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Game Soundtrack Review

Cover Image

Original Soundtrack


Composer: Gareth Coker
Performed by: Philharmonia Orchestra
Label: Sumthing Else Music Works
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 24 August 2017

Sumthing Else Music Works and independent game developer Studio Wildcard present the epic orchestral soundtrack to the definitive open-world dinosaur survival-adventure game, ARK: Survival Evolved. Composed by Gareth Coker (Minecraft, Ori and the Blind Forest), the official soundtrack album is one of the highlights of the game. Players awake stranded and starving on the beach of a mysterious island among a herd of other confused humans. On ARK, they must then hunt, harvest, craft, research technology, and build shelters to protect against volatile weather systems, dangerous wildlife, and potential enemies. Tame, train, ride and breed one of 100 amazing dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts. Fly a Pteranodon squadron over the snow-capped mountains, race through the deep jungle with your pack of trained Raptors, tromp through a fortified enemy base along a convoy of gigantic Brontosaurus, or chase down prey on the back of a raging T-Rex...

For those who have played Ark: Survival Evolved the one element that stands out as uniformly excellent is Gareth Coker's orchestral score. The main theme, which is epic, is woven throughout the soundtrack, but thankfully it's not over used.

The album contains 24 tracks (1 hr, 14 min, 08 sec) and while there isn't a bad track here, personal highlights included 'Main Theme'; 'Not So Plain and Simple'; 'Battle March'; 'Slow Steps Forward'; 'The TEK Cave & Hall of History'; 'Ascension'; and 'End Titles'.

For pure depth and variety of themes, they don't come much more impressive than this. This feels much more than a soundtrack to a single game. In its scope and approach it sounds like the greatest hits compilation of a composer who has been working in Hollywood their entire life.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to track down some of Coker's previous work.


Darren Rea

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