After listening to these, I'm gonna give Space Marine a go. Was gonna give it a miss but am loving this score
Here's your chance to listen to Captain Titus' theme in the latest Sound Byte.
It's common for an action game to be paired with a musical score that can be described as "epic" or "grandiose." But then it runs into the problem of sounding just like any other action score. Composers Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan wanted to avoid that by taking a "less is more" approach when it came to scoring Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine. The game follows Captain Titus of the Ultramarines and his struggle to save humanity. Listen to the tracks below to see how Titus is represented musically, and read about how the two composers collaborated on the soundtrack. The soundtrack will be available on September 20.
GameSpot: Could you both start off by telling us a bit about yourselves and your musical backgrounds?
Sascha Dikiciyan: Originally from Berlin, Germany, I have been living and working in Los Angeles for the last 18 years. Ever since I was a kid, I was passionate about video games. My second passion was music, and after I discovered how to make noises on my Amiga (which was way cooler at the time than the piano), it was all over. It was only logical to put them both together and make a career out of it.
Cris Velasco: I've lived in California my whole life, but I moved to Los Angeles about 17 years ago to study music composition at UCLA. I actually played guitar in a death metal band prior to studying music. That eventually transitioned into classical guitar. Once I discovered Mozart, though, that led me down the path of studying orchestral music full time.
GS: Both of you have extensive experience working on video games. How did you initially get started in the video game industry?
SD: Around 1997, after I finished my music studies in Los Angeles, I produced a Quake add-on audio CD (Methods of Destruction) out of my bedroom. It basically had a whole new set of tracks to play Quake DM to. I sold almost 2,000 copies by myself. A few weeks later it so happened that I was hanging out in some Quake Mirc channel (the well-known chat app back then) where I started talking to someone from id Software, who evidently had a copy of my CD. We started chatting, and next thing you know I had to submit some music for Quake 2. The rest really is history now.
CV: My entry into video games was a gradual process. I went through the "paying my dues" phase for nearly eight years before I landed my first major title. I was hired to score just one (!) cinematic for Battlestar Galactica. At that time, though, this was a huge success for me. I put every bit of determination I had into that one track. The guys at Vivendi-Universal liked it so much that they gave me a few more, and then a few more after that too. I then went on to work on three more of their titles within the next year.
GS: THQ is taking a very different approach with this franchise. How did you approach the music of Warhammer 40K: Space Marine? Could you talk about the score and the style?
Sascha & Cris: We said to ourselves right from the start, let's not be just another action game score. We wanted to write a real score, something that would involve the player emotionally more than anything else. Of course there's action. However, we often approached it from a "less is more" perspective. We knew early on that we wanted to stay organic, so the first thing we did was to record a lot of live taikos and other big drums (thanks to M.B. Gordy) to be used throughout the score. This percussion was also used for the custom interactive part that supports the tribal nature of the Orks. Now the trick was to add some additional layers, besides the orchestra, to give the score a bit of an edge without taking the whole thing out of the organic sound palette. We spent a lot of time doing musical sound design on a lot of the cues. It's there to be an invisible support. On the other hand, when the faction Chaos appears, we decided to make a 180. Basically, Chaos are represented by distorted pads, gnarly synths, and other crunchy percussion elements. It's a stark contrast that Relic wanted from the beginning.
Titus' theme keeps up the pace with the game. I have to download it somehow. A Hero's legacy is cool but a little bit slow. Good job.
The Titus theme is incredible imo. Reminds me of stuff from the Terminator 2 soundtrack. Especially that cool T1000 noise they had in the movie.
Hmm... interesting. Titus' Theme is a nice piece that reminds me quite a bit of Hans Zimmer's style; slow buildup, forceful percussion. Bit cliched, but that's to be expected. Feels a bit dry. But that's just my cynical opinion.
They did a great job, gotta love the soundtrack. The Titus theme reminds me a bit of the Ultramarines movie soundtrack, which was also great.