The game itself might still be months away, but we can already get an idea of the epic soundtrack waiting in Halo Wars 2.
Taking to Xbox Wire, 343 Industries revealed composer Gordy Haab and Finishing Move Inc., the duo composer team of Brian Lee White and Brian Trifon, are handling the RTS game’s musical score. Haab is best known for his work on Star Wars: The Old Republic and last year’s Star Wars: Battlefront, while Finishing Move Inc. were responsible for the new and retouched music in The Master Chief Collection.
Along with releasing the first two songs of the Halo Wars 2 soundtrack, the composers also talked about what fans can expect from the upcoming game. “With Halo Wars 2, we wanted to bring back stylistic elements that are traditional to other Halo scores, such as large orchestra and choir with a blend of electronic musical styles, but also push the envelope into new musical territory.”
Plus, “with the introduction of new characters to the Halo world, alongside the return of past characters, we decided to take a traditional leit motif approach – by composing melodic themes for each hero, villain or group of characters, each of which you’ll hear recurring throughout the score.”
Overall, it’s not a task the team takes lightly, especially not Finishing Move. “Having worked in the franchise previously, we definitely understand the high expectations fans have for Halo music, but I think we’d ultimately be doing the fans a disservice if we didn’t try to break new ground with some aspects of the score.”
Halo Wars 2 is a fundamentally different game from its first-person shooter brethren, and that means it requires a different approach to the music. Audio Director Paul Lipson explains, “We spent lots of time in pre-production at 343 Industries and designed a very adaptive interactive music system that offered total emotional support to the story… Players can enjoy a score that adapts to tactical situations on the fly, from the calmest moments to the largest battles.”
“Because this is a strategy game,” the composers add, “we not only want to be highlighting key moments in a battle with score, but also be thinking about preventing repetitive music fatigue in sections where you might be spending a lot of time,” like building up your base and positioning units.
As much work as the team has put into the music though, they still have a sense of humor about it. “I hope people experience and enjoy the soundtrack and gameplay all the way through before muting everything in favor of their typical go-to favorite playlist on Spotify, it’s really good, you’ll like it!”
Halo Wars 2 releases on Xbox One and Windows 10 Feb. 21, 2017.