Steve Jablonsky – Gears of War 3 *Review In English*

“The development of theme and action cues is very satisfying and so energetically moving that I can enjoy an almost-80-minute running time of it without feeling the redundancy and the lack of subtlety at some points.”

Label: Sumthing Distribution

Here comes the third installment in GEARS OF WAR game series. As I do some research a little more than my last review, it seems that this game is going to get bigger with more desperate battles, more characters involved, and the way it is made to be the final chapter (however, like the filmmaking, there is the possibility of prequel and spin-off being made which all gamers will have to find that out later). Now I have no doubt why it is called one of the most anticipated games of the year!

The composer of GEARS OF WAR 3 is still Steve Jablonsky, who has already done two epic scores this year (in 2011) such as YOUR HIGHNESS and TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON (the first one is a real good surprise why the second one is a bit disappointing). For me, this is another game soundtrack review I write without experiencing the game before. But if I can appreciate the previous GEARS OF WAR score and able to write something about it, why I won’t do the same thing with its sequel here.

The grand orchestration with choir and synthetic sounds remain the main elements of the score. The main theme returns and is developed satisfyingly as well as some motifs in order to combine with some new stuffs. Restless give an atmospheric opening like the previous album’s opening but with more use of strings and short piano part.  Then, Gears Keep Turning presents the score’s main theme elaborated by some new choir arrangements on the same theme. I can’t help feeling anything but totally loving it!

As the score keeps turning for almost 80 minutes (which is the longest soundtrack album of GEARS OF WAR and the maximum length of CD), well, you can consider that it is a very long listening experience but for me, its music is rich enough to stand on its own for such a lengthy time. The score has all the action-packed, suspenseful, moving, and dramatic moments like the last time but they are all about to be heated up and some moments are pushed to shine more or less.

The action-packed and suspenseful cues’ tactical composition deserves all the applause. The strings, brasses, percussions, synthetic sounds, powerful choirs are simply delicious in Jablonsky’s style and able to fulfill almost everything this kind of score requires. These cues are even more intense than the previous score and they are the best part of the entire score so far. For example, Stalk City as a very first action cue with the theme and the proof of amazing electronic orchestra, Infected Large and Hungry with the adapted aggressive motifs of ‘Hell Breaks Loose’ from the previous score, Fence House Suicide Pills which gives you new threatening motifs (with something in common to TRANSFORMERS’ Fallen motifs) to be followed by other great tracks such as A Fine Mess and Hammer Meet Anvil. Deadland Dance is the longest track of the score. The tough dance on orchestra, deadly choirs and percussions would have fit title well. Fathoms Below is the epic rising track along with the theme to make your heart beat a bit faster. Fury of the Tempest is something I have to call over-the-top action cues. Its apocalyptic tone is highly chilling and truly differentiates itself from the others.

Next, for the moving and dramatic cues, it seems that they cannot get more subtle or catchier than the previous score. It is probably because Jablonsky has done all the action cues greatly and there aren’t much of materials left for some great emotional cues. However; these tracks still get away decently with most of the 4 –star-effort tracks and a few new music due to what gamers might have already expected after reading game synopsis. Forever Omen is like the 2-minute reprise of theme and calm between the rages which is followed by Hanover’s Favorite with a patriotic crescendo to appreciate at the end. Of course, this 5-star effort is a pretty short track but it is still worth it. Live for Me is the haunting track and make a suitable sequence next to Fury of the Tempest I have mentioned but it is still somehow not as great as ‘With Sympathy’ from GEARS OF WAR 2 (they are quite similar dramatic cue).

This album ends with the glorious Finally a Tomorrow. It is just what I want to hear after the wonderful Gears Keep Turning and it evokes the feeling of hope for the final chapter impressively.

In conclusion, GEARS OF WAR3 might not top up everything from the previous score to be the perfection but, at least, it shows that the composer really works hard with his real enthusiasm (it is even more triumphant than TRANFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON for me ). The development of theme and action cues is very satisfying and so energetically moving that I can enjoy an almost-80-minute running time of it without feeling the redundancy and the lack of subtlety at some points. Just like its predecessor, this is one of the best video game scores I have ever heard as well as my level-up guilty pleasure of the year by Steve Jablonsky!

Tracklist

01. Restless (*****)

02. Gears Keep Turning (*****)

03. Meanwhile Below Deck (****)

04. Stalk City (*****)

05. High Seas Tension (****)

06. Infected Large and Hungry (*****)

07. Marcus’ Rock (****)

08. Calm before Chaos (***)

09. Bridge Too Far Indeed (*****)

10. Those Aren’t Stranded (****)

11. Forever Omen (****)

12. Hanover’s Favorite Son (*****)

13. Fence House Suicide Pills (*****)

14. Ghost Town (****)

15. A Fine Mess (*****)

16. Loss of a Leader (****)

17. Deadland Dance (*****)

18. Creeping Dread (***)

19. Hammer Meet Anvil (*****)

20. Corpser Ambush (*****)

21. Last Resort (****)

22. Full Circle (*****)

23. Jumped Species Barrier (****)

24. Ashes Fall Down (*****)

25. Fathoms Below (*****)

26. Gasbag Airways (****)

27. Paradise Found (****)

28. Father and Son (****)

29. Fury of the Tempest (*****)

30. Live for Me (****)

31. Finally a Tomorrow (*****)

Final Score: 9

Buy It @Boomerang

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One Response to “Steve Jablonsky – Gears of War 3 *Review In English*”

  1. Thanks for the review; Gears of War 3 seems like an awesome game. I have been a huge fan of Gears 1 and 2 and I am very excited for the third part, especially since they revamped their multiplayer modes. I cannot wait to play this game; I will add it to my Blockbuster queue list so I can get it soon. As a DISH Network customer/employee, it’s easy to get tired of TV so I am happy that DISH has come out with the Blockbuster Movie Pass; I can stream online content, access new channels, and rent movies and games through the mail. It’s so much better than Netflix, especially since they are losing content due to their contract with Starz expiring.

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