Asides from its music, one thing that I appreciate from games is their sound design. They help you feel like you’re in the game itself, especially if you’re listening with a surround system.
A good example is Days Gone (I know tons of people dislike this title). The game puts you in the middle of an apocalyptic Oregon with Freakers, Newts, Runners, Marauders, and Rippers coming for your neck.
The sound design? Top-notch for me. You can hear the screams of the undead at the distance as well as gunshots of people trying to fend for their lives (or fighting for resources). For the freakers themselves, I am IN LOVE at how they actually sound like zombies instead of someone desperately trying to sound like one but ends up sounding like a chicken being strangled (kidding of course haha).
One night I was sneaking up on a freaker eating a corpse, I could hear the sloshy sounds of human meat being chewed and eaten raw as well as the gurgly sounds from the zombie itself. It sounds disgusting, I know, but it makes me love the game even more because it sounds… realistic in a sense where it doesn’t sound over-exaggerated.
For the guns, they sure are loud. Because the freakers in the game can recognize sounds, there are some points where you’re tempted to shoot an unsuppressed gun. You may choose to do so, but you may attract unwanted guests, or worse, a horde (you wouldn’t that. EVER).
For other details, I love how Deacon’s boots react to different surfaces, the sounds of his boot knife scraping against metal as he cracks open a car’s hood/compartment and doors, his bike’s wheels rolling on dirt (it reminds me a lot when I used to ride dad’s bike when I was a kid), the materials he grabs (sterelizer, scrap, bottle, bandages, etc), rain hitting on different roofs, and even the small comments he does when doing certain things.
As someone who’s been diagnosed with ADHD during their childhood, it sort of “helps with fixating” whatever’s going on in-front of me, however annoying. I could just sit there and listen to Deacon walking in circles instead of playing the game and progressing through it.
As a result, it made me listen closely and appreciate the sounds I make when I do various things in real life as well as the environment around me. I would pay attention to how the fridge’s magnet hits the metal body; closing the door shut, the soft rustle of the paper as I flap through pages, the metallic clang of the utensils as I eat my lunch, the wind blowing through the tress, the animals in the farm next door (I live in a countryside), the birds flying in and out, the rain as it hits our roof, all that shit.
Come to think of it, appreciating the minor details makes my life feel like a videogame too. It helps me focus even, since my mind isn’t wandering around thinking about literally anything. Can you call that as meditation? It feels like it to me haha
Anyways, end of long vent. I thought I’d share it because there could be others here who loves appreciating on small sound details too.
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