Overture: Clint Mansell To Score Mass Effect 3

By John Walker on February 10th, 2011 at 12:26 pm.

Nuuuuurrrrrrrrrrr, nurrrrrrrrrrrrrr, nurrrrrrrrrrrrr, dunna, nurrrrrrrrrrrrr, DUNNA DUNNA DUNNA, nurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. That's my prediction.

Gosh, I do love Clint Mansell’s scores. Especially the soundtrack he put together for Moon. Although you used to have to be careful when listening to it on Spotify, as it would play through into the Fountain’s equally splendid OST, but then into DOOM’s. And you’d realise what you were listening to and feel ridiculous. Anyway, they’ve rejigged all that now, so it’s safe. Oh yes, I had a reason for mentioning this. He’s creating the soundtrack for Mass Effect 3! Which is really, truly splendid news. Most famous for his work on Aronofsky’s films, his orchestrally ambient pieces are capable of subtly finding their way into Trent Reznor territory, and should make a fine background for space action roleplaying. What excellent news. (Via Eurogamer)

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77 Comments »

  1. Schaulustiger says:

    Also, both Requiem For A Dream’s and the recent Black Swan’s soundtrack are a testament to the sheer brilliancy of Clint Mansell.

    This is splendid, splendid news!

    • coldvvvave says:

      And Moon OST is even better IMO.

    • c-Row says:

      I totally agree. The London trailer was good and all, but Mansell doing the score to ME3 is the most exciting news so far. Everybody go out and buy the MOON soundtrack!

  2. Kulantan says:

    Wooooo!

    This has me more exited for ME3 than any other news I’ve heard.

    • Octaeder says:

      I was just thinking that. Sod your cryptic videos of a destroyed London, Mansell’s doing the soundtrack!

  3. Rob Lang says:

    Sample it, loop it, f*ck it and eat it.

    • President Weasel says:

      I wonder if the plot of ME3 will involve getting the girl and killing the baddies?

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      I guess that would make it a lesbian love story for most people.

      I prefer to play as Doomguy Shepard, who says ridiculous insane things, then murders a whole bunch of stuff before getting emotional about toxic waste.

  4. pauleyc says:

    Good news. Although this means that Jack Wall and Sam Hulick won’t be involved – a pity since I really enjoyed their Electronica soundtrack for ME/ME2.

    • westyfield says:

      Yeah – on the one hand; woo Clint Mansell! On the other; boo, no Jack Wall / Sam Hulick. Mass Effect 1 had my all-time favourite soundtrack. ME2′s was good but nothing compared to the first.

    • Mad Hamish says:

      Yeah I love the Mass Effect soundtrack. If this means that all the synths will be gone I’ll be sorely disappointed. I don’t care how good the composer is, there is no need to shoe horn an orchestra into the game in some misguided effort to make it more “epic”.

      I like my sci fi synthy. But I guess it’s going to opposite way these days. They just keep throwing money at it and now scifi is no longer synthy/electronic and fantasy is no longer folky/traditional. It’s all one big bland term that’s become a blight on games “cinematic”.

      I haven’t seen Moon yet, I’ve been meaning to for a while. If there’s no synths in it I’ll be getting worried. If this seems kinda bitter it’s probably because I watched the Vangelis synth-gasm that is Blade Runner last night.

    • dargis49 says:

      Sam Hulick is still involved

  5. Choca says:

    I don’t really see what’s so exciting about this. The soundtrack from the previous Mass Effect games was perfect and didn’t need to be changed.

    • TheWanaB says:

      Mass Effect 2 had a soundtrack?

    • Marshall Stele says:

      Really? Because I thought that, while ME1 went with some interesting callbacks to Blade Runner et al., ME2 too often relied on standard rpg music fare. I found myself wishing it were more electronic, less orchestral. Actually, I was sitting through the new Tron movie wishing that it were the soundtrack to Mass Effect.

      But to be honest, I know jack squat about music, so who knows. (Not being sarcastic, if that is anyone’s concern.)

    • Ravenger says:

      The ME2 soundtrack was a tremendous disappointment after the awesome ME1 electronic score. As has been said it was too generic.

      I loved the retro Vangelis/Tron/Jarre vibe of the original score. It’s one of my favourite game soundtracks ever.

      I hope the ME3 soundtrack can live up to it.

    • Plankton says:

      Right with ya. I really missed the ME1 style in ME2 and hoped that they would listen to us smart people and bring back the electronic sounds for ME3 … and how knows they might just do that or something even better.
      I can hear orchestral sounds in just about any game or film. I want that unique electronic music back, Bioware!

    • DrGonzo says:

      Yeah, ME1 soundtrack was pretty much the perfect score. I hope ME3 returns to that style. I really don’t care about Clint Mansell, the only thing I know about him is that PWEI were absolutely terrible(apart from the fantastic song they did with The Prodigy), and the Requiem For a Dream theme is possibly the most irritating piece of music ever written.

    • DaFishes says:

      I couldn’t get into the ME2 soundtrack except for Samara’s song, and the one they played during the romance scenes which lasted like three seconds.

    • vodka and cookies says:

      Yeah ME2 soundtrack was very disappointing compared to the first, hopefully Clint takes inspiration from ME1.

    • Oak says:

      Edit for replyfail.

    • Barman1942 says:

      @DrGonzo

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtCpttsZiys This may change your mind on Clint Mansell.

  6. MadMatty says:

    checking out the streams… i remember Moon being a highlight of the year for me, but couldn´t remember the music.

    • MadMatty says:

      Oh no, no Spotify for the Danes :o….. i guess i´ll have to scrounge Youtube.

      Got it:

      Oh yes, so truly awesome it is! cheers for the update RPS :)

    • Theory says:

      Oh yes, I’d forgotten how good Moon was (musically and generally). Thanks John! :)

    • Tokamak says:

      Can’t really be helped, since every other soundtrack sounds about the same, more or less – probably doesn’t help that many film composers hire orchestrators/arrangers to put together their doodles either. This generation’s film composers have definitely dropped down a few notches both in terms of ability and innovation, as a whole.

    • MadMatty says:

      Well said Tokamak i totally agree. Current composer need to step up and do “their own thang”.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cg0cmhjdiLs&feature=related
      Like Vangelis.
      I also have fond memories of green.

    • DigitalSignalX says:

      @MadMatty

      Thanks for the link. Seen the movie but never paid much attention to the score till now, really really beautiful music!

  7. skurmedel says:

    I want Trent Reznor to do more Quake music :(

    • Mungrul says:

      He was involved with Doom 3, to the point that a lot of the sounds in the leaked alpha were designed by him, but then quit to concentrate on With Teeth, although he claimed it was down to “”time, money and bad management”.
      In an alternate universe, there’s a full version of Doom 3 with a Reznor soundtrack and sounds, and it is awesome.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of Doom 3′s fans, but Chris Vrenna was a huge let-down in comparison to Trent Reznor.

      Still, I’ll always have Quake.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I actually thought id didn’t want Trent Reznor to do the soundtrack in the end. I thought the final Doom 3 soundtrack was made as placeholder, but was really effective so they settled with it rather than Trent Reznor ruining all the atmosphere with his generic metal.

    • MrSelfDestruct says:

      Well, in both Quake soundtrack and “The social network” he didn´t put any metal (although I wouldn´t call his music metal). It was all sinthesizers and that kind of stuff.
      Also, Doom 3´s main theme was a rock theme. One wich I didn´t especially like.

  8. mikmann says:

    Pah, Clint Mansell is over-rated. All his soundtracks are super repetitious, he composes one idea and then repeats it over and over again. I did like The Fountain soundtrack but man, if I have to hear that f’king Requiem For a Dream theme on YouTube one more time I’m going to kill somebody.

    I also don’t think he’s wholly appropriate for Mass Effect, part of the charm of especially the first game was the use of analogue synthesisers which was a homage to 70/80′s sci-fi – I thought it worked very well, especially that galaxy map track. The more the franchise has moved away from this sound and into orchestral pieces, the less of a unique feel and identity the games soundtrack has.

    • battles_atlas says:

      To be fair, STs have to be minimalist, or you end up with the music taking attention from the visuals, rather than supporting them. I can’t think of a successful soundtrack that didn’t revolve around just one or two repeating themes

    • MadMatty says:

      Hes overplayed, not underrated. They should play his music less on repeat throughout the movies, like in Requiem, it gets overplayed way too much. Even tho its a decent track, you end up thinking “Oh nooo not again!”
      Twas the same for me in Lord of the Rings- the theme makes me nearly physically ill these days.

      Edit.
      Netpunks are insane. Also, they have too much spare time:

      Lord of the Rings trailer with Requiem for a Dream soundtrack anyone?
      nooooooooooo00000000000000000000

      Edit 2. Like this feature.
      After hearing them again i´d actually be inclined to agree that both Requiem for a Dream and The Fou ntains main themes are a bit too repetitive as single tracks really…. whereas the first 3/4 of the Moon theme has got it just right….
      i could even argue a bit for the rocky bits at the end as it fits with the theme of the scene.

  9. Evil Otto says:

    Jack Wall was a great composer as well imo. His work on Myst III and IV was great.

  10. Pijama says:

    So Jack Wall was dropped?

    Man, not fair to the guy. At least the two should collaborate, I mean, mr. Wall was there since the beginning.

    Also, me wants Faunts for credits!

  11. Moni says:

    It’s an interesting decision, the Mass Effect soundtrack didn’t work for me. It just didn’t seem to match up to the epicness of what was happening.

  12. Thule says:

    I’m not sure whether I’m happy with this. I thought ME1′s soundtrack was forgettable, apart from a few gems. But I thought that ME2′s soundtrack was excellent and possibly the best soundtrack of a game in 2010.

    I hope Clint Mansell can live up to expectations, because I’d have loved to have heard what Hulick and Wall would’ve done for ME3.

  13. Jonathan says:

    Pish tosh. Everybody knows this is Mansell’s best work.

    And no, I’m not joking. Well, I might be about the “everybody knows” part.

    • Kieron Gillen says:

      I know you’re not joking. You’re just wrong.

      (I still can’t quite get over Mansell’s post PWEI career. It really just does prove you can never really tell.)

      KG

    • Jonathan says:

      But Alan Moore DOES know the score.

    • President Weasel says:

      I once asked Clint Mansell and the rest of PWEI for their student ID at the door of the student union at Glasgow University. They were the band for the evening.
      True story. (not a very good story, but true nonetheless).

    • Handsome Dead says:

      Defcon 1 was better.

      Tru fax.

  14. Colonel J says:

    Got to be good news.

    Though I think his stuff would really work best for a darker Deus Ex-kind of aesthetic.
    Something like this from Smoking Aces: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa33P9A5iHs Shades of Godspeed You! Black Emperor-lite at the end but that’s no bad thing in my book.

  15. ALJA says:

    This is amazing news!

  16. kyrieee says:

    I’m a bit worried since I loved the soundtrack in both the previous games, but hopefully he will come up with something that matches those.

  17. DiamondDog says:

    While I thought Jack Wall had done a fine job previously and Clint Mansell is a good replacement, when I think of Mass Effect I just want Vangelis. Or Alan Howarth. I don’t care if it’s a shameless rip-off, I want synths.

    The Running Man soundtrack would be perfect.

  18. nick_gamestribe says:

    Only a couple of Poppie’s references? Pah. Loved the Poppies back in the day so I put together this playlist of suitable PWEI tunes that ol’ Clint could include for the soundtrack

    http://raidingparty.net/featured/mass-effect-3-soundtrack-clint-mansell/

  19. Flint says:

    Hopefully the credits will once again feature something unexpected but so fitting and AWESOME like the Faunts song in ME1. That really nailed down the heroic, epic feeling of the ending (or, well, the heroic ending for my paragon Shep anyway). One of the very, very few times where I think a licensed song has worked great in a game.

    (and it got me into a good band!)

    • cjlr says:

      I covered this already. Final Countdown for credits theme. Can’t be topped.

      As suitably epic and gloriously cheesy as Mass Effect itself could ever dream of being.

      Edit: not that M4 wasn’t tight, but I dug on the first part much more than the second – more jazz and less whining.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Ooof, this reminded me of the credits song for DA. I didn’t recognise it, but that shit was bad. Also, strikingly out of place.

      There have been some good ones, though. World of Conflict ending with Everybody Wants to Rule the World was awesomely camp. Oh, and Homeworld’s original song by Yes was pretty fun.

  20. The Sombrero Kid says:

    eugh

  21. MadMatty says:

    Hows this for a gaming convention to prevent game scores from becoming overplayed and therefore naff to listen to (after 7 hours of Super Mario Bros you turn the damn music off, aye?) :

    1. Once you go to the mapscreen or whatever, only play the map screen music a fraction of the times you activate it.
    2. At other times than playing the track, have some very minimal background ambience drones or fx from the game running.

    Edit:
    You only need to calculate the time presumably spent completing the game divided by how many hours there are of game soundtrack to figure out why everyone eventually turn the music in games off

    • MadMatty says:

      Eve Online had a quite nice soundtrack with over 40 tracks but in time i turned that off also

  22. Acosta says:

    I don’t want Clint without Wall :(

    Uncharted Worlds is one of the best songs for a space game ever, in competion with Eve Online Surplus of Rare Artifacts.

    • Nighthood says:

      That track, along with Mass Effect Theme, are the two best pieces of gaming music ever.

  23. DrGonzo says:

    I’m so disappointed by this news. Mass Effect 1s soundtrack was perfect. More of that please. No more inappropriate and pretentious orchestral bullshit.

  24. reticulate says:

    I am suitably intrigued by this notion.

    And I agree with the sentiment that certain arrangements by him have been overplayed. If you care to go back to the movies they were actually made for, they work perfectly.

  25. hmcindie says:

    Well, Doom was scored by Clint Mansell and it was shite.

    I hope they keep continuity, otherwise this game will stick out very badly from the first too. There are some signature music pieces that have been composed for the previous game and it would be awesome to still hear some variations from them.

    I hope we don’t get the Harry Potter effect where new composers don’t utilise the previous themes at all.

    I’m actually dreading this. Also it would’ve been great to just give Jack and the team more money to make this instead of changing the composers to Clint.

  26. MadMatty says:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5101158/BrainBlaster%20-%20Mars%20Funeral%2094%20BPM.mp3

    heres some of my ambient felt in a mood to mix some up

  27. Oak says:

    Dunno. There are some tracks from the games that I outright love – Shepard’s theme, the map music, and especially the little flourish that plays when you complete a mission in ME2 – and would hate to see…uh, hear altered beyond recognition. Assuming that might happen.

  28. Pointless Puppies says:

    I really, truly hope this doesn’t mean they’ll go with a generic bombastic Hollywood-esque symphonical soundtrack, because not only would that make it completely generic, but it would also kill what made ME1′s and to a lesser extent (much lesser extent) ME2′s soundtracks good, the inclusion of synths as a throwback to 80′s/90′s sci-fi movies.

  29. Kadayi says:

    Result: outstanding news. Love Mansells work. The Moon soundtrack is stellar.

  30. karthink says:

    At first I was devastated to know Jack Wall wouldn’t be composing.

    Then I listened to the Moon soundtrack.

    I just hope some of the synth and electronic music from ME 1 isn’t abandoned. Even the mediocre ones like A Very Dangerous Place felt so right.

    And if Uncharted Worlds doesn’t make the cut, it won’t feel like ME anymore. :(

  31. ezekiel2517 says:

    I am very neutral on this. Going back to listen to the ME soundtrack makes me feel all nostalgic like, and listening to Moon makes me hopeful for the future.

    I very much agree that Jack Wall needs to be involved somehow. It would almost be like taking the Silent Hill music away from Akiro Yamaoka.

  32. Blackdawn451 says:

    I’m glad that Mansell will be writing ME music, but I hope that Jack Wall stays on as the primary composer. His music from ME1 was fantastic, and there are a lot of unused ME tracks floating around that would be amazing with a little more refinement. It would also be good if certain themes were brought back, like the ME1 love theme.

  33. Selix says:

    Ok, maybe in this case it’s good having a large company like EA behind your back… The Moon soundtrack exudes atmosphere.
    I actually like Jack Wall, but I think this is another level of intensity.

  34. tossrStu says:

    The Protheans Say GRRrrr!

  35. sebmojo says:

    ASTLEY’S IN THE NOOSE HANG LOOSE KID LIFT THE LID ON THE CRIMES HE DID – CALL IT PLAYING SAFE? IT’S A BOARD GAME! ALL THE SAME – AND EVERYONE’S PLAYING IT! NOONES SAYING IT LIKE THIS – POSING PRETTY, SHITTY SHIT CITY – IT’S A TRAGEDY, PURE SITCOMEDY! SO WE STEAL SO WHAT SO FAR SO GOOD WE’RE ROBIN HOOD FOR THE GOOD OF THE LOSERS THE BOOZERS THE UGLY THE CRAZY THE DRUNKS AND THE PUNKS THE PERVERTS THE LAZY TROUBLE HERE IS THAT TROUBLE NEVER HAPPENS THERES BUBBLES TO BURST AND MAKING TROUBLES A CURSE RHYTHM AND RHYME PARTNERS IN CRIME GOING FOR THE PRIME TIME –
    I’M GONNA GET MINE!!!

    • yonassassin says:

      Beaver Patrol for ME3 title song!

      Grebo Shepard!

      Not Now Wrex, We’re Busy!

  36. sebmojo says:

    From memory, i’m a bit ashamed to note.

  37. Sentinel Red says:

    Unfortunately, poppets, Jack Wall isn’t coming back in any capacity. He’s posted on the Bioware boards saying that – for unspecified reasons – he and his team are done with the series but that there was no bad blood or anything and Clint Mansell is a fantastic choice, etc etc.

    A shame but like he says, Clint’s an inspired choice. I just hope the main themes of the series make it in somehow (Shepard/The Normandy, Geth and Sovereign/Reaper themes, and Uncharted Worlds).

    Bonus points if Clint sneaks on a track called ‘Not Now Jacob, We’re Busy’.