Making the Diablo IV Soundtrack

Making the Diablo IV Soundtrack

The world of Diablo IV is a dark and treacherous place, where players navigate through a sinister landscape filled with demonic forces and twisted horrors. One of the key elements that allow players to immerse themselves into this haunting realm is the game’s captivating soundtrack. Behind the scenes, Ted Reedy, Diablo IV Senior Composer II, and Leo Kaliski, Diablo IV Senior Composer, work tirelessly to create an audio experience that perfectly complements the game’s atmosphere and narrative.

“The music in Diablo IV serves multiple purposes:it sets the tone for different regions, creating unique soundscapes that enhance the player’s immersion. Ted explains that most of the music in the game is environmental or atmospheric, dynamically adapting to the in-game events.”, Leo notes that they often rely on concept art to guide their decisions when determining where to add music within a particular area.

To capture the essence of the game’s central antagonist, Lilith, Ted and Leo used a diligent approach. Lilith’s music was carefully crafted to reflect her complex character and the role she plays in the story. “Her theme, a simple four-note motif, represents her as the mother of Sanctuary and embodies the descent into darkness. As the game progresses, Lilith’s music evolves, showcasing her multifaceted nature and drawing players deeper into her enigmatic presence.”, said Ted Reedy.

Creating a mood that aligns with the desired player experience is a crucial aspect of designing the game’s music. Ted and Leo describe their process as one of discovery, where they explore different sounds and combinations to evoke emotions such as darkness, bleakness, and madness. The music helps  players to dive in  the unsettling and weighty atmosphere of Diablo IV. In fact, as Leo emphasizes, there are no clean victories in the game, and the music reflects this constant sense of darkness and struggle.

The music choices in Diablo IV are intricately woven into the narrative, guiding players through the ever-changing world of Sanctuary. The music not only reacts to the on-screen events but also enhances the storytelling, immersing players in the eerie ambiance of each region. Leo cites the example of Fracture Peaks, where the town appears normal but the music adds an unsettling layer, hinting at the underlying darkness. Each region in the game has its own unique sound palette, incorporating a variety of instruments and elements that capture the essence of its environment.

Boss’ encounters in Diablo IV present an opportunity for Ted and Leo to explore a different tone, they stated “By using orchestra sparingly throughout the game, it creates a stark contrast during these intense battles, heightening the impact of these pivotal moments. The bosses each have their own distinctive sound, emphasizing their demonic nature and contributing to the immersive gameplay experience.”

When transitioning from Diablo III to Diablo IV, Ted and Leo sought to strike a balance between embracing the darkness of the earlier games while infusing the soundtrack with new and inspiring elements. They aimed to evoke feelings of disgust, nostalgia, and hope, ensuring that Diablo IV had its own individual score rather than simply mimicking its predecessor. For both composers, working on Diablo IV is a dream come true, as the series inspired them during their formative years as musicians and gamers.

As players embark on their journey through the nightmarish world of Diablo IV, the meticulously crafted soundtrack will serve as their sonic guide. Ted Reedy and Leo Kaliski’s dedication to creating an immersive and emotionally evocative musical experience will transport players deeper into the dark realms of Sanctuary, ensuring that the haunting melodies stay with them long after they switch off their screens.

Diablo IV will be launching 6th June across PC via, Xbox and PlayStation.

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