Olivier Deriviere never fails to surprise me. I follow each project from this composer with great interest not only because I am an indie game lover and he scores really unique independent gems, but also because each of his scores is different and perfectly corresponds with what I experience during gameplay.
After the melodic, orchestral soundtrack for 11-11 Memories Retold, the players received dynamic, textural and sharp yet heartbreaking music dedicated to Asobo Studio’s A Plague Tale: Innocence.
Kingdom of France, 14th century. The country is devastated by the war with the Kingdom of England and the plague outbreak. The Inquisition takes its death toll as well. In these circumstances, two siblings – Amicia and Hugo de Rune, have to survive after the Inquisition killed their parents and is now after Hugo since the boy has a special gift. Amicia does not know her little brother at all so she will have to learn how to protect him and she will soon discover what a sister’s love is.
The game is very immersive with its settings, atmosphere and story. The soundtrack adds a lot to the overall immersion. There are medieval vibes present due to the use of instruments like nyckelharpa and the viola da gamba, as well as soothing melodies played on guitars. However, the score sounds modern and contemporary because of various cello structures performed by known from the score for Vampyr game Eric Maria Couturier.
I rarely have experienced a video game OST that is so well matched with the gameplay dynamics and sequences.
Couturier’s rough, dissonant passages (The Inquisition, Orphans, The Rats), are spine-tingling and really fitting the in-game sequences of fighting or evading the enemies. Speaking of enemies, A Plague Tale has a special kind of them – the rats. The unnerving cello and ear-piercing synthesizers are a perfect accompaniment to their manifestation.
However, A Plague Tale: Innocence is not only a game about surviving hordes of rats and ruthless Inquisition. Above all, it is a story about love, about discovering each other and maturity. Hence we experience in the soundtrack such beautiful, moving pieces as Strangers, Prisoners, The Killing, Together Forever. This game is already being compared to The Last of Us but for me its score is even more touching than The Last of Us’ score.
I have to admit that I rarely have experienced a video game OST that is so well matched with the gameplay dynamics and sequences. As the examples may serve The Inquisition accompanying the scene where the kids meet the cruelty of the knights for the first time, Strangers, where they experience rejection and loneliness, Prisoners, where Amicia decides not to hide anymore or I’m Sorry, where… no, I will not reveal what happens there.
Olivier Deriviere never fails to surprise me.
Olivier Deriviere always pays attention to the interactivity of the score and its complexity with the other elements of the game. The music changes while the enemy approaches, and both the visuals and audio are very coherent so the composer may be really proud of what he did. A Plague Tale: Innocence OST is a brilliantly paced, well- sounding, immersive, and both a haunting and heart melting piece of video game music.