When I write, I put on music. When I play RPGs, I put on music. I don’t know anything about music, really, but here’s something I’m listening to.
I thought Jason Graves was a strange choice for Tomb Raider at first. I associate his name with Dead Space, where I first heard of him, and I’m not familiar with the soundtracks for those games yet. The big thing that Lara Croft has been missing, musically, in my opinion, is a terrific theme. Would Jason Graves provide that?
Sort of. Tomb Raider features a pretty decent theme for Lara Croft… but we barely get to hear it in this score and I remain skeptical whether it’s a theme that we’ll hear build or expand in follow-up games. Even the Lara Croft movies failed to stick to a musical theme for her. A shame.
Having played Tomb Raider now [here's my review] I see why Jason Graves was chosen. It’s sort of an adventure game but it’s definitely a survival game — and it’s sometimes horrific. Graves brings urgency, dread, melancholy, and hope to the score, especially through wonderful percussion motifs, but the menace and action is often frantic. I’ve listened to the score a few times now but my first impression was that it was too aggressive to fall into the background while I wrote. Yet I have it on now and the sound is coming across as something more varied than my first listen suggested. So I’ll give it a shot for certain writing projects — I certainly enjoy the textured strings and variety of percussive elements in here.
If Graves can build on the Tomb Raider theme here in a future game, I’ll be happy.