Death Stranding has one of the best gaming soundtracks in recent memory, and that is in significant part thanks to its licensed music. This game has a sprawling open world that expands as far as the eye can see. Or, the draw distance permits in this case. You can see a vast snow-capped mountain range in the distance, and, with patience, you can reach it and see what’s behind it. Although there are many open-world games out there, few can transmit the feeling of vastness that Death Stranding has as a signature. This wouldn’t be possible without its magnificent soundtrack and its licensed music.
Licensed music brings the world of Death Stranding to life
There is absolute awe when you visit certain areas of Death Stranding for the first time. Even though these are visually stunning areas, they still feel empty when you first see them. It’s the equivalent of watching the Icelandic scenery in The Lord of the Rings without its perfect score. What looks empty at first glance takes a twist to grandeur once music kicks in. Death Stranding goes beyond a great musical score. In addition to that, it brings the personality of many artists into the mix and delivers a wholly unique experience. Kojima and his team brilliantly picked bands and artists that fit the vision of the game perfectly.
Low Roar, CHVRCHES, and Silent Poets, to name a few, branded the style of Death Stranding. The particular vocals and styles of these artists bring the game to a new height when it comes to sound design. Their music gives the perfect feel and personality to many of the locations of the game. It is hard to visit certain areas without thinking of a particular song of Low Roar or Silent Poets. In essence, Death Stranding brings its ‘strand system’ even to its music. It brings together the artistic vision of many artists and delivers a unified and powerful experience.
The perfect stranded soundtrack
Licensed music in Death Stranding cohesively brings the world together. The main theme from CHVRCHES, titled ‘Death Stranding,’ is an excellent example of this. This arrangement, in particular, gives you a perfect description of what the game is about. The lyrics repeatedly state: ‘What will become of us now at the end of time?.’ Dropping one of the biggest mysteries that pop up since the beginning of the game until the very end of it. ‘Death Stranding‘ brings out the importance of relationships in uncertain times. It is a hopeful piece that flawlessly embodies how essential connections are for survival.
One additional example is ‘Easy Way Out‘ by Low Roar. Its dream pop tune with electronic accents brings a sense of loneliness and confusion that perfectly suits many scenes of the game. Death Stranding’s narrative has a heavy focus on the importance of human connections. Although, these relationships can’t be proven meaningful if there isn’t a sensation of longing and absence before them. ‘Easy Way Out‘ delivers just that. A feeling of isolation and alienation permeates the song from beginning to end. As a result and unavoidably, this sets the mood and prepares players to cherish the meaningful connections that will come after so much solitude.
The vision of so many artists is essential to Death Stranding and proves investing in licensed music is worth every penny when done right. When the right vision mixes together with the talent of many artists, the results are impressive. Death Stranding is one of those cases.
If you’re into game soundtracks, you might want to check out Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s soundtrack, which is now available on Spotify.