Assassin's Creed III

Composed By: Lorne Balfe

Distributed by: Ubisoft

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                In the third installment of the popular Assassinís Creed video game, the year is 1775 and the colonies of America are poised for war with Britain.  You are Connor, an assassin born of a Native American mother and British father.  You have sworn to fight for and achieve liberty for your people and the land you live in.  To do so, you must employ your deadly assassin skills of stealth and death-dealing throughout the bloody battlefields of the American Revolution which will take you from city streets into the heart of the American wilderness.  Will you survive long enough to ensure the liberty of your people and their country?

                The music of Assassinís Creed III was composed by Scottish composer Lorne Balfe who began his career providing additional music for such notable movies as Pirates of the Caribbean II and III, Angels & Demons, Iron Man, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.  He has since created musical scores for the movies Megamind and The Dilemna and television series such as The Sweeney, Ironclad and Five.  His compositions for video games include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Assassinís Creed: Revelations.

                When I first saw television promotions for Assassinís Creed III, I was intrigued.  The graphics are always amazing in these games, but what I was most impressed with was the storyline.  I couldnít remember ever seeing a video game set during the Revolutionary War and to take a game of this style and caliber and place it in that setting was quite a creative move for the powers that be at Ubisoft   When I was offered the opportunity to review the gameís soundtrack, I was excited.  I knew that a game with such a unique storyline and setting pretty much promised a soundtrack equally innovative and new.

                The music of Assassinís Creed III represents the main characterís dual cultures, his home setting and the ravages of the battlefield.  Featuring quite a heroic sounding theme from the very first track, the score of Assassinís Creed III promises action, intrigue and a determination of spirit in the main character.  The music is mainly orchestral, featuring a great deal of strings and percussion with a smattering of horns, but the most enjoyable tracks take a stab at the ethnic diversity of the characters in the game.  There are Native American woodwinds and singing focusing on the Native American culture of Connorís mother.  There are also fiddles and Celtic woodwinds offering up a taste of the culture of the people Connor is aiding toward the ultimate goal of liberty.

                Each track of the score leads the player into a new segment of the game.  Most of the action pieces feature heavy, fast-paced strings.  Quieter tracks represent parts of the game in which the player must use stealth to accomplish his mission.  The musical score created by Lorne Balfe has an epic feel to it, one equally suited for a movie. 

                Iím still in awe of the musical scores for video games in this era.  When I was a kid, the musical scores were not even close to the caliber of those created for the video games of the present.  And of all the video game scores I have heard recently, the score of Assassinís Creed III is the most impressive to date.  Fans of the game will love getting their hands on the Assassinís Creed III Soundtrack, but whether or not you are a fan of the game, this soundtrack is worth taking a listen to.  Kudos to Lorne Balfe for an exquisitely composed musical score that gives the video game such an epic feel.


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