How DOOM’s Soundtrack Made It A Better Game

DOOM’s Soundtrack Sets The Bar For Videogame Music


The soundtrack for Doom 2016 was released today on iTunes, Google Play, and Spotify, and the only official announcement of it was a single tweet from the artist responsible, Mick Gordon. It wasn’t announced by Bethesda, or iD, or on the Doom website, Facebook page, or Twitter account.  Despite this, the news has been covered by PC Gamer, GameSpot, Kotaku and, most prestigiously, Hey Poor, and the DOOM reddit and tumblr communities pretty much lost their minds over it.  But why? Well, in case you’re not aware, perhaps because you are iD Software, I’d made a video to talk about why the DOOM soundtrack is so special, and how it shows the way music in a videogame should work.

One of the things that makes videogames unique as a medium is that they combine a lot of other mediums into a single cohesive whole, when done right. A good videogame uses visual art, video production, writing, and music all to express some idea or theme. And that idea doesn’t have to be particularly deep. For DOOM 2016, they lay it all out for you in the opening lines of the game:

“They are rage, brutal, without mercy, but you…you will be worse. Rip and tear, until it is done.”

See, DOOM 2016 isn’t just a first person shooter. It’s a horror game, where you are the horror.  Like its classic predecessors, DOOM 2016 has one goal, one idea to express: making the player feel as awesome and as powerful as possible. To that end, watch the video above and see how different the game is with and without music.

I. Coleman
I Coleman believes that videogames are the most important, most fascinating, and most potentially world-changing entertainment medium today. When not saying dorky, embarrassing crap like that, I is a game designer, science fiction author, and former reviews editor for the now-defunct with years of experience writing for and about games.

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