Returnal Composer Talks Challenges Of Scoring Game Vs Film

Bobby Krlic breaks down some key differences from the two experiences.

Posted By | On 10th, Apr. 2021

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This month will end with the PS5 exclusive Returnal. The unique looking game combines the ‘bullet hell’ style of shooting that Housemarque is known for with a sci-fi horror story of a woman trapped in a time loop on an alien planet. Like any good horror story, the music plays a pivotal part, and Returnal will be no exception. The game’s composer also has a history in the genre, just in a different medium, and he also broke down the key differences.

In an interview on the official PlayStation blog, Composer Bobby Krlic talked about his work on the game. He has done a lot of music in a variety of contexts, but his last scoring project was actually for 2019’s Midsommar, a horror film that garnered much praise for his score. When asked about the differences and challenges of scoring game vs film, he did say there were challenges, and that a large part of his motivation was trying to match the mood and emotion of what the player was trying to experience.

“In some ways, it’s a challenge. But I think in other ways I found that something I really loved leaning into, in the sense that you really just try to tap into an emotion and to articulate that emotion in the best possible way. You can elongate it, you can suspend it because the player has the autonomy to, to do that they could, they could live in that moment for way longer than you’ve ever imagined. So it’s about like, Okay, how do I grab that? And how do I kind of freeze it? But how do I also kind of keep it undulating and oscillating, moving and engaging? So yeah, the thing really is tapping into what the key emotion is, going in with a magnifying glass and figuring out how to keep it moving and not have it be still, which I found really, really awesome.”

Returnal is set to release exclusively on PlayStation 5 on April 30th. You can read more about the game’s horror narrative through here, as well as everything you’ll need to know about the game before it launches here.


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