ASSASSIN’S CREED UNITY Soundtrack, Volume 2 Review
If the Assassin’s Creed franchise should be known for anything other than its fun gameplay and unique story, it should be known for its compelling soundtracks. I got to sit down and listen to Volume Two of the Assassin’s Creed Unity soundtrack which features score composed by rising star Sarah Schachner (Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, Far Cry 3, Lazarus). The composer returns to Ubisoft to write music featured exclusively for the combat, co-op and multiplayer sections of the game — Chris Tilton does the score for everything else.
Set in a once-magnificent Paris, Assassin’s Creed Unity plunges into the terror of the 1789 French Revolution and features the most dense and immersive Assassin’s Creed city ever created. Through the streets of Paris, the starving inhabitants are set to take up arms for freedom and equality. In this time of chaos and brutality, a young man named Arno, wounded by the loss of those he loved, sets on a deadly path of redemption. Arno’s pursuit throws him into the middle of a ruthless struggle for the fate of a nation, and transforms him into a true Master Assassin.
Schachner is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist (she can play the violin, cello, guitar, and mandolin) as well as a modular synth artist/programmer. And she’s got a pleasant voice to boot. Using all of her talents, Schachner set out to create a unique soundscape by infusing some classical music with analog pulses.
I’m always a sucker for classical music. The sweeping violins and the rousing percussions make for a dynamic experience for the ears, and sometimes the imagination. This is especially true for Schachner because her score reflects most of the fast-paced sequences in Unity. She crosses over to the Baroque Era, which often utilizes the harpsichord. It’s a nice nod considering the game is predominantly set during the French Revolution, which also happened to be at the beginning of the classical period. It lent a very French aristocratic “joie de vivre” feel to it…right before the rest of the string family comes to do battle with it. The modern sections weave in and out of Schachner’s score, which utilizes synthetic beats, allowing the listener to pull herself/himself back into the science fiction aspect of the game series.
Schachner’s music alone quenches the thirst of many video game soundtrack enthusiasts; it continues the legacy of great instrumental music that adds to an overall exciting experience when playing an Assassin’s Creed game. The Assassin’s Creed Unity Vol. 2 Official Game Soundtrack contains all the fancy trimmings characteristic of the time period the story’s based on, and then continues on with an exciting dynamic that transports the listener into the world of Assassin’s Creed.
If you’re a collector of video game music, don’t hesitate to buy this album, available now on iTunes. If you’re still not convinced (somehow), you can listen to 12 full tracks below.