience overall. It’s such a great track from a really diverse score.

    1. That’s a good point, James, didn’t think of it that way while writing this. Sorry to everyone for the confusion!

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