Days Gone is a PlayStation exclusive game that’s seen its fair share of mixed reviews, but there’s one thing I’ve seen overlooked across the board: the fantastic soundtrack. It’s worth a listen even if you don’t play the game.
I’ve played through and completed the game’s main storyline, putting many hours into so far. But it wasn’t until I wanted something new to listen to while working that I came fully to appreciate how amazing the game’s score is. I often enjoy working to mostly instrumental music, and game scores (especially for whatever title I’m currently playing) find their way into that mix pretty often.
So I fired up the score on Google Play Music to have something in the background. It wasn’t long before I was taken aback and how incredibly intense and emotional the music is. It helped that I was able to pair the music with specific moments in the game subconsciously, but even without that (certain tracks aren’t tied to any one particular event), most of the tracks stand on their own to the point that it caught my attention more than once.
Generally, when I’m working, music becomes something that plays in the background—I either listen to things I’ve heard dozens of times, instrumental tracks, or the same track on repeat (that drives my wife crazy). I get in this zone where music is secondary to whatever I’m working on—the music helps me enter a state of hyperfocus. And when something in the song breaks me out of this hyperfocus, I take note of it because that’s not something that happens often.
As I was working (on a Days Gone editorial, which will be published shortly, no less), there were multiple times that I was “shocked” out of my state of focus because something in the music triggered an emotional response. I was only passively listening, but it was enough to trigger a feeling that caught my attention. This happened more than once, too.
The tracks “I Remember” and “Promises and Regrets” specifically come to mind, because they’re incredibly powerful compositions. The latter is followed by “You’re Safe Now,” which is an intense and motivating track that follows the passion in “Promises and Regrets” exceptionally well. The tracks that come after—”What Did You Do?,” “Drifting Away,” “Sarah’s Theme,” and “Light One Candle”—combine to tell a fantastic and inspiring story on their own, all without uttering a single word.
The work that Nathan Whitehead did on the score is genuinely incredible. I’ve listened to many, many scores—both from movies and games—and the work done on the music in Days Gone is the best I’ve ever heard. It’s the most underrated part of the game, without question.
The score concludes with a short soundtrack section—a handful of tracks from other artists featured in the game. It’s such a nice touch at the end of a powerful score. These tracks are likely going to be more “meaningful” to anyone who played the game, but as it stands they’re all outstanding tracks worthy of your time.
Alas, the score/soundtrack itself is still fantastic. If you enjoy powerful, motivational, and emotional music, I highly recommend giving it a listen—even if you have no desire to play the game.