Space Invaders - speed up music
Our list begins with a classic. Space invaders was the 1970s arcade game that became a worldwide sensation after being ported to the Atari VCS home gaming system, spawning countless hours of fun in the process.
The game utilised an iconic 4-note chromatic motif in its soundtrack which kept a steady pulse to underpin the gameplay. When the player has 1 enemy left to kill, the music and gameplay animations would accelerate to put the player on edge and ramp up the excitement. This goes to show that simple ideas executed well can take you very far indeed.
World of Warcraft - Level up sound
WoW is the quintessential MMORPG, and for many years during the late 2000s and 2010s it reigned supreme as the number one most popular game in the world.
The game features a level system where players must grind for exp and better gear, completing dungeons and quests along the way. When a player finally reaches enough exp to progress to the next level they are rewarded with this iconic sound effect.
For anyone who has played Wow, this sound is super satisfying and is sure to conjure up many fond memories of reaching a new level after hours and hours of grinding.
Dead space - train room
Dead Space took the industry by storm upon release thanks to its intelligent game design, presentation and storytelling.
The audio design of Dead space is on another level entirely, however, and for many, it remains one of the best sounding games of all time. The audio team really went to town, throwing everything they can at the player to scare them senseless.
In one memorable moment, the player walks through an industrial area of the ship and its greeted by the most deafening and disturbing of ambiences in what has been come to be known as "The train room"
Left 4 dead 2 - The witch
The left for dead series is known for throwing hordes of rampant zombies at the player and giving them many different types of enemies to deal with. The witch has become infamous as the one enemy that no one wants to run into.
Its creepy combination of sobbing and whimpering when it's in its dormant state, contrast with its demonic cries and piercing screams once it has been awoken make for an intensely memorable enemy, and one that has all players on guard when they enter a new area of a level.
Gears of War 2 - Killing the Riftworm
Gears of War 2 has no shortage of epic sound design moments, but we felt that chainsawing your way through the heart of a gigantic worm and then slicing your way out in a tsunami of blood takes first prize.
This mission is a long one and has you making your way through the worm's anatomy, encountering various enemies and bodily hazards that are trying to kill you. We love the progression of the background ambiences as you moved through the digestive system up towards the heart of the worm, and the heart itself has a colossal heartbeat that adds a rhythmic layer underneath the climactic section of the level.
We can only imagine the mess that must have been made in the developer's foley studio to create all of these gory sounds.
We hope you enjoyed this article!
If you enjoyed this post please check out our ultimate guide to audio post-production: https://www.344audio.com/post/the-ultimate-guide-to-audio-post-production-sound-design
344 Audio is an Audio Post Production studio in Manchester.
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