A game’s music is a critical part of the experience, and I’m glad to see more studios giving us a look at how it’s created. The latest view is from The Pathless, and the game’s composer, Austin Wintory, talks about the music on the PlayStation Blog. Beyond working with developer Giant Squid on ABZÛ and now The Pathless, he is also the composer for the music in Journey. With a host of impressive games on his long resume, how did he apply that experience to The Pathless?
Right from the beginning, he talks about the challenges in writing for an open-world game. Some other games have been linear, and there is a more complex design required when the player can choose where to go and when. He mentions that, “this one has pushed me harder than either of the previous two (and honestly, probably more than any score I’ve done, period).”
The approach to designing a feel for the world of The Pathless comes from combining many of the musical styles from our world. Calling the musicians “a global jam band”, he took inspiration from, “Tuva, Scandinavia, China, Eastern Europe, Mongolia, Appalachia, Western Africa, and hints of the Middle East, all intermittently mixed with orchestral flavors.” The trailer gives a small sampling of the three-hour score with that combination, and it’s filled with french horns and percussion with more unique instrumentation as well. It sounds good.
The Pathless is coming to the PS4 and PS5 on November 12th. The official site shows that buying the digital PS5 version will allow you to download the PS4 version for free. This game focuses on an archer and her eagle on an island as they try to remove a great darkness and eliminate cursed spirits. You’ll explore forests and ruins, and the game has a very fluid look. You’ll only have to wait eight more days to try it for yourself.