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Gears of War: Judgment Soundtrack Review

Posted on Wednesday, March 27 @ 08:21:19 PST by Keri_Honea
The soundtracks from Gears of War 2 and Gears of War 3 have been a few of my favorites over the last few years, so yes, I was delighted that the composer of these scores, Steve Jablonsky, was back to write for Gears of War: Judgment. While I was expecting music akin to the sounds from the last two Gears of War games, Mr. Jablonsky—teamed with Jacob Shea—went a different route, making the tracks actually sound older and a bit closer to Kevin Riepl's score for the original Gears of War. You know; it sounds like it is a prequel.

From the first track, "Judgment", my thoughts instantly went back to Riepl's original theme, aptly entitled "Gears of War." The tones have Jablonsky's orchestral, symphonic feel he had in Gears 2 and 3, but it's definitely harsher, much like the overall theme of Riepl's score. Right away, the listener knows that this game takes place way before anyone had any idea how to defeat the Locust horde. Everything sounds more grim, more desperate, and completely devoid of hope.

Don't believe me? Listen to "Undefined Charges" from Judgment and then "Jacinto Prison" from the first Gears of War.

Of course, the soundtrack isn't completely without a few signature Jablonsky melodies. For example, if you never knew Jablonsky penned the music for Judgment, you'd realize, albeit subconsciously, that "High Surge" sounds like it's straight from Gears of War 2, particularly when you reach the 1:00 mark. There are also quite similar themes between "Gauntlet" from Judgment and "Return of the Omen" from Gears 2. It was just enough to connect the sounds of the games together, yet not similar enough to think they're from the same game.

I have not had a chance to play the game yet, so I haven't gotten to witness/experience how this music intertwines with the gameplay. Despite that, I have absolutely enjoyed this soundtrack as much as I have loved Jablonsky's previous two compositions.

The Gears of War: Judgment soundtrack is currently available for download via iTunes and Amazon MP3.
Related Games:   Gears of War: Judgment
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