The Order: 1886 is speeding towards a new reveal at PlayStation Experience, where it will finally be showcased with a brand new gameplay demo, and yesterday Sony Computer Entertainment released a featurette on the score of the game.
Ready at Dawn’s CTO Andrea Pessino shared a comment, which he defined “sentimental and cheesy,” but I would call moving and uplifting, especially considering the passion it expresses for his game and for the work that has gone into it:
When we were recording the score for The Order at Abbey Road you could feel the excitement in the air – these were all world class, pro musicians and engineers who do this day in and out, calling them a bit jaded is only fair, and yet their appreciation for the music was unmistakable. The players, singers, soloists, conductor (none other than Ben Foster!), orchestrator, engineers, the Sony audio production team, etc. everyone shared this sense that this was turning into something special, something to be especially proud of.
The whole big score is amazing, but there is this one track for a particularly important event in the game that packs an overwhelming emotional punch, just the mockup brought me to tears, the live performance was almost unbearable. As the orchestra played I watched Jason Graves tear up and I felt a rush of emotion that I can hardly express with words. All I could do was hug Jason – we didn’t need words, we knew, everyone knew… ; ) I still think of that moment as one of the highlights of my artistic career – as a game developer and a musician I had crazy expectations and dreams about how personal and relevant the score for the game could be, I am stunned to say that all those aspirations were not only met but even exceeded by the score.
It is, frankly, refreshing how enabling and supportive the Sony music team has been with this – given the mind-boggling cost of producing content at these levels it is never easy to trust the vision of the artists; when Jason and Austin Wintory started crazy talk about no brass, no violins, etc. A lot of people at Sony must have been really nervous. Yet they appreciated the potential and committed their time, resources and support unconditionally. Sticking to a “safe” Hollywood-style piece would have been easier and far less risky, but then the output would have been just a score, what we got instead is The Order’s musical signature, the emotional template for its world, its characters and its story.
We have been fanatical admirers of Jason since we first heard his score for Dead Space – still one of the most impressive scores ever committed to a game, and we chose him for The Order from the earliest days of development (he scored our very first gameplay prototype way back when). We fell in love with Austin’s music after hearing his acclaimed masterpiece Journey. Having these guys collaborate to develop the architecture of the music and then have Jason write the score was a dream scenario and we are deeply grateful it happened as it did – these guys elevate game art to new heights, we can only hope the rest of our effort will do honor to their genius.
We can’t wait for players and game music lovers around the world to be able the hear more of the score. If they love it just a fraction of how much we do they will be in for a real treat… : )
Both Jason Graves and Austin Wintory, who collaborated in creating the score, commented themselves, letting us know how it felt to work on the game:
Right there with you, my man. : ) So appreciative of the chance to work on such an incredible IP!
I’m floored by your words. You’re a dream collaborator.
Graves and Wintory also commented about their mutual collaboration:
Graves (about Wintory):
Was definitely honored and humbled to have him!!!
The honor was mine! Jason’s one of the best in the industry.
Finally, if you want to have a further taste of the game’s beautiful score, you may want to check out the official PS4 theme of the game. Graves was kind enough to confirm to me that the music included in the theme is actually part of the official soundtrack (even if he mentioned that it’s not the one Pessino talked about in his comment above), and believe me, it’s really worth listening. It brings a tear to my eye almost every time I open the dashboard.
If the emotional power of the game’s music is any indication of the quality of The Order 1886, we’re really in for a treat on February 20th.