Franchises game score

Soundtrack review: Sid Meier’s Civilization – Beyond Earth (various artists – 2014)

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“Civilization” is the crown achievement of 2014. It’s a majestic composition and a score that 20 years from now will be regarded as one of the best ever.

“Sid Meier’s Civilization : Beyond Earth” is the latest installment in the famous game franchise. This time, it takes place in the future when mankind is forming colonies on different planets. In a year filled with amazing game scores, we get another massive composition, almost three hours long, a team effort by Griffin Cohen, Michael Curren, Grant Kirkhope and Geoff Knorr.

After these almost three hours, I am speechless. What words could I use to express what this score made me feel…? I feel like I’ve been far away in space for a long time, in a different world, a different dimension where everything was heavy and epic and beautiful. I was an explorer, I was important, I was appreciated and I was leading expeditions.

“Civilization” is really giving “The Elder Scrolls Online” a run for its money in the race not only for best game score of the year, but for the best score of the year. If it weren’t for the ambient cues, this would have been a perfect score. These tracks are great as well and serve their purpose, but they are not as great as the rest of this beautiful, sweeping score. The melodies are long and intense. A few of them (“Acclamation”, “Xenomalleum”, “Deep space”) will be on my shortlist of best cues of the year, while the final track, “The future of mankind”, might even win that award. After 160 minutes of gorgeous music, to end it with the best cue of them all is a huge achievement. There’s something to discover in each track of this hypnotic space opera. The identity of the score is clear and unique. There’s no way you can stop listening to “Civilization” once it starts. After all, you’re in space for the duration; you cannot just descend from the space station…

We are fortunate to get so many great game scores this year. I think there’s never been a year like this. “Civilization” is the crown achievement of 2014. It’s a majestic composition and a score that 20 years from now will be regarded as one of the best ever.

 

Cue rating: 88 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 140 / 167

Album excellence: 84%

Highlights:

The Seeding

Beyond Earth

The Lush Planet

Beauty in the Eye of the Orbiter

Destroyer

The Lush Planet (Ambient Middle)

Lux Perpetua

Benedicite

The Lush Planet (Ambient Late)

Our New World

The Fungal Planet

The Fungal Planet (Ambient Early)

Acclimation

Promethean

The Fungal Planet (Ambient Middle)

Xenomalleum

The Fungal Planet (Ambient Late)

A New Beginning

The Arid Planet

The Arid Planet (Ambient Early)

Solar Collector

Dogmatic Engineering

Xeno Titan

The Signal

The Arid Planet (Ambient Late)

Deep Memory

Planetfall

Planetfall (Ambient Early 2)

Earth’s Ambassadors

O Muse

Deep space

Xenomancer

Planetfall (Ambient Late 2)

Solid State Citizen

The Future of Mankind

 

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About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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