Game music: Oni

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Having started playing through Oni again, it would be remiss of me to not talk about the soundtrack, and so my Wednesday post buffer grows another week, extending like the timer in an endless runner after hitting a checkpoint.


Critically and financially Oni was a bit of a damp squib – moderately successful but not enough to warrant a follow-up. Even so, this was a Bungie game and as we know Bungie have – or had – some serious in-house musical talent in the form of Martin O’Donnell. They also have Michael Salvatori who worked with O’Donnell on much of the Halo series, and was responsible for the Oni soundtrack.

The talent shows – the score is varied and solid, blending together a wide variety of styles in a coherent whole. A definite cyberpunk theme runs throughout and the Ghost in the Shell influences are as clear in the music as they are in the game itself, but Salvatori isn’t afraid to go outside the box and bring in other styles to augment it – compare the strong, fast sci-fiof “East Wind” with the mournful strings of “Farewell”, and then with the almost Deus Ex-like “Oni Fever”.

Just like the game, the soundtrack shows the values and dedication that Bungie bring to their productions, and just like the game the music has stood the test of time well.

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