Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Sound of the Wild

Or lack thereof.

I keep listening to the Breath of the Wild trailer music in a loop and it's absolutely beautiful, especially the part after the 2 minute mark. Now, this kind of makes it disappointing that we're not going to hear much of it during the gameplay.

I do like that they set their focus on ambience. One of the biggest strengths of the Nintendo 64 Zelda games and quite some games from that era (e.g. Unreal) was the amazing use of sound, which basically compensated the early graphics. It wasn't just the music, it was all the ambient sounds. Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask at night have a great atmosphere, which still gives me goosebumps today. But as graphics evolved, the audible atmosphere shrank. Breath of the Wild isn't there yet, though it's also not bad.

I hope that the lack of music in Breath of the Wild will make them focus on the audible atmosphere much more than usual, it's basically always night in this game. The piano pieces here and there are nice, but it's not much. However, hearing the same music in a loop for hours can also be annoying. I remember, how my neighbor was irritated, when I played Skyward Sword all day long at its release, because he kept hearing the same music again and again. Not that I care, but there's a point to this: the areas are much, much larger, so the same area music would get repeated longer than usual, which is why Nintendo probably wanted to do something different on the music department.

I just hope that it will bring us more of the beautiful music from the trailer. By the way, some of the tunes kind of remind me of the Song of Storms, in the last segment. This could be intentional together with the imagery, where the ground (and the Guardians) get struck by lightning.


Marandahir said...

Always night? Just wait 12 minutes and it'll be day again. Or sit by the fire until morning (fireplaces are ways to wait until morning, noon, or nightfall).

The daily cycle is 1 minute real world, = 1 hour game world, withholding time spent on menus, pause, conversations, etc. Longer than previous games, but not "always night."

There's definitely faint ambient music at times, battle music when in combat, and story-moment music. But the atmospheric sounds are amazing. You really have to play it to notice it all.

TourianTourist said...

You misunderstood. I said "basically always night" as in you always have the ambience, while past Zelda games played some overworld music during the day. I didn't say that it's always night in the game... Why would I even assume that?