Earlier this month, I wrote about Hyper Light Drifter, which has since been released and subsequently garnered a considerable amount of critical acclaim. (It currently has a score of 86 on Metacritic.) In addition to its gorgeous retro visuals and cryptic storyline, one aspect of the game that has been especially well-received is its soundtrack.
Composed by Disasterpeace (aka Richard Vreeland) — who also composed soundtracks for It Follows and FEZ — Hyper Light Drifter’s soundtrack evokes Joe Hisaishi’s elegant and melancholy arrangements as much as it does classic 8-bit and 16-bit soundtracks. In other words, the soundtrack might be technically filed under “chiptune,” but it’s far more than simple bleepy, bloopy nostalgia music.
I’ve only been able to play a couple hours of Hyper Light Drifter and I was often intrigued by how Disasterpeace’s music complements the game’s visuals and actions. So far, it’s never been heavy-handed or overbearing, but rather, drifts ambiently through the background, accenting the game’s surreal landscape and creatures. It feels as much a part of the game’s world-building as the strange glyphs and shattered architecture that you explore.
The Hyper Light Drifter soundtrack comes out on April 12 but you can preorder now on Bandcamp.
Watch the Hyper Light Drifter trailer:
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.