I’m getting suspicious of Valve. They might take ages in releasing games, but they do tend to be rather generous. Steam sales. Team Fortress 2 updates. The Orange Box. Every time they hand something over to us with a big smile on their faces, I can’t help but think that they want something in return (aside from our money, but that’s way too obvious a motive…).
Now, uniting my passions for both soundtracks and free goodies, Valve have released a volume of music from Portal 2, called Songs to Test By, which you can download here. Before you say anything, no: it doesn’t have the credits song on it. Hopefully that’ll turn up in the planned later volumes, but if not, you could go to Youtube or, even better, complete the game again. I heard it was quite good.
I make a habit of turning up the music volume in a game’s audio options and I found Portal 2‘s strange, electronica/ambient/techno rave! vibe to be a really interesting accompaniment to the bizarre action of the game, slow and thoughtful in the lengthy puzzle sections but dangerous and pacey in the narrative chunks between them, with an odd mystery at the heart of it. This might not be the sort of stuff you’d listen to regularly on the bus – for that I’d recommend something more structured like Bioshock: Sounds of Rapture or the Assassin’s Creed 2 soundtrack – but it’s absolutely worth a listen. And…well…its free.
Here’s my favourite track so far as a little teaser…