Monday, 6 January 2014

Borderlands 2 OST: A Lost in the Music Review

I love Borderlands 2.

The comic style visuals, the beautiful world, the wonderfully over the top villain. Everything about that game is great. As usual, I will not be talking about the core gameplay itself, but instead I will be talking about the music instead.

At its core, Borderlands 2 is a western game. The character(s) main objective is to kill the man who wronged them and during their journey they become allies with a group of like-minded people who also have been wronged the villain. However, what truly reflects this genre is the music, namely the title theme Short Change Hero by The Heavy.

Short Change Hero sets the tone of game the moment you hear it. The song itself sets up the game perfectly with the chorus:

This ain't no place for no hero.
This ain't no place for no better man.
This ain't no place for no hero
To call "home."

The chorus establishes what sort of world Pandora is. It is a inhospitable, cruel land that breaks people. The people who try to make a living on the planet become broken and spiteful. They lash out at those who would help them and become hateful and violent towards anyone and anything.

What about the other music in the game? Like Short Change Hero it helps with the mood of the game. Instead of establishing the mood however, it maintains that feeling of loneliness and desolation. When you are not in the main hub city of the game, you are completely alone in the world. All the allies you have are back at the hub city and rarely, if ever come to lend you a hand.

Borderlands 2 also gives a reason of why the main character even has music to listen to, even if it a fanon theory. The main radio the protagonists uses to contact people can also be used as a music player. Now why would someone need a radio whilst travelling? To alleviate the loneliness is my answer. I understand that when travelling you need to keep your wits about you and need to be focussed on your surroundings, but you can still do that with music playing.

Music can be used to help keep people focused on the task at hand providing it is not overwhelming and complicated. The overworld music of Borderlands 2 is more simplistic which would be preferable when travelling. You can be focused on your surroundings and still have some form of music in the background to keep you company.

Borderlands 2 is lonely game and is much more fun played with friends. However the music remains some of the best I have heard in this past generation of gaming and when Borderlands 3 comes out, I do hope that Gearbox keeps the cowboy motif. Western games are starting to grow on me and I want to get to know more about the world that Gearbox has created.

If you are interested in the soundtrack, you can purchase it off of iTunes or Amazon.

This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.

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