In my classes last week I touched on several topics related to music, such as Feedback and Immersion. Audio is something that can be universal, yet so specific at the same time. Small queues, subtle or loud, that warn the player of their circumstances are common elements in any sound design these days. Music can also be incidental, breaking a mood and throwing you right into another, crafting a dynamic presentation that makes use of the interactive storytelling possibilities in video games.
New Vegas has been my vice for the last week. Previous to its release, Bethesda released a variety of Developer Diary videos showcasing Obsidian's take on evolving the original Fallout 3's mechanics and story. Below, around 1:45, they discuss the audio design behind the game and what they've done to improve upon looping background music and environment ambience.