There are so many aspects of Naughty Dog's latest game that have generated critical acclaim. The Last of Us demonstrates the dedication that Neil Druckmann and his team put into realising the vision for an engrossing and emotional gaming experience. The Last of Us has a fantastic script, great gameplay and beautiful design. But there was one aspect that was out of their hands as they relinquished complete control to a person outside of their team: Gustavo Santaolalla.
For those of you that haven't checked out the official behind the scenes video for The Last of Us and its music, then I suggest you do so below. Gustavo Santaolalla, an Academy Award winning composer, is a master of his craft. His music for The Last of Us is pivotal to the establishment of an atmosphere and tone for the game. Therefore, I though I'd replace it with the work of other composers to see how the tone would change for The Last of Us 2 if he didn't return.
The Last of Us 2 - Without Gustavo Santaolalla, this Music Presents a Whole New Tone
The video above is a testament to the power of Gustavo's music in informing the tone of Druckmann's creation. The scene in which Joel loses his daughter, Sarah, which Druckmann obviously directed and worked on for months, was suddenly rendered even more emotional for him with a powerful new score accompanying the images. Therefore, I though I'd conduct a bit of an experiment with something I haven't used in years: a YouTube doubler.
My stance on The Last of Us 2 is pretty clear, however, the idea of Naughty Dog giving us a completely fresh take on the original within the same universe is extremely intriguing. Therefore, I've taken the liberty of combining the music video made for The Last of Us and placed different scores along side it. Let's run through them.
The Last of Us 2 by Mihaly Vig
Mihlay Vig is a relatively unknown Hungarian composer - one of extreme worth. He's composed some truly beautiful music, especially for the films of Bela Tarr. Check out this piece entitled Valuska, put to The Last of Us in a truly mesmerising mashup. Let us know what you think of his work.
The Last of Us 2 by Thomas Newman
Thomas Newman is one of the most beloved composers in modern cinema. His music is almost instantly recognisable, be it in American Beauty or A Series of Unfortunate Events. Here we have one of his most famous pieces alongside the adventures of Joel and Ellie and it's wonderfully moving. Imagine The Last of Us 2 looking like this.
The Last of Us 2 by Alexandre Desplat
Alexandre Desplat is one of the most sought after composers of our time. More recently he's known for his astounding collaborations with Wes Anderson, but he's a virtuous composer who's been nominated for numerous Academy Awards, with one win for The Grand Budapest Hotel. Check out a beautiful little piece of his set to The Last of Us here.
The Last of Us 2 by Phillip Glass
Phillip Glass is one of the most respected composers alive today. His compositions for piano are breathtaking and drenched in melancholy. Here his music for The Truman Show brings new life to Naughty Dog's creation. To be honest, though I adore Gustavo Santaolalla and hope he returns for the sequel, this would be an amazing way to experience the game.
Be sure to let us know what you think of this pieces in the comments below, and which composer should take the place of Gustavo Santaolalla in The Last of Us 2 if any!