October 22, 2013

Gaming in Stereo: The Dark Knight Rises

 

This Friday sees the release of Batman: Arkham Origins, a prequel to Arkham series developed by Rocksteady. Arkham Origins takes place roughly 5 years before Arkham Asylum and puts the Dark Knight in first contact with many of his rogue’s gallery that we know of today. The game takes place during the Christmas holiday, and as a blanket of snow covers Gotham, Black Mask issues a death warrant on the caped crusader. The game not only received a new development team, WB Montreal, but a new composer as well. Christopher Drake took the musical reigns from Ron Fish and Nick Arundel, and created something that sounds both familiar to both fans of the Arkham franchise and the recently wrapped Nolan trilogy. Though Drake has scored Batman media before ( Batman: the Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Batman/Superman: Public Enemies), I was hesitant, just as I was with the new voice cast, until I heard the final product. The final product maybe one of the best Batman soundtracks to date, to no discredit of any previous soundtracks. The soundtrack is well put together with sweeping stings, racing electronic beats, deep brass, exploding percussion, and even some well know Christmas jingles make cameos. Let us dive into the defining soundtrack of Batman: Arkham Origins.

 

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Arkham Origins Main Title – Christopher Drake

This is the main theme for Arkham Origins. The beginning of the this track is very reminiscent of Hans Zimmer score from the Dark Knight trilogy. Starting at the (0:11) mark we get that same electronic beat, explosive percussion, and deep brass sound. At (0:33) the track makes its own impression with a sweeping strings and a proud lower brass sound at (0:53). At the (1:26) mark, the track kicks the tempo up again including a chorus this time. This track feels like we are watching Bruce in a flashback of the events leading him to become the hero he will be. The main theme seems to hold the same character building we will see from the story, and we couldn’t have asked for a more grandiose entrance.

 

Assassins – Christopher Drake

Now I have not played the game yet, but from the title I am guessing this the main theme for villains Black Mask has assembled to hunt down the Batman, and it could not be more epic. Starting with racing strings and a deafening bass hit, it goes directly into a low key piano romp at (0:09), the track doesn’t let up. I love the use of the brass, especially towards the (0:30) mark with the staccato notes followed by the whaling note. The track is as epic as the villain cast charged with hunting down the Dark Knight, enjoy!

 

Arkham Origins Suite – Christopher Drake

There are a lot of familiar sounds from the previous tracks but there are hints at other tracks, including the very spine chilling Joker theme, which is a twisted version of Carol of the Bells. Nothing like hearing the Joker’s cackle over a Christmas jingle. Enjoy the culmination of the Arkham Origins soundtrack.

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