On one hand, the soundtracks to the original games, created by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick, are so synonymous with the series that it seems odd to suddenly shift for the third.
“I think it was just time for a change. I’m so proud of the work I’ve done on the ME franchise and I so appreciate the kind words about those scores from people like yourself.
“It was just time to move on. I’m working on some very exciting projects and look forward to when I can announce them, but also very much wish the dev team at BioWare all the best on ME3.”
Sam has taken to Facebook to explain that “no, I will not be contributing in any way, unfortunately, and I’m ok with that”. He’s also quite excited to hear Clint’s treatment of the Mass Effect musical themes, and bears no ill-will towards BioWare for their decision.
He has twisted the knife just a little, however, asking gamers “What would Mass Effect 3 have sounded like if I got to work on it?”, posting a link to a tune called Shepard’s Return. Sigh. It’s lovely.
On the other (very important) hand, Clint Mansell is a particularly awesome composer. A founding member of British band Pop Will Eat Itself, he’s best known in recent times for his work on film scores, including Pi, Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan. Over the past fifteen years, he has created some amazingly expressive, innovative and beautiful pieces of music, and it’s lovely to see that he’s coming to the “dark side” of video games.
In a recent interview at The Quietus, Clint describes working in this new medium:
“…with something like Mass Effect you’re more like a DJ, with all these elements. You’ve got the holding pattern, then the big explosion where you need the score to kick in. Then you need to take it off on a tangent. You’ve got all these different elements that change depending on what the player does. You have to figure out an overall symphony, but be able to break it down into component parts. You can bring the pain when required.”
So. Personally, I’m not sure where I stand on the issue. I love the soundtrack for Requiem for a Dream, but I also adore the original Mass Effect score. If nothing else, it’s made me want Mass Effect 3 just that little bit more, which I didn’t think was possible. Nice work, BioWare!
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