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InFamous 2 (Blue & Red) by Jim Dooley, Galactic, Brain & JD Mayer (Review)

posted Jul 7, 2011, 8:36 PM by Kaya Savas   [ updated Jul 7, 2011, 9:17 PM ]

Sony has been taking this group approach to a couple of its recent games including God Of War III (5 composers) and the first Infamous (5 composers). For Infamous 2 the only returning players are Jim Dooley and JD Mayer with new members Galactic and Brain. Galactic is actually a band based from New Orleans but a majority of the involvement came from their drummer. So, what is the final result? Pretty damn good. I liked the first Infamous score but to be quite honest it was really all over the place and you had a couple of distinct voices but it was hard for them to mesh. This time around the group found a rhythm. The score has a distinct style and while listening to both albums I made sure to not look at the tracks while listening to check who composed what. I wanted to see if the music flowed as one unified piece. It did.

The unique thing here is that Sony released two separate albums. The Red Soundtrack and The Blue Soundtrack. If you don't know the game; a major part of it is that you can be good or bad with your decisions. If you're evil then your powers will shoot with red bolts, but if you're good then you're all blue and dandy. Each soundtrack pretty much offers up two slightly varied journeys, but you end up in the same narrative place more or less. What I love this time around is that the music is melodically charged versus last time where a lot of the music was floaty electronic ambience. Here the music takes charge and has much more structure from all the composers involved. The first track on The Red Soundtrack by Brain is quite fantastic and has an intense presence. Galactic adds a southern New Orleans feel with their music and it really establishes a setting. It gives the music a southern rock flavor and makes it graspable and identifiable. Jim Dooley and JD Mayer handle the big story arcs since they are the scoring veterans amongst the group. Their tracks help move the story along and progress the action. Some of Jim's stuff is exceptionally good especially towards the end of both albums as he closes everything out.

Overall what we have here is a full bodied experience that you will rarely come across. Sony is sticking with the group method and this time it worked really well. The score is cohesive and comprehensible yet you can still pick out who composed who by the style. It's a real collaborative journey that makes sure the score never has a dull moment. As I'm writing this review The Red Soundtrack is not widely available and was only included with the "Hero Edition" of the game, but The Blue Soundtrack is now on CD and digital.