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Composer Rollo Raphael unearths music from the world of film and video.


The Last of Us Part II isn’t a film or TV show. It’s a video game! But more than a game, it’s an experience. One of the most hyped PlayStation games in history, The Last of Us 2 takes you on a cinematic journey through dystopian America as you seek revenge for the death of a friend. Much is written about the emotional and violent storyline of this graphically stunning game, but key to the magical atmosphere is the soundtrack. 

Composer Gustavo Santaolalla uses reverberant effect laden acoustic guitar to shift the mood from heartbreakingly sad, to thoughtful melancholia (joy or happiness are not themes in this game!). Our main protagonist Ellie (Ashley Johnson) can be controlled to walk over to any guitar mid game, pick it it up and play it (employing clever use of the touch pad on the PlayStation controller). ‘Gothic Roots’ or ‘Dark Americana’ may best describe the music set to the overgrown landscapes of decayed Seattle and the green lush surroundings of Jacksonville. The stunning use of interactivity breaks up a harrowingly vivid experience with moments of quiet musical poignancy. The guitar becomes a symbol of consistent friendship in a world full of death and destruction. Never has an instrument been such a plot device in a video game. There is even a section where the player must fight their way to a guitar shop just to re string your guitar! Intense, violent and emotional The Last of Us 2 soundtrack perfectly encapsulates a perfect game.

Available to play now on PS4.

Gustavo Santaolalla – Untitled Soundtrack (from The Last of Us Part II)

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