SHIFT 2 Unleashed reveals emotional soundtrack

If you’ve never fully appreciated the importance of a good soundtrack for a racing game, I challenge you to run a couple of laps with the music turned off. Sure, the gameplay itself is still the same, but where’s the atmosphere? Where’s the ambience?

[img_big]center,5079,2011-01-27/shift2_acura_nsx_tga.jpg,It has a great stereo, too.[/img_big]

Don’t worry! EA and Slightly Mad Studios have worked with a bunch of great musicians to ensure that the sounds behind SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED really will expand the experience of this year’s “most authentic racing game”.

On one hand, there’s a handful of chart-topping songs from bands like Rise Against, The Bravery, 30 Seconds to Mars, Stone Temple Pilots and Jimmy Eat World.

On the other, there’s a completely new style of soundtrack, using sonic themes to represent the driver’s battle and further engage the player. A selection of composers were brought on-board to use the game’s emotional themes to create a score on par with what you could find in any Hollywood movie.

Steve Schnur, Worldwide Executive of Music and Marketing for EA seems quite pleased with the results:

“This is a totally unique approach to videogame scores.

We’ve brought together some of the most cutting-edge composers from various film, TV, trailer and gaming backgrounds in entertainment to re-imagine the music of ten absolutely distinctive bands and sonically encapsulate the driver’s emotional journey.”

[img_big]center,5079,2011-03-10/shift2_unleashed_lotus_elise_111r_02.jpg,The driver of a Lotus has different emotions to the driver of a Hyundai[/img_big]

So – who’s contributed their tunes to SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED?

  • Ramin Djawadi, best known for his Grammy-nominated score for IRON MAN, his Emmy-nominated score for PRISON BREAK, and score for EA’s 2010 Medal Of Honor
  • Troels Folmann, a British Academy Award winning film, trailer and game composer, known for scoring hundreds of film trailers and TV promos
  • Heavy Melody Music, whose team has created original music for Need for Speed Hot Pursuit, Super Bowl TV commercials and many other games
  • Stephen Baysted, has scored numerous racing games including Need for Speed SHIFT
  • Mick Gordon, the AudioGang award-winning composer behind Need for Speed World and Need for Speed SHIFT

…and then there’s the bands:

  • 30 Seconds To Mars – Night Of The Hunter
  • Anberlin – We Owe This To Ourselves
  • Biffy Clyro – Mountains
  • The Bravery – Ours
  • Escape The Fate – Issues
  • Hollywood Undead – Levitate
  • Jimmy Eat World – Action Needs An Audience
  • Rise Against – Help Is On The Way
  • Stone Temple Pilots – Take A Load Off
  • Switchfoot – The Sound (John M. Perkins Blues)

SHIFT 2 UNLEASHED has dropped the “Need for Speed” moniker, and is on track for release starting next Tuesday, March 29th, all over the world for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC.

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