game score

Soundtrack review: Clandestine (Leonardo Badinella – 2015)

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“Clandestine” is an espionage game by Danish developers Logic Artists that takes place in post cold-war 1996, veteran agents from both sides of the curtain are being mysteriously assassinated and you are in charge of investigating the leaks. Clandestine is a 2-player or singleplayer stealth/hacking game set in 1996. Asymmetrical co-op allows one player to take the role of the spy while a friend provides overwatch and assistance as the hacker, and unravel a post-Cold War espionage conspiracy. The score was written by Leonardo Badinella. Now a game set in the 90s should have a 90s sounding score, right? One can only hope.

The main theme winks at me with a cool melodic rock sound that echoes back to my teenage years. Ah yes I am loving this. Feels as if I’m back listening to Trevor Rabin or Mark Mancina film scores from the 90s, bold and cool. This is a sound that never gets old and if it’s done right it can feel just as fresh as it did 20 years ago. “Introduction” confirms that I came to the right musical place. I’ve always had trouble with electric guitars in scores but this time the music just grabs me and invites me to follow it. I like the inspirational vibe I get from this score.

The rock sound is seasoned with just enough electronic inserts to make it even better. A cue like “Justo a tiempo” is too cool to miss. I like how even without playing the game I get the feeling of stealth operations and computer hacking. I also like how the music feels alive. I can imagine spending hours playing a game guided by this music. It makes me want to explore and go further; it’s engaging and goes beyond the background sound you might sometimes expect from a game score. The music feels like an integral part of the gameplay and I’m sure that “Clandestine” fans will recognize it in a heartbeat.

I think this score would work very well in a live action film as well. The score keeps me on my toes and it’s a joy to listen to. A cue like “Copenhagen” is just demanding to be put on my running playlists. We’ve had a great year for spy music in 2015 and this game score fits right in. It also fits my 90s nostalgia quite nicely and this is a big deal for me.

“Clandestine” is breath of fresh 90s air. I’ve heard a lot of games scores in the past year and a lot of them are epic and emotional. Leonardo Badinella’s composition goes a different road: bold, alert and relentless. I also got surprises like the awesome orchestral rock in “Silicon Valley”, this one will surely remain in my playlists. All in all you shouldn’t miss this spectacular rock score which hits all its marks.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 29 / 48

Album excellence: 60%

Highlights:

Clandestine Main Theme

Justo A Tiempo

Copenhagen

Elegancja Czerwony

Preachers

Silicon Valley

Combat Qui N’a Jamais Eu Lieu

Из Огня Да В Полымя (Iz Ognya Da V Polymya)

Bye Bye D.M.

There’s A Leak

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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