While certain individuals may debate the worth of The Last of Us and its narrative or gameplay, there's one aspect of the game that I don't think anyone could have a discrepancy with: the music.
Naughty Dog were somehow able to bring the genius of Gustavo Santaolalla to the world of Video Games; a man who's won two Academy Awards back to back for his compositions in Brokeback Mountain (2005) and Babel (2006).
His music is instantly recognisable and remarkably powerful, and having been a fan of his work for years, hearing his recognisable sound in The Last of Us was an absolute pleasure. His music feels like a part of this world as much as its characters and it'd be a horrendous shame if he couldn't reprise his role in The Last of Us 2.
Will The Last of Us 2 Feature the Music of Gustavo Santaolalla?
Whether it be the music that features during the most poignant moments of The Last of Us, or the most intense of the game's action sequences, Gustavo Santaolalla carefully crafted music that fit within the context of the scene and the world.
He was gifted complete artistic freedom when it came to composing the music of The Last of Us, and there are some great behind-the-scenes moments that you need to check out with him and Neil Druckmann.
But the greatest thing about Gustavo, is the ease with which we can appreciate his music. Just take a look at the clip below of him recording the theme of Brokeback Mountain. The passion in his face and body coupled with the clear love of his own music is intoxicating.
His sound is indicative of the world that Naughty Dog created within The Last of Us. His contribution to the game is as important as the presence of Joel or Ellie. If he were to be replaced for the sequel, The Last of Us 2 would already be losing some of its initial power and appeal.
But if required to make a decision, who would you elect to replace him? If we were forced to hire our own composer for The Last of Us 2, which one would you pick? Hans Zimmer? Howard Shore? John Williams? Thomas Newman? Personally, if I had to pick anyone, it would be the master of subtly, Philip Glass.
Though even Philip Glass would lend a very alternative sound to The Last of Us 2. Which is perhaps what the sequel needs in order for this IP to feel fresh for Naughty Dog when they return to it. But I'm happy to see both Joel and Ellie's stories conclude with The Last of Us if it meant that the genius of Gustavo Santaolalla would return to set the tone of a fresh sequel.
But what about you guys? Did you enjoy the music of The Last of Us? Are you an admirer of Santaolalla's work and would you like to see him return for The Last of Us 2? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below!