Chris Vrenna; the fifty-two-year-old American musician, engineer, songwriter, remixer, programmer, and founder of the hot 90’s synthpop band Tweaker. Yeah, I know that’s a lot to wrap your head around.
But it should be even harder to wrap your head around the fact that you’ve probably never heard of him. I mean, this is the guy who scored most 90’s kids’ favorite video game – Quake Champions. Let’s jump into the absolute best video games Chris Vrenna ever scored!
While Quake Champions might not be everyone’s favorite Bethesda game, it sure as hell stands the test of time – especially with that soundtrack. You might remember Quake Champions from its catchy (yet dark) title screen and music to match.
The beat-heavy scores in the title screen remind the player enough of the soundtrack any given Mad Max movie to get the blood pumping in anticipation. It is (in my opinion) the perfect blend of top heavy metal and ominous synth music.
The music playing when you win a game is one of the sweetest sounds a player can hear after a long game – And it’s one of Chris Vrenna’s best pieces. I don’t exactly know if it’s the beautifully scored tones or the taste of sweet, sweet victory, but this one has to be my favorite. The sound of Chris’ music in the game fits so perfectly to the brash and hardcore tones in the character model design; I couldn’t imagine anyone else making the music for this one of a kind masterpiece.
Alice: Madness Returns
Alice: Madness Returns is a video game so uniquely early twenty-teens that it should come to no surprise to you that it’s scored by the dark soul that is Chris Vrenna. The artwork of this video game is like something out of a Tim Burton movie combined with the weirdness of one of his love affairs.
It’s the story of a girl (Alice) and her journey through Wonderland as you traverse through level after level of platforming and bizarre art design. The music for the first few levels is strange, but after you’ve fallen off of a spinning cog more than ten times, you really start to hear the music more than before – and it’s pretty pleasing to the ears.
Chris Vrenna does a great job of finding the strangest little noises to incorporate into his songs while making them easy enough to listen to that your mind almost forgets you’re listening to any music at all. The music blends into the game seamlessly in this way.
Enter the Matrix
While “Enter the Matrix” might be seen now as a joke of a video game; evident by numerous joke-playthroughs of the game on Youtube, in its day it was a highly desired product.
It has a slightly different angle than most other popular video games, mainly because of its origin. See, the Matrix had already been a major motion picture twice-over before this game even came out – so it’s soundtrack didn’t come out of just anywhere.
Regardless, Chris Vrenna did a fantastic job of combining the synth-themes evident in the Matrix movies with his own personal style to reveal a truly cinematic and original soundtrack.