Score Reviews‎ > ‎

Company Of Heroes 2 by Cris Velasco (Review)

posted Aug 24, 2013, 5:23 PM by Kaya Savas   [ updated Aug 24, 2013, 5:32 PM ]

Cris Velasco is probably the best composer writing for video games. He is a simply stunning talent whose name should be a household name for any gamer. If you’re not a gamer then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t discover his stunning work. I was blown away by his SpaceMarine score that he composed with Sascha Dikciyan. Many people who don’t play video games dismiss game scores as nothing but electronic background music when that couldn’t be further from the truth. Composers like Velasco make you look at a video game and say “wow, this sounds like a studio blockbuster”.

Company Of Heroes 2 delivers everything you'd expect from Velasco. The score will surprise you with a huge orchestral sound, achingly beautiful melodies and thrilling action. This game is a strategy game woven together with a story, but as a strategy game there is no real linear structure. This isn’t a video game with a structured path, which makes the score even more impressive. The tracks act more like chapters with their own tones and structures. The Russian sonic accents in the music really enrich the whole listening experience as well. Never do you feel that this is background music. It never has a looping feel, and you really feel as if you are deploying on a grand venture. Velasco paints atmospheres and moments very well with his music here. A track like “Frostbite” will indeed make you feel cold, alone and helpless. While most of the score is bold there are quite a few emotional touches that depict the darker side of war. A subtle reminder that there is a history behind what the video game is using as inspiration for its story.

Company Of Heroes 2 is a wonderfully immersive listening experience and a sonically rich video game score. Since the game it accompanies is more of a strategy game you won’t find a fast-paced “charge to the finish” narrative type of score. Each track kind of becomes its own journey and they all fit nicely to form a cohesive work. There are grand choral arrangements, a dynamic orchestral approach and grounding melodies all throughout this score. This is as good as video game scores get, and a wonderful achievement from Cris Velasco who I hope makes the jump to movies soon.