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Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag by Brian Tyler (Review)

posted Oct 29, 2013, 6:42 PM by Kaya Savas

The Assassin’s Creed franchise has given us some wonderfully fun scores over the years. Jesper Kyd laid the fantastic groundwork for Lorne Balfe to follow and take into a different direction. Now Brian Tyler steps up to add his high-energy thematic scoring to the newest entry in the game series. Black Flag takes the game into the pirate realm of the Caribbean, so you know the music is gonna be fun as hell. Brian Tyler delivers everything you’d want in a swashbuckling adventure set in paradise, which also makes for a rivetingly entertaining listen.

I’m sure you’re wondering, does it sound like Pirates Of The Caribbean? No, not at all. Brian Tyler adds his own take on pirate lore by being completely aware of the big shadow Zimmer created over the subject material. The score is propulsive and filled with fantastic action tracks. The opening theme is just plain awesome. It carries the big melody extremely well while giving it a grand amount of energy. The rest of the tracks have some great moments. “The High Seas” is a wonderful swashbuckling action track and really embraces the subject matter of the game. The fiddle is a very prominant instrument throughout the score and gives it that “time period” feel. The music is very modern though and Tyler doesn’t shy away from sharp percussion and electronics. Stylistically the score takes on a bit of a Spanish flavor later in the album as Tyler introduces some acoustic guitar. Since this is a large open-world game the music does echo the unstructured feel a bit. So as an album you may find the pacing and progression of a story a bit lacking, but again it’s the nature of the game.

Black Flag is a terrific and exciting score from Brian Tyler. Tyler’s themes have always been his big calling card, and that’s still the case here. Black Flag’s main theme is indeed exciting and is a great anchor for the entire body of the score. He infuses great action, melodies and instrumentation to make this a truly energetic and fun pirate adventure. The music builds the world around you and keeps you immersed in it. If you’re looking for a grand adventure-filled pirate score that successfully has its own identity then look no further.