Deus Ex Soundtrack, Michiel van den Bos / Alexander Brandon / Dan Gardopée, 2000
Cyberpunk-themed, Blade Runner-inspired video games are dime a dozen, but only very few could claim to be as ambitious and influential as Deus Ex. Building a staggeringly complex science fiction world, Deus Ex required a soundtrack that appropriately mirrored the myriad facets of its universe – and the composing trio of Michiel van den Bos, Alexander Brandon and Dan Gardopée pass this test with flying colours. Their score remains within the established futuristic cyberpunk template, but explores this genre’s artistic possibilities to the fullest. Starting with its justifiably classic “Main Title”, the Deus Ex soundtrack complements its synth-driven, heavy and brooding atmosphere with confidently implemented acoustic elements. The composers manage to score every location of this vast game with rare intelligence and creativity. This quality particularly shines through on those cues that integrate ethnic elements. These world music influences aren’t just used as a convenient way to add colour to the soundtrack’s palette, but rather to concoct music of enigmatic and unsettling beauty, turning Deus Ex into one of the best Western sci-fi game scores.
Purchase on Good Old Games (in an extended album presentation that adds more than 30 minutes of mostly unremarkable material).