Music is crucial in video games. And when it comes to an adventure like Resistance 3 , the soundtrack continually works to immerse us deeper in the captivating experience.
In our review, we said the audio was a huge highlight, primarily due to the excellent score that was both diverse and effective. But even before we heard those excellent tracks, we had given some questions to the game's composer, Boris Salchow. We wanted to know how he chose the pieces for Insomniac's invigorating shooter, and we also wanted to get his opinion on the current state of music in video games.
Here's Salchow's answer to our first question, which asked about the creative process:
"I was sitting down with the Audio Director of the game, Paul Mudra and the Creative Director of the game, Marcus Smith. Marcus was helming the game creatively and it was clear early on that it would not be a typical military shooter game. With that in mind, we came up with a rough idea of which sound-world we would be in.
Much more than before, we wanted to highlight the human aspect of life under the occupancy of aliens. That part of the score would feature very traditional instrumentation like strings, piano, maybe some woodwinds and voices. And for the alien world we were talking more about manipulated traditional instruments rather than synthesized sounds. And looking back I have to say that is exactly what we did and it worked out great throughout the whole game."
Salchow went on to echo our thoughts on great game scores, in that they work to envelop the player in the presented world. It's all about contributing to the atmosphere; i.e., an awesome soundtrack "contributes substantially to how immersive the game is."
Then we tackled the discussion concerning original compositions vs. licensed music; the latter is becoming more and more popular as the gaming industry continues to rise. But according to Salchow, when it comes to creating an entirely original property, one needs an original score.
"Like with movies, a song can really elevate a certain scene or in the case of games like Guitar Hero music becomes the subject matter itself. But as soon as you want to create a long narrative arc and take the player by the hand to guide him through a storyline with emotional ups and downs and dramatic turns etc. you usually need an actual score. Or, a combination of both."
Lastly, Salchow says he thinks we'll see "all kinds of developments" in video game music. What the future holds, nobody really knows, but one thing's for certain: music will always remain a very important part of interactive entertainment and clearly, here's one composer who wouldn't mind working on more game projects.
"There are many different concepts out there and I think we will see all kinds of developments. But I personally hope we will see more games like Resistance 3 and many more that will become increasingly emotional and story-driven because it is a real pleasure working on such projects!"
We appreciate Boris Salchow taking the time to answer our questions and for more information, head on over to his website ; you've likely heard his work elsewhere. I find it ironic that he composed the music for an Infiniti M-class commercial…my car. How odd. 😉