Tuesday 6 December 2016

Time To Split

Frequent readers should know by now that I'm no stranger to posting game soundtracks. But this time I'm going to cover something a little special to me, I've said before that I give some credit to games in general for making me realise electronic music was my thing and what I'm about to cover was one of many that had a hand in that. I've held off posting any of this for petty much the entire time I've written here and now seems a good time as any.

Yeah we're talking TimeSplitters 2, the frantic arcadey shooter that occupied much of a young Foxbat's time. The main composer for TS2 was Graeme Norgate, who like most of the Free Radical crew was ex-Rare and himself is responsible for some tunes from GoldenEye for the Nintendo 64. We're going to start off with the TS2 version of Streets, which blew me away when I was younger, I'd never heard straight-up trance in a game that wasn't licensed music, and it accompanied the often frenzied shootouts on the map in spectacular fashion.

There's a wide variety of moods and genres explored as one would expect from the games time-hopping aesthetic. It gets remarkably chill at points too, take the theme for the industrial tiles in the mapmaker mode, not necessarily what you'd expect in a fast-paced FPS but it works out. I only really got to appreciate it on it's own like this, my experience with it in the game was quite limited, usually brief snippets caught while everyone was reloading in splitscreen.

The single-player had some gorgeous tunes too, a lot of quite ambient stuff come to think of it. TS2 is also one of the things that made me realise I dug cyberpunk before I knew what cyberpunk was even called. Returning t it, it's fun to see all the little references put in too, I didn't catch the significance of "Neo Tokyo 2019" back then, and the level itself is pretty much a love letter to Blade Runner and Graeme's soundtrack has hints of Vangelis' soundtrack too, which only makes me love it more.

-Claude Van Foxbat

No comments: