Deus Ex: Human Revolution did what many people considered the impossible, it was a worthy successor to the gaming industries favourite “best game ever”.
“Why cant you be like Deus Ex?!”, they scream. Stamping their feet and pointing back to the year 2000. You know what? Why cant games be more like that? I want options within a level, not doors that only NPC Toughguy #2 is capable of opening. I want to explore, stack things into absurd physics piles and climb into a ventillation system i’m not entirely sure i’m supposed to be in. While you’re working on that, I want a brilliant soundtrack to accompany my journey through the world you’ve spent years creating.
Eidos Montreal achieved all this and more. The staggering art direction and coherence of design, coupled with the excellent music, gave the world a tangible atmosphere.
Composed entirely by veteran composer Michael McCann, the soundtrack is a mesmerising blend of ethereal vocals, electronic beats, synths and strings.
Michael McCann understands perfectly that the music is there to accompany and heighten the core experience and as such, there arent any tracks that jump in your face, as seems to be a problem with some modern gaming scores. Inception style BWAAAA’s and absurdly loud orchestral pieces always drag me a little away from the game, you wont find any loud and obnoxious tracks here, even the more excitable tracks know their place.
The entire soundtrack is an excellent homage to sci-fi giants, such as Blade Runner, mixed with the more modern sci-fi darlings of the videogame industry, such as the Mass Effect series. It manages this, along with hints of the original Deus Ex soundrack while still keeping it’s own, unique, aural trappings.
THAT music from the trailers which, at the time, sent me scurrying around the internet in search of its name. Icarus is a fantastic showcase for what the rest of the score offers. Slow building layers of vocals, synths and strings taking you along for the ride, to a peak, then a conclusion.
Limb Clinic is a track that almost exudes a sterile, clean setting. A sinister purity hinted by the low vocals contrasting with the high ambient tone. This is a track that constantly vies for my “favourite track” spot.
Barret Boss Fight.
While many people hated the boss fights in Human Revolution, you cant deny that the music accompanying them is excellent. The electronic drums hammering out a beat like a dystopian future tribal Thunderdome, as you do battle with a hulking, brutish amalgamation of metal and flesh. In my case, throwing barrels at him until he fell over. The music made it feel epic despite this.
This is another showcase track, building from low synths and vocals into an almost barely contained furor of drums and electronic sounds before fading back into subdued, haunting vocals and gentle synths, letting you recover in the aftermath of the songs frantic peak.
Its no surprise that the Human Revolution soundtrack is such a masterful work, given Michael McCann’s previous work in videogames, television and film. The Deus Ex:Human Revolution soundtrack received five “Best Orginal Score” nominations in 2011 and 2012 from prestegious bodies such as BAFTA. Not to mention a similar success with his last videogame score for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Double Agent.
The Deus Ex: Human Revoltion soundtrack is available to purchase on iTunes and Amazon, if you love involving, quality music you’re doing yourself a disservice by not picking this up at once.
More information about Michael McCann can be found at his website.