Assassin's Creed Unity: Dead Kings

Composed By: Cris Velasco

Distributed by: Ubisoft

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Assassin's Creed Unity: Dead Kings is a downloadable game from Ubisoft.  Set during the French Revolution, the game follows the further adventures of Arno Dorian (introduced in Assassin's Creed Unity) as he battles raiders intent on sacking the tombs of the French Kings in Saint-Denis.  Available as a free download for purchasers of Assassin's Creed Unity, I was extremely fortunate that I was offered the chance to review the soundtrack without having purchased the game.

                The score of Assassin's Creed Unity: Dead Kings was created by American composer Cris Velasco.  An award winning video game score composer, Cris Velasco has created the music for a number of hit video game series, including God of War, Mass Effect, Battlestar Galactica, Terminator 3: Redemption, Clive Barker's Jericho and more.

                The orchestral score begins with a dark and ominous sounding track called The Marquis.  You get the immediate impression that The Marquis is not a nice individual and that he will be the bane of your existence before long.  The next track, Welcome to Saint Denis,  begins with that same dark theme, but then moves into an action-like theme, with a faster pace and an intense feeling, perhaps representing a perilous journey that lies ahead of you Basilica is both reverent and mysterious, featuring strange sounds mixed in with ordinary orchestral music, exotic instruments and a tolling bell.  Enter the Catacombs is actually rather spooky, with a dark, ominous orchestral sound and a heartbeat-like percussion undertone.

                Hide and Seek is a fun track featuring a fast moving score, interludes of light and heavy percussion and what sounds like either a harpsichord or mandolin.  Memories of Elise is a beautiful, but sad orchestral piece, perhaps eluding to a lost love or a death.  Meet the Raiders begins with a war drum beat.  Orchestral music moves in and rises in pace and crescendo as the track continues.  Outpost has an interesting and somewhat exotic sound.  This is followed by Now That's A Weapon, featuring high-pitched violins, crashing cymbals, more mandolin and horns, all fast-paced in action style.

                Silent Approach is a more subdued piece, dark and ominous, with spurts of louder music intertwined with bursts of fast-paced violin pieces.  Percussion in this track gives the implication of quietly traipsing through corridors, until the moment the choir comes in and you are instantly aware that a discovery has been made.  In comes the Memories of Elise theme, mixed with choir and tolling bells.  The final track, Hidden Temple, features more of the same.

                With his score for Assassin's Creed Unity: Dead Kings, Cris Velasco expertly conveys the story of the downloadable game through music.  As I listened to each track, I could almost picture the events unfolding in the game.  Cris Velasco has done an excellent job in creating a score that works perfectly well within the game and as a stand alone album.  Great job!


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