It’s no longer hot in herre
Frankie feeds the masses
Last week, while the mercury in the thermometer soared, we huddled up to our computers and crunched away, battling our way through both heat and producer-driven deliverables. This week the sweltering conditions may have subsided but we continue to crunch, keeping our laser-like focus on the quickly approaching finish line.
With less than 80 days until launch, the various teams across the studio find themselves at different stages of completion. Animation is wrapping things up, working only on the occasional misplaced pinkie. Localization is in a similar state as they drop in the last of their multilingual text strings. Some parts of the game are (for all intents and purposes) complete, such as audio and achievements. We’re going to touch on both today, so let’s cut the chit-chat and dive into the first of the aforementioned alliterative subject matters, shall we?
Halo 4 Original Soundtrack and Special Edition Remix Album Coming Oct.22
Halo is defined by a lot of things. It's defined by the stories of the universe, by the quality and immersion of the graphics, by the constituents of the community that play, share, compete and create in the Halo sandbox, but to me, one of the most memorably definitive aspects of the game is and always has been the music.
We've talked a lot about the transition between Marty O'Donnell's unforgettably inspiring and foundational music - and the new, radically different approach being taken by our new composer, Neil Davidge.
Both envelop and engage the player, grounding him or her in a universe and an atmosphere quite unlike any other game series. Both use large orchestras, traditional movie score elements at times – and both explore other genres and styles within those areas. But Marty’s scores lean towards cinematic, orchestral, occasionally metallic, whereas Neil’s skillset leans more towards electronica, at least in terms of instrumentation. It’s not an apple to orange comparison, but they’re different enough to feel distinct stylistically, even to someone who’s never heard either artist before.
I am certain that when the game ships in November, the comparisons and contrasts between old and new Halo music will have huge energy, passion, and opinion fueling them. But there's something else we've been working on as a creative outgrowth of the game soundtrack.
Neil Davidge is a pretty legendary figure in the electronic music scene, not just for his work with Massive Attack but also for his compositions and collaborations with other digital and traditional artists. So when Neil approached us with the idea of working with other famous electronic musicians, DJs, and composers to create a completely unique collection of remixes and directly inspired re-imaginings of some of the game's new themes, we jumped at the chance.
These remixes won't be appearing on the main soundtrack disc - we felt that the entire purpose of an Original Soundtrack is to capture the feel, the atmosphere, and the moment-to-moment feelings of the game itself, so the OST disc will remain entirely devoted to the main game themes and tracks (including some truly incredible supplemental themes from our own in-house composer Kazuma Jinnouchi).
So just to make sure it’s perfectly clear – the OST, the Original Soundtrack, will be presented just like a movie soundtrack and stand alone, on its own disc. It will be replete with soaring themes, inspirational tracks, emotionally compelling melodies and a soundscape we are genuinely excited about.
But we wanted to do something more. Something experimental and cutting edge and extraordinarily awesome.