No Man’s Sky OST: Music For An Infinite Universe Review
I can’t imagine there’s anyone who’s into gaming right now that doesn’t know about No Man’s Sky. Arriving with a massive indie fanfare back in 2013 Hello Games’ space exploration title has had a meteoric rise to prominence.
Announced some time after, it was revealed that Sheffield based band 65daysofstatic would be providing a soundtrack to go along with the groundbreaking procedurally generated exploration title. Now a video game soundtrack can be an often overlooked thing of beauty. But music, as all art, is subjective, so how does the soundtrack stack up as an individual piece?
I must confess to being somewhat sheltered from the previous music of 65daysofstatic so I was unaware how their particular style might reflect the game world they were trying to embrace with their creation. Any fears or trepidation I may have held melted in the first 5:52 as initial track Asimov washed over me (note: I randomly selected this track – Monolith is the opening track and also superb). That slowly building drum loop and bass jangle seemed to make my 6:30am walk to the train station feel like I was setting out on something special. As the synths kick in they had me. I was away, exploring somewhere new instead of making my normal trudge through a hazy British summer morning. By the time the guitars started pouring out their meloncholically tinged chorus I could feel my hands and mind itching to explore a game world I’ve yet to immerse myself in.
Did I mention that was just one track of 16 available on this compilation? Now let me explain not every one of these compositions can be found in the game No Man’s Sky. Ten of the tracks are directly from the game and form part of its original sound track. The other six tunes are inspired by the game and the exploration of new worlds. Now I have to confess that, for the most part, there seemed to be a stronger focus on the sound with the core ten tracks with a few of the additional tracks not feeling up to the same grade as the others. That said I would struggle to point you to a “bad” track on this album.
There will be some that won’t take to this soundtrack (as there is with all art). You’ll know pretty quickly from the initial track if this is for you and if it is then you’re in for a lengthy soundtrack that will feel like it moves you through time and space even though you’re just sat on a train. Eyes closed, sound up, headphones in and you’ll be taken away – and I’m not sure there can be higher praise for any soundtrack than that. There’s a wonderful layer of sounds throughout. Some soar for the stars whilst others bring home the vast loneliness of an infinite space. Often industrial edged chords tear through melancholic guitar and synths to remind you that between you and space is a small amount of cobbled together machinery. I even felt a few pangs for Oldfield and Jarre in some of the tracks.
How it will lift and compliment No Man’s Sky is hard to say as we’ve yet to take the game for a spin in its final state. That said just a single listen through this well sculpted audio soundscape will leave you in little doubt that 65daysofstatic have put together a strong collection of tunes that not only work beautifully as a stand alone project but would underpin any space adventure, be that game or movie, with pride and panache. I just can’t see how it could’ve been better.
No Man’s Sky is released on PS4 and PC on the 9th and 10th of August. 65daysofstatic’s quite frankly superb soundtrack will be released on the 5th August and can be found in digital, CD and vinyl formats.
65daysofstatic No Man’s Sky:
Music For An Infinite Universe tracklist
- Blueprint For A Slow Machine
- Pillars Of Frost
- Escape Velocity
- Red Parallax
- End Of The World Sun
- NMS_exteriorAtmos1 / False Suns
- Tomorrow / Lull / Celestial Feedback
- Departure / Shortwave / Noisetest
- temporalDissent / ascension_test1 / koaecax
- Borealis / Contrastellar
- Outlier / EOTWS_Variation1