Halo 3 Soundtrack Adds Epic Sound To Epic Scenes: Part One

Halo 3 Soundtrack Adds Epic Sound To Epic Scenes: Part One

DISCLAIMER:First and foremost I must admit that I am not a professional music writer or reviewer and I do not habitually review music. As such I may have misused key pieces of musical vocabulary or even misidentified instruments. I hope the audience will bear with me and that in those cases my descriptions are specific enough, if misguided, to get my meaning across.Secondly, as the Halo 3 OST itself is arranged in such a way as to replicate the sonic experience of playing the game, I have made no effort whatsoever to separate in my mind, or in this review, the experience of playing the game from the experience of hearing the soundtrack. I feel the two are designed to reinforce each other, and this article is, as much as a review, an attempt to examine some of the ways in which it does this.Lastly, if you haven't finished the Halo 3 campaign, don't read the below-- it contains spoilers!

It's hard not to be effusive about the soundtrack for the Halo series of games, composed and arranged by Marty O'Donnell and Mike Salvatori. As games become larger and larger projects, involving not just a handful of people but dozens upon dozens of artists, programmers, designers, writers, and testers, audio and music stand alone as areas that involve relatively few people, and hinge on the efforts of very few, in an area that still has a huge effect.Bungie made very, very good games before they were able to add O'Donnell/Salvatori music and sound. I think it's safe to say that the addition of that element is a major ingredient in what elevates them to the level of great games.Halo 3 is no exception in this regard. While some may scoff at the familiarity of some of the material, I think the primary challenge in scoring the last segment of a sequel is blending the new with the old. Everything needs to sound like one part of a seamless whole, the new and the old, the familiar with the reinvented. For me, at least, the Halo 3 soundtrack is a triumphant success in this regard, and is in a heavy rotation on my playlist to make up for the Halo 3 I'm not playing while my 360 is broken.With the packaging of the Halo 3 soundtrack, the approach of the second volume of the Halo 2 soundtrack was extended over both discs of a two disc set that attempts to duplicate the sonic experience of playing the game, running through the major themes and the dynamic music triggered by certain gameplay areas, from the first cutscene of the first level right through to the bitter end, with some of the music that accompanies the main menu to round out the collection.  Click here for the complete text.