Ghost of Tsushima (opens in new tab) is a very pretty game, both to the eyes and the ears. In a new developer update, the acclaimed composers break down their inspirations for the score and reveal a few preview snippets for the official soundtrack, which is open for pre-order now.
The music was scored by two separate composers: Ilan Eshkeri, whose work dates back almost 20 years and includes the 2014 samurai movie 47 Ronin, and Shigeru "Ume" Umebayashi, an industry veteran known for scoring a massive list of Asian and Western films. Apparently, two composers were needed because there's a lot of game to score.
"You may be wondering why we chose to have two composers score the game. First off, Ghost of Tsushima is BIG. There is a lot of content and we knew we would need a lot of music to fill the world and support the evolution of Jin’s journey from samurai to the Ghost. Secondly, when done properly, having multiple voices sculpting the score can weave a more diverse and elaborate musical tapestry for the game’s story and action to sit upon," reads the dev update on the PlayStation Blog (opens in new tab).
The composers themselves also gave some valuable insights into the creation of Ghost of Tsushima's dynamic score, with Eshkeri detailing the conceptualization of protagonist Jin’s theme, "The Way of the Ghost."
"It's all about how the people of Tsushima see him. He is their hero: strong, infallible, inspiring and full of hope, but what really fascinated me about Jin is the contrast of what is going on inside him. In order to save his home and the people he loves he must go against everything he was taught to believe in and break the code of the Samurai. Throughout the game, Jin is a character in deep emotional conflict and this, above all else, is what drew me to Ghost," writes Eshkeri.
Likewise, Umebayashi explained the process of designing the open world theme. "When I was composing music for the game, I was inspired by Japan’s nature, climate, traditional lifestyle, and classical Japanese music," the composer said. "When listeners hear the music for the game, I hope that they feel the hearts of the people of Tsushima – those who love the land, living and plowing with the natural bounties it offers, and those of the warriors who take their katanas and follow the way of the samurai."
Listen below for a preview of Jin's theme from Eshkeri and a bit from Umebayashi's Tsushima Suite - III. You can get your hands on the Ghost of Tsushima soundtrack the same day the game releases, July 17. Pre-orders (opens in new tab) are live at Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon Music, and a few other places, and remember you can get your Ghost of Tsushima pre-order (opens in new tab) done in game-form right now, too.
In case you missed it, the new Ghost of Tsushima theatrical trailer (opens in new tab) is a must watch.