That’s right, you read that headline correctly! A new generation of console gaming is upon us. That means not only do we need to alter the headline of these monthly recaps to account for Sony’s newest massive piece of hardware, but we have ourselves a very, very busy month of music to discuss. So without further ado, let’s dive in!
Okay, so this one’s a bit of an odd one to start with. The soundtrack isn’t necessarily good in a traditional sense, but it’s a musical experience unlike anything we’ve seen in a game and it merits mention. The music that you can make with this is both wonderfully creative and legitimately pleasing to the ear. Or, you can go in the other direction and create the most unholy abominations known to man. It’s really all quite impressive.
While the quality of the Assassin’s Creed series has fluctuated wildly through the years, one aspect that never wavered was the music. That remains true here as a battery of three composers delivers the goods. Series newcomer Einar Selvik, a returning Sarah Schachner — who scored Assassin's Creed Origins, one of the series’ very best — and original Assassin’s Creed composer Jesper Kyd all deliver an almost incomprehensible number of amazing tracks.
Ah, Austin Wintory. Basically, any soundtrack he ever composes seems to wind up on these lists. But there’s a very good reason for that; Wintory is one of the best composers that the medium has ever known, with both a patented and incredibly versatile toolset. The Pathless has all of the understated beauty we’d expect out of an Austin Wintory score, but with some added surprises. The Pathless has a particularly intriguing emphasis on percussion and throat singing, and in fact, the title’s final boss music is one of the best pieces of music we’ve heard. Ever.
How could this not be on here? FromSoftware’s titles always have incredible music! The top-to-bottom remake from Bluepoint Games also includes a reworked soundtrack. While a couple of the tracks might have less of that goofy charm — we’re looking at you Tower Knight — the overhaul is generally a welcome one. The new score does a phenomenal job of capturing both the spirit of the original music, as well as the atmosphere of the new incarnation of the title.
The gonzo title from Octodad developer Young Horses, of course, needs to get a mention on here too. With a deliciously — pun intended — eccentric soundtrack from composer Seth Parker, the game has a sound all its own. And that’s to say nothing of the Bugsnax theme by Britpop artist Kero Kero Bonito, which accompanied the title’s debut trailer. A quirky, mischievous delight!
The PS5 pack-in was an unexpected delight on all fronts, offering up a charming and fun look back at the entire history of PlayStation while also managing to look ahead. And yet another of the regions the title excelled in was the music department. A soundtrack comprised almost exclusively of earworms, composer Kenny Young’s music is going to be sticking with us for a long time. Especially the GPU Jungle theme! While the game’s not got an official soundtrack just yet, we can hope. It deserves it!
Wow! Talk about a loaded list! The new generation of consoles certainly brought the noise, didn't it? We can't wait to see what's in store for the final month of 2020, but it can't possibly top this right? We'll also have our usual annual best soundtracks list too of course!