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Call Of Duty: Black Ops by Sean Murray (Review)

posted Dec 1, 2010, 11:15 AM by Kaya Savas   [ updated Dec 7, 2010, 1:12 AM ]

The Call Of Duty franchise has had a long list of great composers creating fantastic scores. Starting with Michael Giacchino the series then saw Graeme Revell, Joel Goldsmith, Stephen Barton & Harry Gregson-Williams and Lorne Balfe & Hans Zimmer. Sean Murray composed World At War so I guess Treyarch decided to bring him back. Why? I have no idea. I would go ahead and say that the worst part of World At War was the score. Same goes here.

Instead of composing a score to go along with the story or characters, or setting we get nothing but techno background beats. If you want an example of inappropriate scoring then this is the best example. Nothing fits. The music jumps from terrible sounding sampled instruments to flat out synth with no redeeming qualities. Any melodies in the score are reminiscent of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight so no points for originality there. This score is nothing but Murray's attempt of doing a "modern warfare" genre score for a game that takes place in Vietnam! Even if the game took place in modern times the score would still be bad. No identifiable themes make it hard to grasp onto. In fact there were times when I was playing the game and the score actually took me out of it and ruined the experience.

It puzzles me why Treyarch would keep Murray onboard because he did the same thing to World At War. His scoring is an absolute misfit and actually hinders the single player experience. The only musical highlight of the entire game is playing the riverboat level while "Sympathy For The Devil" loops in the background. At least with World At War his score was tolerable, but when I actually was taken out of the game by the horrible scoring this time it actually angered me. This is an example of how a score can hinder the visuals by just being bad. Murray's work here is by far the worst of the Call Of Duty series and by far one of the worst video game scores around. If the score has one redeeming quality it's that every time I start a multiplayer match and the music thumps for 4 seconds once the match starts it makes me laugh. Treyarch, please find a new composer. Please! Please! Please!
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