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ReCore by Chad Seiter (Review)

posted Sep 30, 2016, 4:06 PM by Kaya Savas

Composer Chad Seiter has steadily been outputting some amazing work in his career. His work with Michael Giacchino has put him in the realm of a new generation of composers who are at home with orchestral writing. This is fully evident with ReCore, where Seiter has composed a bold orchestral and rock hybrid score that combines classic elegance with a modern edge. The score is enveloping, it’s thematic and it’s an encapsulating ride from start to finish.

ReCore is an XBOX One exclusive game from Microsoft and follows protagonist Joule who along with her trusty corebot companions must save the human race from a terrible fate. Awoken from a deep cryo sleep, she finds herself in a world dominated by machines and must find a way to bring humanity back from the brink of extinction. Chad’s history in game composing has already made him a seasoned veteran when it comes to approaching interactive music composition. The funny thing was that this score was envisioned to be a rock-based score by the developer at first. Chad actually pushed to incorporate the orchestra as the main focus, but you can feel that rock feel still embedded in there, and it works. The result is a beautiful score that brings all the wonderful emotional arcs of a full orchestra as well as some synth-based and rock elements that add a gritty edge.

I think what is surprising about ReCore is its embrace of thematic writing and melody. It’s very true that game scores try to avoid melodic repetition because there is no way to tell how a player will play, especially in a more open-world focused game such as this. However, Seiter makes it work. In the game the music is designed to work with the pacing and how a player moves through the world to sort of piece together the score depending how fast and where the player moves. The album is a representation of the score as if you were going through those motions. And it’s amazing to hear how Seiter made melody work to the narrative’s advantages. As someone who grew up playing games like Medal Of Honor scored by Michael Giacchino, it was amazing to hear that approach infused back into a game such as ReCore. ReCore didn’t go the expected route to produce a synth heavy sci-fi score, and instead made a score that felt true to the character and the journey. A truly wonderful experience all around.

Chad Seiter has given us a fantastic narrative journey to get lost in here. The game’s music takes us on an emotional character-driven story while still building a sonic world of the game’s setting in Far Eden. While most games are simply broken apart in “cutscene” and “battle” music, ReCore is a meticulously woven orchestral journey with a modern sci-fi edge. The whole score moves through the narrative and carries us to a deep emotional conclusion. This is simply unheard of in today’s game scores, and because of the score’s ability to truly bring us on such a fleshed out emotional experience that matches the visuals of the game, it’s as close to perfection as you could have hoped for.