Spartan Army! Still haven’t pre-ordered God of War: Ghost of Sparta? The exclusive Kratos PSN Avatar not enough for you? Perhaps this will change your mind — introducing the God of War: Ghost of Sparta Original Soundtrack, one of six reasons to pre-order the game.
- Kratos PSN Avatar (More here)
- Original Soundtrack
- Legionnaire Skin
- PSP Theme
- God of War Live (Creative Directors Documentary)
- PS3 Dynamic Theme
Joel Yarger, the Music Supervisor of God of War: Ghost of Sparta leads the charge this week with a behind-the-scenes look (and audio samples) for the Original Soundtrack.
I’m Joel Yarger, Music Supervisor on God of War: Ghost of Sparta, and I bring the sound of music to the PlayStation.Blog today. As you probably already know, God of War: Ghost of Sparta is the second God of War game from Ready At Dawn Studios and I think it outdoes their previous effort, Chains of Olympus, in pretty much every way! I’ve personally been involved with the music for the God of War franchise since God of War 2 and it’s always fun to see where we can go with it.
The original music for Ghost of Sparta was written by Gerard Marino and Mike Reagan, both of whom have worked on the previous God of War games. They really had the hard jobs of creating something new yet keeping it all within the God of War musical universe. That’s no small task as there are four other games worth of music written, so kudos to Gerard and Mike for nailing it! Dana Jan, the game director for Ghost of Sparta, really wanted the new music to contribute to the game’s identity: You know you’re playing a God of War game, but it still feels fresh. Some quick factoids: There were roughly 13 minutes of new music composed for Chains of Olympus (all Gerard writing) and then we re-worked music from the other titles. Ghost of Sparta features roughly 37 minutes of new music and uses significantly less cues from the previous games.
There were many new elements in this game to draw inspiration from, everything from the new story and main characters to the new environments and cities. We had plenty of concept art, good screenshots, some gameplay videos, and of course both the script and game director (Dana) to help us along the way. Here are four samples from the game that I think help showcase some of the inspired work both Mike and Gerard contributed.
Atlantis and The Caldera are both pieces written by Mike Reagan. Mike did some really interesting things given our tight budget on the project. Since we weren’t able to record most of the music with live musicians, Mike took it upon himself to record some of his own live elements. He bought a double bass, a cello, a didgeridoo, and even modified a hammer dulcimer to have a curved bridge so you can reach individual strings with a bow. The sounds he achieved were just awesome and worked very well for establishing that “fresh feeling”, but sounded much older, even ancient. The hammer dulcimer especially lends itself to Atlantis, an ancient, mysterious city that has hints of splendor and regality. In The Caldera you can hear the cello and bass as they carry both the melody and rhythm that are very much inspired by the ebb and flow of lava.
For Gerard’s contribution we should mention the story for a second (don’t worry, it’s all vague and spoiler free!). The story in Ghost of Sparta has some very strong emotional moments and we felt that the music needed to pay appropriate attention to them. Kratos goes through what amounts to an emotional roller coaster and that was yet another opportunity to introduce something musically new for this title. We leaned heavily on Gerard to turn on the emotion for the 2 pieces highlighted here. Both cues are based on the same theme but they each showcase very different emotions, and different character’s perspectives, which was essential for this score in order to have a good balance. One more factoid: If you listen even more closely you can hear that these themes are based on non-other-than the original Gof of War melody — one part of it, anyway. Because much of the actual story in the game is for you to discover when you play it, I won’t say any more than I already have.
Be sure to pre-order the game to get the full soundtrack directly through PSN starting November 2nd, 2010.