Regardless of what your opinion of the best games of 2015 may be, there have been some truly excellent musical scores for them this year. You have Inon Zur’s often ethereal work on Fallout 4, that punctuated the journey through the wasteland perfectly. Dying Light’s 80’s synth beats paying homage to the classic zombie movies that influenced it, and The Witcher III’s eastern European fantasy swells all being among the legitimate contenders for the year’s best original score. The winner though, was the latest in a series that has had its fair share of fine music over the years. Metal Gear Solid V.
The final installment of Hideo Kojima’s Metal Gear Solid series: The Phantom Pain not only peppered its many hours with classic 1980’s hits, but also gave us an orchestral score from composer Ludvig Forssell laden with inspiration from John Carpenter films (apt considering the links between his films and Kojima’s Metal Gear universe) and 80’s bands like New Order. All while keeping a core reminiscent of previous composer Harry Gregson Williams’ contribution to the series. As well as the orchestral score, Forssell created the original songs ‘Sins of the Father’ and ‘Quiet’s Theme’ for the game, which were performed by singer Donna Burke and model/actress Stefanie Joosten (who also played Quiet in The Phantom Pain) respectively. Forssell’s score has a distinct feel to it that, like the previous game’s music, ties into the game it’s partnered with beautifully.
Considering all the negativity that has surrounded The Phantom Pain thanks to the degradation of Konami’s relationship with Kojima in the past year (coupled with the persistent ‘unfinished game’ claims), it can be difficult to focus on the many things it does so very well. Ludvig Forssell’s score is one such component.
Runner-up – The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
The stunning fantasy universe of the Witcher III was complemented superbly by the original musical score, which was composed by Mikolai Stroinski and consisted of 50 tracks that enhanced Geralt’s adventures through the many wondrous locations of the huge open game world.