65daysofstatic - No Man's Sky: Music for an Infinite Universe

by Nathan Fidler Rating:6 Release Date:2016-08-05

Possibly one of the year’s most anticipated games comes out this week: No Man’s Sky. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s a procedural space exploration game, with an almost infinite number of planets to discover, name, and plunder. With such a massive scope, it’s only right that it has a massive soundtrack to accompany it.

It’s not often you see much credence given to a video game soundtracks - they have to be extremely memorable to garner much attention and it’s usually a sense of nostalgia for a retro game which creates the love of these soundtracks. But perhaps we don’t give the music in games enough credit; when it’s good it can be a truly great addition to a game, creating atmosphere and adding to those epic moments.

In hiring 65daysofstatic to create a soundtrack (as well as six soundscapes), the team behind No Man’s Sky have landed themselves a band already known for their panoramic space-ambient epics. Music for an Infinite Universe really helps to ramp up expectations, merging swathes of guitars, delicate piano lines and swirling fuzz. Without even playing the accompanying game, you can feel the tension and the awe mixed together. ‘Escape Velocity’ conjures up the nerves of blasting off into unknown space with growing, almost alarm-like synth sounds over a regal piano.

If you’re not a fan of lengthy ambient music then you clearly won’t enjoy this - and it can feel very similar across many tracks. This is probably due to the fact that the music in a video game should rarely stand out on it’s own, it should be part of something bigger. There are plenty of interesting moments however, including the thundering drums of ‘Red Parallax’.

The 'soundscapes' are even more aloof. Ethereal, and probably better suited to having on in the background to lull you into sleep, they have their own beautiful moments, but it’s all a lot to sit through if you don’t feel any affiliation for the game.

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