Music of Mass Effect 2

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Mass Effect composer Jack Wall returned to compose Mass Effect 2's music, aiming for a darker and more mature sound to match the mood of the game.

Mass Effect 2 is an action role-playing video game developed by BioWare and published by Electronic Arts. It was released for Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 on January 26, 2010, and for PlayStation 3 on January 18, 2011. The music of the game was primarily composed by Jack Wall. His previous work with BioWare was as the main composer for Jade Empire and the original Mass Effect. Music from the game has been released in several albums. The main soundtrack album, Mass Effect 2: Original Videogame Score, was released on January 19, 2010 and spans two discs and 27 tracks, covering a duration of 1:55:43.

Composition[edit]

The music of Mass Effect 2 was primarily composed by Jack Wall.[1] His previous work with BioWare was as the main composer for Jade Empire and the original Mass Effect.[1][2] The score also features some pieces by Sam Hulick, David Kates, and Jimmy Hinson, with additional editing and in-game implementation by Brian DiDomenico.[3] Unlike the original Mass Effect, the composers aimed for a darker and more mature sound to match the mood of the game.[3] The music incorporates both orchestral and classic sci-fi arrangements which were inspired by the soundtrack of the film Blade Runner and music by German electronic group Tangerine Dream.[3] The harmonic structure of Wendy Carlos's Tron soundtrack also represented significant influences.[3] To complement each character, the composers gave them their own theme song to convey their personalities and backgrounds.[3] According to Kates, "it was one of our mandates to create a dynamic score that expressed a wide range of emotions."[3] He also calculated that the game features around 180 minutes of music.[4]

The song "Callista" by video game music composer Saki Kaskas, who wrote the music for five Need for Speed games,[5] was used as the game's Afterlife Club theme.[6] Major downloadable content packs for the game, which include "Kasumi - Stolen Memory", "Overlord", "Lair of the Shadow Broker" and "Arrival", feature new music. The soundtrack from "Kasumi - Stolen Memory" and "Arrival" was composed by Sonic Mayhem duo Sascha Dikiciyan and Cris Velasco,[7][8] while the music from "Overlord" and "Lair of the Shadow Broker" was composed by Christopher Lennertz.[9][10]

Releases[edit]

Mass Effect 2: Original Videogame Score
Mass Effect 2: Original Videogame Score is the main soundtrack album of Mass Effect 2, containing a selection of music from the game. It was released by Electronic Arts on January 19, 2010 and spans two discs and 27 tracks, covering a duration of 1:55:43.[11]

Mass Effect 2: Atmospheric
Mass Effect 2: Atmospheric is a soundtrack album of Mass Effect 2, containing tracks of ambient and atmospheric music from the game that were missing from the original soundtrack. It was released by Electronic Arts on September 7, 2010.[12]

Mass Effect 2: Combat
Mass Effect 2: Combat is a soundtrack album of Mass Effect 2, containing tracks of action and combat music from the game that were missing from the original soundtrack. It was released by Electronic Arts on October 5, 2010.[13]

Mass Effect 2: Kasumi's Stolen Memory
Mass Effect 2: Kasumi's Stolen Memory is a soundtrack album of Mass Effect 2, containing music from the game's downloadable content pack "Kasumi - Stolen Memory". It was released by Electronic Arts on November 30, 2010.[7]

Mass Effect 2: Overlord
Mass Effect 2: Overlord is a soundtrack album of Mass Effect 2, containing music from the game's downloadable content pack "Overlord". It was released by Electronic Arts on December 14, 2010.[9]

Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker
Mass Effect 2: Lair of the Shadow Broker is a soundtrack album of Mass Effect 2, containing music from the game's downloadable content pack "Lair of the Shadow Broker". It was released by Electronic Arts on December 14, 2010.[10]

Legacy
Legacy is an album composed mostly of tracks written for Mass Effect 2 but not used in the game. It was digitally released by Big Giant Circles on March 14, 2012.[14]

Reception[edit]

Writing for Square Enix Music Online, Simon Elchlepp gave the soundtrack a mixed review and claimed that the composing team "way too often chooses the same means when trying to underscore moments of action and danger, producing the same, formula-driven sound over and over in an attempt to create gravitas."[15] The game's score was nominated for Best Original Music at the 2011 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards and Best Soundtrack Album at the 9th Annual Game Audio Network Guild Awards.[16][17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BioWare Reunites with Legendary Composer Jack Wall for Mass Effect 2 Original Score". IGN. 2010-01-12. Archived from the original on 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2016-07-15. 
  2. ^ Spence D. (2005-04-18). "Jack Wall's Jade Empire". IGN. Archived from the original on 2016-07-15. Retrieved 2016-07-15. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Composer Interview: Wall of Sound". ocremix.org. 2010-05-04. Archived from the original on 2010-05-24. Retrieved 2012-07-02. 
  4. ^ Daniel Bloodworth (2012-04-12). "BackTrack: Composing Mass Effect – David Kates Interview". GameTrailers. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  5. ^ Chris Kerr (2016-11-18). "Obituary: Need for Speed composer, Saki Kaskas". Gamasutra. Archived from the original on 2017-02-10. Retrieved 2017-12-30. 
  6. ^ Brett Elston (2010-12-10). "Game music of the day: Mass Effect 2". GamesRadar. Archived from the original on 2017-12-30. Retrieved 2017-12-30. 
  7. ^ a b "Mass Effect 2: Kasumi's Stolen Memory". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  8. ^ "BioWare Hires Composing Team to Create the "Arrival" Sound". IGN. 2011-03-29. Archived from the original on 2013-03-28. Retrieved 2016-04-05. 
  9. ^ a b "Mass Effect 2: Overlord". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  10. ^ a b "Mass Effect 2: Lair Of The Shadow Broker". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  11. ^ "Mass Effect 2". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  12. ^ "Mass Effect 2: Atmospheric". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  13. ^ "Mass Effect 2: Combat". Allmusic. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  14. ^ Layton Shumway (2012-03-17). "Revisit Mass Effect 2 with Big Giant Circles' soundtrack album, Legacy". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2013-05-19. 
  15. ^ Simon Elchlepp. "Mass Effect 2 Original Videogame Soundtrack :: Review by Simon Elchlepp". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2013-05-18. 
  16. ^ "2011 Winners & Nominees". British Academy of Film and Television Arts. 2011-02-15. Archived from the original on 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  17. ^ Meagan Marie (2011-02-08). "9Th Annual G.A.N.G. Nominees Announced". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2013-03-28. 
  18. ^ Meagan Marie (2011-03-06). "Winners: 2011 Game Audio Network Guild Awards". Game Informer. Archived from the original on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2013-03-30. 

External links[edit]