Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s ongoing hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-arse sounds they make. Today we’re going old school and grooving to the creepy, heavy soundscapes of modern retro-shooter Dusk.
I love me a good ‘90s shooter. (No you weirdos, I will not call them “boomer shooters.”) And of the recent games from the ongoing retro shooter revival, one of the best is Dusk (YouTube / longplay / purchase / VGMdb). Released back in 2018, Dusk is a love letter to classic FPSes like Quake, Blood, and Heretic. But it also does its own thing. I won’t spoil it, but by the end of the game, shit gets wild in an unexpected and wonderful way.
Also, it has some great, very atmospheric music composed by the one and only Andrew Hulshult. Let’s take a listen:
Hulshult’s name might sound familiar to you, especially if you’ve played other shooters in the past decade. He’s worked on the soundtracks for games like Amid Evil, Wrath: Aeon of Ruin, Quake Champions, and most recently the latest Doom Eternal DLC. So, with a career like that, it’s not surprising that Dusk’s tracks are badass. But the music in Dusk isn’t just heavy metal. It’s a mix of fast and slow; this soundtrack has layers and range, man. For example, the creepy, early-game “Ashes to Ashes, Dusk to Dusk” sets a pensive mood.
This being a fast-paced, retro-inspired shooter, the slow, ominous tunes are accompanied by plenty of heavy, chunky metal. I think there’s a law that says you have to include shredding guitars in any retro shooter. Them’s the rules, folks. One of my favourites is “Endless,” which is the kind of music the Doomguy, a noted metalhead, would approve of.
I don’t want to spoil too much of the music because, like the game itself, the soundtrack goes places and is best experienced going in blind while playing the game. But if you don’t mind hearing something from much later in the game, then here’s one last track to prove to you that Dusk’s soundtrack is a genuine banger. “Unworthy” plays toward the very end of the game and is the perfect music to enjoy while shotgunning an evil cult out of existence, among other activities.
And that’s it for today’s Morning Music! I hope we get a Dusk 2 one day. The world needs more Dusk. More importantly, I need more Dusk. Anyway, if you don’t mind, I’m going to go play more Dusk and headbang at my desk, gently, until either my editors or my girlfriend yell at me. Say hi in the comments and feel free to share your favourite Hulshult tracks or talk about anything else related to games, music, or whatever else has you preoccupied today. See you Monday!