Destiny 2 (gulfnews.com/Michael Coetzee)
I want to take some time to give special mention to the soundtrack. Destiny 2 has already managed to unseat some very, very strong competition to take top spot in my list of best music in a game, period.
Composers Michael Salvatori, Skye Lewin, C Paul Johnson, Rotem Moav and Pieter Schlosser really have set a new standard for scoring a game, and their compositions are beautifully brought to life by some truly talented musicians and singers (including the magnificent Kronos Quartet). The recordings, done at Ocean Way Nashville, Bastyr University Chapel, and Skywalker Sound, are of an incredible quality. Just take a look at some of the footage in the soundtrack trailer and you’ll see that Bungie took this game’s music very seriously, something that everyone who plays it will be grateful for.
Destiny 2 (filmmusicmedia.com)
The music team responsible for the wonderful first game returns for Destiny 2. The first game featured a stunning diverse score, reflecting the different locations and enemies and featuring stunning boss battles. Two major expansions further added to the massive amount of music featured in the game, so I had high hopes for the sequel. For the most part, the ever expanding team of composers delivers a worthy sequel.
Fans of the first game will feel at home right away. A few themes from the first game make appearances in the sequel and the general feeling has remained intact. The phrase "more of the same" comes to mind, but in a good way. The score once again reflects the different alien worlds and factions, as well as the mythology behind the game's story. The mostly orchestral approach once again works wonderfully, resulting in more than a few stunning pieces, most notably the two tracks featuring the Kronos Quartet. The track "Journey" in particular stands out exceptionally. The action music is again on point, perfectly keeping the balance between heroic battles and frantic firefights at the brink of disaster. While there aren't as many memorable boss battles as in the first game, most still stand out as unique.
Destiny 2 is a fantastic sequel, both as a game and musically. Everything feels more refined and polished while new themes perfectly expand the ever growing franchise. There's nothing that I could seriously complain about and the impressive 44 track album never gets boring or repetitive.
Destiny (Hardcore Gamer/Steve Hannley)
The visuals...combined with one of the best original soundtracks ever to grace a video game, make for impeccable production values.
Destiny (Gaming Trend/Ron Burke)
None of it, however, compares to the incredible music...Destiny has no shortage of absolutely mesmerizing music.
Destiny (GamesBeat/Eduardo Moutinho)
The music has the impressive capability to sound otherworldly while feeling familiar...(and) will remain with you, even after you log out.
Halo: Reach (soundtrackgeek.com)
It’s been 9 years since the world was introduced to the world of Halo. After years of unbelievable music and success, one question still remains: Is this a satisfying end to Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori’s remarkable and successful run in the Halo franchise?
My answer: YES! This is actually the first Halo score where I actually enjoyed listening to all the tracks more than once. Is it my favorite? Well, my top Halo score is still Halo 3 but this comes really close.To be honest I’m sad to see that this might be the last time these composers are involved in a Halo game and it’s my opinion that it’s reflected though out the score. This is a must have for any Halo or Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori fan.
Halo: Reach (g4tv.com)
Like a well placed sniper round through a CQB helmet, the soundtrack album for Halo: Reach is bang on target as a listening experience; enjoyable from start to finish. But who is it for? If you count yourself among the Seventh Column of Halo-fandom, you have already downloaded it or are holding out for the physical release. If you are a recent convert to the world of Halo then this is the one video game music album you need this year. The same goes for the film score fans out there, who should find Halo: Reach an immensely enjoyable listening experience.
As the sun sets over the glassed horizon of planet Reach, a couple questions come to mind. What will the music of potential, future iterations of this beloved franchise sound like without Marty O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori? And what new sounds will they conjure when Bungie’s project with Activision finally sees the light of console laser lenses? Game music fans will hopefully get a win-win on both of those fronts.
Halo Reach (platformnation.com)
Overall, it’s a great package. Dare I say it’s one of the finest OSTs you’ll find on stores now. Even with its darker tone, the 2-Disc soundtrack manages to keep a healthy dose of variety, exploring new sounds, executing brand-new influences into an already rich musical world, and above all, letting your feelings transcend from what you see on a television screen. I honestly recommend you to give this OST a try. It will leave you wondering how much impact would Halo: Reach have if there wasn’t such a masterful soundtrack accompanying the action.
Guilty Party (g4tv.com)
Guilty Party draws you in with its infectious theme song, offbeat sense of humor, and oddball cast of characters.
Guilty Party (nintendo-okie.com)
From the moment the game boots up you’re presented with some of the best presentation I’ve seen in a game for a while. The opening theme is catchy and will get stuck in your head for days to come.
Guilty Party (nintendoworldreport.com)
The music has some very jazzy instrumentals in addition to a catchy theme song that plays at the beginning of the game.
Guilty Party (tech-gaming.com)
Kudos must be given to the game's title song, which abstains from the typical electronic touches to offer a catchy, vocalized ditty.
Halo 3: ODST (g4tv.com)
Much like the game's namesake soldiers, the soundtrack album for Halo 3: ODST performed a surprise, precision insertion onto my desk last week. Even though I had exactly zero hands-on time with ODST yet, all of about 0.7 seconds passed before I spun up the CD to hear what Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori had created for the game's audio ammunition. The big question I had was, since ODST is a different take on the Halo-verse, how would this translate into the music?
As I've stated in previous reviews, what I am most impressed by is when video game music is listenable on its own, away from the game for which it was composed. While some of the more atmospheric and alien themed pieces sound as if they would be better kept tied to the game's visuals, the overwhelming majority of ODST's music is an immensely original and enjoyable listening experience, even after you have set down your controller and shut off your 360.
So who is this album for? If you are a Halotaku, you have already pre-ordered it. Same goes for hardcore game music fans. If you are new to Halo or listening to game music in general, this album is a perfect entry point into this particular music space.
Halo 3: ODST (ign.com)
A Halo soundtrack with jazz elements? As bizarre as that may seem, listen closely to the music in Halo 3: ODST and you'll hear hints of noir-like saxophone, piano, and guitar blended with the dark, moody beats.
The fresh sound for the hit videogame series is a result of composers Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori stepping up to Bungie's challenge for an intimate detective story score that still feels like it belongs in the Halo-verse. The ODST soundtrack, available now as a 17-track, 2-disc set or digital download, does just that... with excellence.
Established Halo themes are there, but they're draped in fresh tones. Sometimes the references to past games barely register, but they're evident enough to keep the new musical stylings from feeling completely, shall we say, alien.
It's tough to pick a standout suite. You may not find yourself humming any of these tracks, but that doesn't take away from the fact that this is one of the most emotionally involving videogame soundtracks we've ever heard.
Halo 3: ODST's score is an ambient masterpiece, positively dripping with mood. It's an enjoyable standalone listen, but even more affective when heard while stalking the streets of New Mombasa at night.
Hail to the Chimp (gamezone.com)
The music is loopy and utterly charming...
Halo 3 (scorenotes.com)
About the Soundtrack: Halo 3 is co-composed by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori, who team up to deliver a mammoth score for one of the most eagerly anticipated gaming titles of the year.
Simply put, this is a finely tuned piece of work. The music that the composers have brought to us with Halo 3 is impressive and focused. It's easy to hear that a lot of hard work went into this score through its structure and motifs. Never tipping off balance, Halo 3 is the type of album you can simply let play and be taken on a journey even if you are unfamiliar with the game play. Further, close your eyes and distance yourself from what soundtrack you're listening to and I would venture to say that nearly all of you would think this is the work from a big budget film (and a top notch one at that).
The ethereal choral inspirations of the previous scores make their way onto this album but they aren't the main focus of the soundtrack. To me, that would be the music that represents mankind's struggle against the forces that seek to finish them off. To that end, the use of a piano motif is one element of the album I absolutely loved. It was a brilliant (and risky) stroke to use this very real element in such a high-tech video game world as it offers a way for the player/listener to relate better to the story itself. This is the type of drama I've been seeking from film scores for all of 2007 and here it is from an action packed video game!
Truthfully, there are many well structured themes and individually effective tracks that it would take more time than this review to break it down. Suffice it to say, there's a steadiness to the score that I admire. Through all the dramatic situations, action oriented moments and tones of spirituality, Halo 3 just keeps coming at you consistently and never seems to veer off course. The direction of the music is so fluid that its hard to imagine that the cues were actually applied to gameplay levels
Final Grade: Simply a marvelous, interesting piece of work. Halo 3 has a dual capacity to let both gamers and soundtrack fans enjoy the music for their own reasons. For a very unique and compelling listening experience, I highly recommend you get on board with the music of Halo 3 as its an adventure worth embarking on. Props to both composers for a job well done.
Stubbs the Zombie (gamelemon.com)
Music: Absolutely perfect.
Halo 2 Volume 2 (ign.com)
For the most part Halo 2 Original Soundtrack Volume 2 is a successful example of how videogame music, especially for epic games, has risen from the depths of 6-bit plinking into the realm of serious composition. There's still a few glitches, most notably when O'Donnell and Salvatori let their obvious infatuation with glaring hair metal and early '80s electronic trappings get the better of them. When they manage to keep those urges under wraps, however, this soundtrack yields some genuinely engaging orchestral implementation.
Halo 2 Volume 1 (James Christopher Monger, All Music Guide)
Halo 2 Volume 1 builds off of the themes created by composers Marty O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori by adding remixes and alternative metal to the stew, resulting in a -- better than it should be -- collection of mood pieces and art rock excess that's likely to please both geeks and mainstream, twentysomething males alike. Steve Vai capably shreds through the newly updated theme before passing the torch to Pennsylvanian alt-rockers Breaking Benjamin, who manage to escape the "music inspired by" abyss by producing a pretty memorable slice of apocalyptic angst. Halo however really belongs to Incubus. Their four-movement suite, "The Odyssey," is so steeped in Dark Side of the Moon-era Pink Floyd that it's effectively jarring when the nu-metal guitars come roaring in, making this second installment, despite a truly wretched and useless offering from Hoobastank, one of the first fully realized soundtracks in the growing video game genre.
The music is the star...appearing only when tension and conflict arises and doing a good job of furthering the particular emotion.
Halo: Combat Evolved (games.monstersatplay.com)
I recently purchased a copy of the official Halo soundtrack from Bungie's online store, and I couldn't be happier. The Halo Original Soundtrack is 66 minutes of orchestral goodness that should definitely please fans of the game.
As fans undoubtedly already know, Marty O'Donnell and Mike Salvatori are the audio gurus responsible for the fabulous music in Halo. They've created a unique and complex score that blends orchestral arrangements and ambient synthesizers with pseudo-Gregorian chants. This style captures the tone of the game much better than the teeny-bopper pop fluff or looping cheese-rock riffs you'd find in many B-grade sci-fi games, an observation which becomes increasingly evident throughout the game. There is a wide range of musical diversity present in the 26 tracks, so the listening experience remains quite fresh for the duration. From the pseudo-spiritual chanting on "Under Cover of Night", to the digital blip-bleeps on "Alien Corridors", to the screaming guitars on "Rock Anthem For Saving The World", the Halo soundtrack is chock full of high-quality compositions that always heighten the emotional impact of key moments in the game.
In the end, the Halo Original Soundtrack is an excellent companion to an excellent game, and will no doubt satisfy most Halo players. If you liked Halo, the Original Soundtrack is a requisite purchase.
Halo: Combat Evolved (ign.com)
Halo composers Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori have crafted a hypnotic blend of symphonic grandiosity, ethnic mysticism, and haunting vocal choruses that create a musical world that floats effortlessly from dark European classicism to thundering tribal rhythmatism, and detached monks-of-doom-styled vocal inflection. Toss in some intriguing synthetic enhancement and you've got one of the richer in-game scores of the past decade.
Septerra Core (mobygames.com)
The music is excellent. Often subtle, it excels in fitting the moment. From the war drum sound of battle to the world map music, with each world shell having it’s own theme.
Septerra Core (gamerevolution.com)
Sound is masterfully done, with full orchestral music combined with great sound effects. The battle music varies, from battle marches to an adventure-sounding melody. All of the sound, whether a simple sword swipe or a nuclear bomb attack, is full and resonant.
Myth 2: Soulblighter (1989adventures.com)
The music is as super as ever in this epic chapter.
Myth 2: Soulblighter (macnn.com)
The music and sound in the game is equally well done and professional.
Myth: The Fallen Lords (landofwhimsy.com)
I recently dug out my old copies of Myth: the Fallen Lords and its sequel, Soulblighter, and gave them a whirl for the first time in years. Looking back on it, my fondest memories are actually of the mission briefing scenes, which showcase Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori’s evocative music and Geoffrey Charlton-Perrin’s superb narration. These two elements, working in tandem, create a wonderfully sombre mood that still gives me the chills to this day.