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AGOS: A Game of Space
  • Composed by Austin Wintory
  • Ubisoft / 35m

An ambitious-looking VR game, AGOS: A Game of Space tasks the player with exploring space to find a new home for humanity, forced to leave Earth. The music comes courtesy of Austin Wintory whose contemplative, introspective score is typical of his work – don’t expect any big John Williams space music here. Instead the composer has crafted an electronic soundscape which is extremely calm and soothing – gentle synth pulses dreamlike over washes of retro 1980s keyboards, an almost-continual slow pace reflective of the game being physics-driven, not blowing up aliens.

It’s certainly beautiful – the textures the composer uses shimmer and sparkle – you can picture sunlight glistening through celestial objects in tracks like “Blue Giant” and “Hybrid”. At times the pace does pick up and at times the mood darkens – both of these happen in the pop-like “Binary” and later in the (very slightly industrial) “Pulsar” – and I love the dramatic thrust of “Discovery”. But mostly this is really dreamy music which will delight fans of 80s electronic sounds – it’s hypnotic, so calming and while it’s not one of the composer’s more substantial offerings, it’s a delightful way to spend half an hour.

Rating: *** | |

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  1. Marco Ludema (Reply) on Friday 30 October, 2020 at 18:24

    Out of curiosity, do you have something special planned for Halloween? Or perhaps more video game soundtrack reviews? Those are extremely hard to come by these days.

    • James Southall (Reply) on Friday 30 October, 2020 at 18:56

      I did think about reviewing a Halloween-type score that I hadn’t done before, like Nightmare Before Christmas or Hocus Pocus, but I guess I’ve run out of time now.

      To be honest I don’t get sent many game scores and hear so little about them so don’t really buy them either unless there’s a bit of attention about something in particular, or if it’s a composer I know well like Austin W.

      • Marco Ludema (Reply) on Saturday 31 October, 2020 at 12:06

        Maybe something from Grant Kirkhope? He has a very Elfman-esque way of writing video game scores I think you might like, and he did some of his best work in recent years with Mario + Rabbids, Yooka-Laylee and its sequel.

  2. dave (Reply) on Sunday 8 November, 2020 at 18:36

    Since you’re also reviewing other things than fim music,try Yu-Peng Chens Genshin Impact and the best album of the year: Christopher Tins breathtaking “To shiver the sky”

  3. J.B. (Reply) on Thursday 12 November, 2020 at 08:00

    I hope you review Wintory’s “The Pathless”, which came out tonight! It’s massive and brilliant!

    • James Southall (Reply) on Thursday 12 November, 2020 at 09:27

      I hope so too! Really looking forward to hearing it.