We’re listing the ten best Soundtracks of the Decade. These are the ten PlayStation scores released over the past decade that we believe left the biggest impression on our sonic palettes. Whether it’s Journey's Grammy nominated masterpiece or Destiny’s 8 movement symphony, these are the soundtracks that hit the best notes across the last ten incredible years of gaming. Head here to see the complete series.
Supergiant represents one of the greatest indie studios in the medium. Making their debut with Bastion, excitement was through the roof when it came time for the follow up. And what a follow up it was. A colourful, gorgeous pseudo-cyberpunk world where you play as a singer who lost their voice is such a killer setup that we were right there alongside everyone in our excitement. But the game proved to be even better than we could have possibly imagined. This extends to the soundtrack as well.
Technically Transistor offers two soundtracks in one. We have the “normal” score done by Darren Korb that plays through most of the game, with the occasional vocal track – all sung by frequent collaborator Ashley Barrett – and then we have the “hummed” soundtrack. One of the game’s most interesting features is a controller button that allows the player to have Red hum along with whatever track is playing at the moment. The end result is basically an entire additional soundtrack, as well as a heck of a lot of additional songs that are amazing. In some cases the hummed versions of these tracks are even better. And knowing the context of how these arise in-game makes their haunting beauty even more powerful.
Plus more than any other game that appears on this list, the music becomes an element of the narrative itself. The vocal tracks you hear in-game were sung by you, but at a point prior in your life. This flies in stark contrast to the now-mute protagonist, making the power songs even more powerful than they would otherwise be.
One particularly interesting aspect of Korb’s work is that it generally skips lush orchestral arrangements in favour of something more stripped down. Fewer elements stack on one another to craft tunes, which greatly helps cement the identity of the music. It’s hard to hear a Darren Korb soundtrack, and not know it’s from Darren Korb. The way he uses drum tracks in particular help separate the sound of Supergiant titles. This is used to great effect from even the first track on the game’s soundtrack, 'Old Friends', which sounds like a song off a rock album.
How did you like Transistor's music? Do you still hum the soundtrack like we do? Let us know in the comments section below.