Game Music, Reviews

Shadowy Electronica Beauty with Oblitus Soundtrack (Review)

March 7, 2015 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Shadowy Electronica Beauty with Oblitus Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

Let it never be said that 2D is dead in terms of ambient games. The advent of independent games has opened up new avenues for young developers who grew up in the mid-late ’80s and early ’90s to throw-back to the games we grew up with. With games such as Shadow of the Beast creating surreal atmospheres back then, and more recent games such as Dark Souls doing so in 3D, it’s the logical step to attempt combining elements of such games into new spiritual successors, both in terms of scenery and sound. That’s how you end up with games such as Oblitus.

Recently released on Steam by Adult Swim games, Oblitus is a 2D action platformer that has been noted to take many cues from the ‘Souls games with some Shadow of the Colossus design choices. You take control of a character with a weapon and spells and traverse a stylized 2D landscape shrouded in mystery and shadow to battle all manner of creatures in a bid to uncover your memories. It’s a short game and relies heavily on the atmosphere and brutal gameplay to keep your interest. Said atmosphere is aided by the game’s soundtrack.

Josh Whelchel (Wind-Up Knight, Bonesaw) was in charge of delivering a soundscape that helped drive the game as much musically as it was by it’s artistry. To do this, Whelchel created a six-track OST that consists of ambient electronic compositions that are rife with dark tones and tributes to games of the past.

The first track probably my favorite, “Agra Veda [Origin]”, features deep bassy beats and a simple overlaying melody that reminds me a bit of puzzle game Globulous. The tracks builds up nicely from a softer piece into a riff that can be heard recurring within other tracks on the OST, such as track 3, “Iskakku” that itself as some underlying melody that past Castlevania games would be proud of.

“Crystallus [Fractal]” features flute work that creates a lean towards cultural instrumentation and denotes some of the game’s artistic theme choices, giving one the picture of crawling within caverns of wonder and danger. “死鋼の山 [Summit]” continues this theme, but with percussive dissonance replacing most of the flute work along with “IXQUIC [Cycle]”. Both create a dark and earthy timbre that Whelchel treats with some interesting layers that don’t overdo it in terms of being too “out there.”

The only track that seems a bit separate of the other music within the game was the last one, the aptly-named “Oblitus [Return]”, which features some middle-eastern and almost Egyptian-sounding flair to it that came off as almost a bit off-putting in terms of the rest of the game’s music. Whether this was intentional of not, meant to keep it within the construct of a “final sequence” scene and giving it its own distinctness, it’s still a decent; just the oddball.

Oblitus is currently available on Steam for about $15, and although a short game, the music is solid and creates a dark ambiance that complements its surroundings and keeps things balanced between soft electronic melody and foreboding rhythm that is worth picking up alone, which one can for around $5.

Oblitus Original SoundtrackLoudr

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