I've been playing a good bit of Risk of Rain 2 (opens in new tab) lately, which graduated from Early Access today. I expect I'll play hours more, but in the long run I think I'll rack up more time spent playing the soundtrack than playing the game. It's excellent, and too easily drowned out by the action. Thankfully there's a remedy: it's on Spotify now (opens in new tab), including several new songs added for the 1.0 update.
It's hard to beat the Risk of Rain 2 theme, which builds from quiet, ominous outer space ambiance to full-on electric guitar wailing over five minutes. Damn, is this song cool. Just listen to it:
Risk of Rain 2 composer Chris Christodoulou definitely rocks out a few times on this soundtrack, with most of the songs starting out a little John Carptentery as they build in intensity. For a more contemporary comparison, think the Stranger Things theme, except it keeps building until it explodes. These are strong beats.
Of the many things added in the 1.0 update, my favorite is quite possibly the song "...con lentitud poderosa," which starts with some tragedy piano, layers in some mournful acoustic guitar, and finally goes big and electric, adding huge bombast to the game's final level. I'm not going to embed that one, because experiencing it in the game is too good.
The electric guitar on Risk of Rain 2's soundtrack makes me want to air guitar at my desk, but its energy is way more While My Guitar Gently Weeps than Breaking Benjamin. And it's not omnipresent. Many of the tracks are content to be more atmospheric, backing up the isolated planetary expeditions you go on. For me, they're perfect work music, with enough drive and energy to them to keep my brain buzzing.
I'm guessing Risk of Rain 2 will get some post-launch updates, considering how much of a smash success it's been so far. I hope those updates include a few new tracks, because I'm going to wear these ones out. Not literally, although I could, since it's also coming to vinyl via Black Screen Records (opens in new tab). It's up for order now, but won't ship until October. Chris Christodoulou also offers the whole soundtrack on Bandcamp (opens in new tab) for a bargain $6, if you want to pay a few bucks directly to the composer of these fine fine jams.