game score

Soundtrack review: Battlefield: Hardline (Paul Leonard-Morgan – 2015)

“Battlefield: hardline” is the newest installment in this very famous and critically acclaimed franchise. I am not much of a gamer so I haven’t played it but the plot sounds familiar to me as I’m a big fan of gritty cop shows. This game is about navigating the gang ridden streets of Los Angeles and Miami. It also has a version where you can actually play a single player campaign build like a TV show and it stars one of the actors from my favorite show of the kind, “The shield”. Paul Leonard-Morgan wrote the score and he’s been on a hot streak lately for me. I have an idea about how this score should sound…

“Deal gone bad” opens the score exactly how I expected. A story like this with this much action and which is moving so fast doesn’t need distracting music to break its flow. The score for something like “Battlefield: Hardline” should be fast and nimble just like the main characters. It should be able to shift gears and cut corners. This is an action game so the composer just went with it without wasting time with emotional moments or slow paced cues. This score is just garage band goodness with raw guitars and pulsating percussion.

I can tell that Paul Leonard-Morgan had a lot of fun writing the music. I am also sure that he worked closely with the game creators because the music morphs every now and then and simulates engines running, engines stopping, tires screeching and even gunfights. I can almost see the dust left behind by one of the muscle cars in the game. I’m having a lot of fun listening to “Getting trippy”. This cue has a hallucinogenic vibe and I have the impulse to raise the volume as much as I can so I can embrace this experience.

“Battlefield: hardline” is a very enjoyable and fresh listening experience. The music is cool even as a standalone listen and I image it works even better in context. It’s not the kind of composition that would make me drop everything I do and pay attention to it but this isn’t its purpose. It was written as a companion to something, as an action enhancement and as a fun way to get even more immersed in the dusty and hot world of the game. There’s not much variation in the music and if you hear a couple of cues you will know how the entire score sounds. Outside of the game an hour of score seems a little too much because of this reason.

If you enjoy bass guitar, percussion and electronic music this score is for you. Paul Leonard-Morgan did a great job of delivering what the game needed and even without playing it the music makes me feel like I am part of the story.

Cue rating: 72 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 9 / 65

Album excellence: 13%

Highlights:

Getting Trippy
Fireworks Raid

 

 

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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