Music to My Ears: City Ruins (NieR: Automata)

Now that I no longer have a broken PS4, I’m trying to play catch-up on several of the heavy hitters the console has produced this year. It was a coin flip on whether NieR: Automata or Horizon: Zero Dawn would be next, but once the Complete Edition was announced for Horizon later this year, that became an easy choice.

I’m about 10 hours into the game so far, and a few things have caught my eye in the early going. The game is beautiful, especially on a PS4 Pro. The characters and world are interesting and I’m looking forward to learning more about them. The combat is fluid and exciting, which isn’t surprising for a title produced by Platinum Games.

Then there’s the soundtrack. One of my favorite video game music tricks is when a track evolves depending on the situation. Sometimes that means adding new layers as a battle escalates or providing a softer version in the aftermath of when the action dies down. In NieR’s case, damn near every song on the OST has three versions, including one with vocals. A handful also get an 8-bit treatment when you’re hacking or being hacked in a given area. It’s like the full-blown evolution of a concept I’ve always enjoyed.

We may feature other tracks down the road from NieR: Automata, but here is one of the first tunes you hear: City Ruins. Once you complete the prologue, you step into a world full of buildings in shambles, overtaken by plant growth. Mysterious and quirky machines are scattered throughout the area, and you can explore in several directions to your heart’s content.  You get three companions for 2B’s beginning part of the journey: fellow android 9S, your trusty pod, and this music. This is a hybrid track, so it starts with the quieter version with gentle piano and acoustic guitar, then adds some deep strings and vocals later on.

City Ruins (NieR: Automata)

Music to My Ears covers soundtracks or individual songs from video games. You can view all posts in the series by clicking here.

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