Ashes Of The Singularity is a new strategy game that is based on the concept of planetary warfare on a massive scale. While the games themselves are non-linear and don’t really focus on stories or characters, strategy games have a unique way of absorbing players into their own constructed narratives. The game should provide engaging strategy gameplay, but also have encapsulating art design, score and visuals that make it unique. Ashes Of The Singularity continues that streak and a lot is owed to the score by Richard Gibbs, Geoff Knorr & Michael Curran.
Strategy games tend to leave composers with a pretty big open canvass to create worlds of music to accompany the style and visuals of the game. For Ashes Of The Singularity the soundscape is definitely reminiscent of 80’s sci-fi with a touch of modern grandiose for good measure to create a big immersive world. All 3 composers are veterans of this genre and format, so the trio managed to successfully work separately on their own tracks yet still built a cohesive world. While the ambient and shapeless nature of the music might not make for the best solo listening experience, it works wonders within the context of the game. Heavy and strong melodies are sacrificed in order to allow a score that is meant to play for hours at a time while games conquer planets. There is energy behind the action cues, and some energetic force behind the more grand scope tracks. What makes this score unique is the focus on aggressive warfare versus overt grandeur and awe. However, there is a nice heroic arc that feels embedded within the robust 1hr45min of music.
Even though the score lacks a traditional linear narrative structure due to the format of this game genre, the music still does a nice job of carrying the listener even if the actions or gameplay are never tied directly to the music. Strategy game scoring is a challenge, and Ashes Of The Singularity continue a great streak for Gibbs, Knorr and Curran.
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