I am a newly minted Lorne Balfe fan. I absolutely loved his work on Skylanders: Giants (you should see those counters), and his work with Assassinís Creed III is just as good, if not better. As with Skylanders: Giants, Balfe manages to make music that works just as well out of context as it does in the game. Actually, it works better outside the game since youíre able to concentrate on the smaller pieces, rather than hearing bits of a song between the other sounds competing for your attention.
From the outside, the Assassinís Creed series is a work of pure historical fiction. Assassinís Creed III wraps players in the white robes of Connor, a half-European/ half-Mohawk assassin, and drops them into the middle of the Revolutionary War period. Not so apparent, at least from the outside, is the seriesí strong sci-fi element, which helps set up a larger story arc for each of gameís assassins.
Balfeís score does an excellent job of finding the balance between the two vastly different settings. A majority of the soundtrack would fit into any major Hollywood film, which is fitting considering his cinematic background, including collaborating with Hans Zimmer. The highlight of the soundtrack is the main theme, which in a musical way manages to convey the gameís main thematic push. It has a sci-fi twinge to it, but with nice driving beat that fits all the climbing, jumping and other assassin-y actions in the game. Alone, it is a fun listen, but once youíve played the game, it is hard to not picture Connor free-running through trees or stalking some poor Templar.
If anything else, it earned a Lindsey Stirling violin cover and video, which is pretty cool (or, at least I think it is).
The Main Theme is only the start; the rest of the soundtrack is just as good. While a majority of the tracks are a better fit for the gameís modern settings, Balfe also manages to squeeze in a few pieces that sound more specific to the Revolutionary War period. Thereís "Fight Club," which is primarily a fiddle piece, and "Beer and Friends," which is best described as something you would expect to hear in a tavern.
The song counter now reads in the 30ís, so I guess you can say Iím enjoying what I hear and canít wait for whatís next from Lorne Balfe. Fans of the series will want to pick up a copy of the Assassinís Creed III soundtrack, though any collector of great video game soundtracks Ė or just soundtracks in general Ė should consider adding this to their collection.