Celeste was a surprise indie hit when it released at the beginning of this year, and it’s now solidified itself as a bona-fide classic in the realm of twitch platformers. However, the incredibly tight gameplay and damn-near-perfect level design are only some of the factors that make it such a standout title.
Alongside a wonderfully-written story, which tackles themes like depression and anxiety in a way that never feels gaudy or pretentious, the music perfectly mirrors the themes and actions of the player. When you move from scene to scene, the music moves with you. When Madeline, the protagonist, is filled with anxiety, so are the sounds that surround her.
Most impressively, the soundtrack stands on its own, outside of the game, as a genuine album, yet it’s still impossible to fully remove it from Celeste. While the songs have their own story to tell, it’s all so perfectly scripted for each scene that I find myself getting very specific flashbacks to exact moments from the journey when listening.