[Games] Get The Bulletstorm Score For Free

There are many things about me that others would find strange. One of which is my secret love for videogame soundtracks. Listening to Harry Gregson-Williams score for Metal Gear Solid 2 is one thing – after all he’s a proper film composer, but I’ll listen to anything. Just this morning on the tube my iPhone was busy shuffling between remixed versions of the Turrican 2 score and the original music from Sonic Colors. When I was a kid I used to run the audio out from my Amiga through a cassette recorder and make mixtapes of the theme tunes to games like Lotus and Supercars. Yes, I need help.

Still, just as composition for film has evolved into a genuine art form so to as gaming becomes more involved and the audio capabilities of the hardware improves, games scores (in the musical sense) have become more legitimate as listening pleasure. Nowadays they’re often fully symphonic affairs recorded in proper studios with major orchestras – but that doesn’t mean they’re easy to get hold of.

Some soundtracks, such as those for Final Fantasy, are pretty well disseminated from a variety of sources. Others like Gears of War of Mass Effect get commercial releases and can be found on iTunes or Spotify. Still more though never see the light of day as legitimate releases and end up available only as rips from the original game release distributed through BitTorrent.

Such was the fate I had assumed would befall BulletStorm, Epic Games recent so-dumb-it’s-smart FPS. Despite scouring the web for MP3s and scanning Amazon and iTunes for a release none was forthcoming.

Brilliantly though, Epic has decided to release the entire score as a free download. It’s 130MB and consists of 24 tracks in MP3 format. The developer says its taken the decision as a thank you to its fans – and it’s one that must be applauded.

In truth I suppose its possible to argue that by buying the game you’ve already bought the musical score anyway. After all digital versions of the music files are encoded on the game disc. The argument differs from that used to justify pirating film scores because on a film soundtrack the dialogue, effects and music are pre-mixed and can never be separated. In a game though the music exists as a separate entity, and if you were so inclined you could extract (or record) the soundtrack at your leisure anyway.

So well done Epic. I paid full whack for Bulletstorm (I’m normally a bit of a gaming bargain hunter so that took some doing) but with this free release you’ve helped me justify the layout. I only wish other publishers would follow suit.

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