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Soundtrack review: Assassin’s creed Origins: The curse of the pharaohs (Elitsa Alexandrova – 2018)

Game scores

Soundtrack review: Assassin’s creed Origins: The curse of the pharaohs (Elitsa Alexandrova – 2018)



“Assassin’s Creed Origins” is an action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the tenth major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series and the successor to 2015’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. It was released worldwide for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on October 27, 2017. The game is set in Egypt near the end of the Ptolemaic period (49–47 BCE) and recounts the secret fictional history of real-world events. The story follows a Medjay named Bayek, and explores the origins of the centuries-long conflict between the Brotherhood of Assassins, who fight for peace by promoting liberty, and The Order of the Ancients—forerunners to the Templar Order—who desire peace through the forced imposition of order. The Curse of the Pharaohs focuses on Egyptian mythology, pitting players against famous pharaohs and Egyptian beasts, as they uncover the cause of the curse that has brought certain dead rulers back to life. Elitsa Alexandrova, who wrote the score for “Ac Rogue” returns for this one, after Sarah Schachner delivered an exceptional composition for Origins.

Well ancient Egypt inspired games and movies have always had good scores; there’s something about that land and that time that inspires composers. Naturally this album too has that stringy oriental sound all over it with ethnic instruments that evoke the mystery and, sometimes (when the strings sound more raw) the cruelty of that world. The composer went for a mostly textural, atmospheric sound for this so there are no identifiable themes that could anchor this score; still the musical world of “Assassin’s creed” was not always know for thematic context. There are vocal inserts that help with the mystical content as the score has moments when it gets quite immersive which is always a principal requirement for a game score in my book. I listen to a cue like “Book of breathings” and it evokes an idyllic sanctuary; this is the kind of cue that goes right up my alley since I love reflective, ambient music.

This is for me what makes this score ultimately enjoyable as a standalone listening experience: the immersive feeling. The music is light (after all the AC franchise is all about jumping on house roofs and moving very quickly”) and pleasant to listen to; the cues aren’t very varied but they don’t stray to that texture that somehow keeps me connected for the duration of the score even if it’s hard to me to single out cues. “The curse of the pharaohs” is a nice slim action score that goes by like a breeze without frustrating moments.

Cue rating: 72 / 100

Book of Breathings
Book of Going Forth by Day
Book of Gates

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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