In our soundtrack adventure, we all have, at one point or another, scoured the internet in search of articles and rankings presenting us with the best/most iconic albums. There are many of such publications, and at the same time there are far less articles talking about music that is, well, bad. Thus, I put on my HazMat suit, wrote my will and went on a dumpster-diving mission in the very heart of a musical equivalent of Detroit (starting here). Because there is no need for soundtracks this bad to suffer even more, I decided not to rank them by how horrible they are. Also, I don’t think anybody could stand more than five of these babies, so that’s how many we will check out.
Horror games developers need to get their inspiration from somewhere, after all.
Why the need for such an article? As good game soundtracks are easy to find (worst case scenario) or within two clicks away (best case scenario), their not-as-good counterparts can pose a problem in this matter. It would be worth it to scoop some of them in one place at least by the duty of a chronicler. It’s also a refreshing experience to expose ourselves to drastically different music than what we are used to, because what else can show us how good the Doom soundtrack is than something like Postal 2? Listening to such horrible (by most standards) tunes also stimulates us in an entirely different way, so even if in the long run it’s not a very „cost-effective” approach, our creativity and taste might get a proper boost. Howgh!
Big Rigs: OtRR is one of those soundtracks that instantly make us wonder whether the purchase of the game was the right thing to do. Because it probably wasn’t really justified. With extremely generic chord progressions and the overall mix that could be the nightmare of any engineer, the music is already doomed. But there is a worse part – quasi-lore-building in a shape of Asian borrowings (flutes, drums). If at least one of the maps presented us with an Asian landscape, it would be legitimate. But in this case, all we can ask is: is that the supermarket clearance bin music?
As opposed to Big Rigs, Mortyr 2 is an exceptionally ambitious bastard that shows off its knowledge about the instruments of the symphonic orchestra. Moreover, it’s trying to convince us that it knows a thing or two about military songs. You know what? It wouldn’t be as bad if it wasn’t for poor sound libraries it uses. With a premiere in 2005 it’s not unforgivable, but I cannot forgive the overall character of the tracks and their melodies – resulting in an unintendedly laughable, horribly grotesque pathos. And poor implementation of the music.
Despite a tiny little detail that Postal 2 is just one big joke and it’s hard to take this game seriously, the Running With Scissors’ „piece” („masterpiece”?) got exactly the music it needs and deserves. Stereotypical redneck metal mixes with vulgar EDM from a gay club, and the only thing worse than Doughnut Shop is probably Map. The second instalment in the Postal series is a curious game with even more curious music, but by any ethical and aesthetic standards, it’s soundtrack is simply, horribly, tragic.
Limbo of the Lost is probably the most honorable acknowledgement in this filthy ranking. Main Theme sounds like we gave our grandma a toy keyboard and asked her to tap in a couple of tracks, which we can later only pray that will sound alright when layered. Well – those definitely do NOT sound acceptable. All we can do now is ponder whether the developers took a step further and hired their janitor or landlady. Even though I could only reach one track from the game, I’m pretty sure it’s for the better. Nota bene, the only, and a very remarkable (given the game’s nature) positive quality, is an undeniable lack of plagiarism.
If you thought that a game where Joseph Stalin fights aliens is a tremendous idea and wanted to pursue it, now is the time for your enthusiasm to vanish. Even more horrible are the musical decisions of the developers/composers: mixing The Alexandrov Ensemble with a Maluch Racer soundtrack/acid techno/disco and a couple more genres. Although from time to time the OST is not that bad, it’s more idiotic moments definitely make up for this macabre of a soundtrack, which is worth exactly how much the game is. Which is not much at all.
You’ve reached the end – congratulations. After washing your hands and ears and dissolving the clothes in acid, let me know what your worst soundtrack nominations are. Horror games developers need to get their inspiration from somewhere, after all. And the more the merrier, who cares if we’re laughing through tears?