Interview: Resistance Composers On Music's Impact
One of the most anticipated PlayStation Vita titles thus far launches his week, and the name won't be unfamiliar to fans of the PS brand.
It's Resistance: Burning Skies, which excites us for several reasons: Firstly, because we finally get a portable FPS that lets us use analog sticks, and secondly, because we've always loved the almost unparalleled intensity and dramatic tone each and every Resistance title has featured.
Part of that intensity is due to the fantastic soundtracks in these games, and Burning Skies tapped composers Kevin Riepl and Jason Graves, who have delivered a stirring set of original compositions for Burning Skies. They were also good enough to answer a few questions.
PSXE: We've always said music in games is more important than ever. How do you feel music enhances the interactive experience?
Jason Graves: "I couldn't agree more! For me, it's always about the emotion. The music is underscoring the emotional experience of the player. At least that's what I'm thinking when I'm writing the music - 'What is the player feeling right now?'"
Kevin Riepl: "Very true. Music has had and continues to have a growing reputation of being an integral part of the gaming experience. Music is used in games as it is with film or television, to help the viewer/gamer be part of the world the story is set in. The ability to create music that will be used interactively in the game helps contour the player’s specific journey and choices throughout the game. This takes the gaming experience to another level."
PSXE: Resistance is one of PlayStation's most recognizable and critically acclaimed franchises. How does it feel to work with such a well-respected series?
Jason "It's quite an honor, to be sure. I'm always extremely flattered when asked to come on board an existing franchise. I think the previous composers have done an amazing job and it was a lot of fun exploring the Resistance universe in my own way."
Kevin: "It really feels great and is an honor to be chosen for such a notable franchise. At first it felt a bit overwhelming, thinking I’d be following in the footsteps of Boris Salchow, composer of Resistance 3. However, the more and more I talked with Sony, the more they conveyed that this new installment would have its own voice among the series."
PSXE: Resistance is known for its epic, intense adventures. How do you go about creating a score for a game that involves such intensity and wide ranges of emotion?
Jason: "Sony made it easy. Their only real requirement was emotional, sweeping themes in the score. They really let the reigns go with this one and it was wonderfully liberating to dive in and compose without any inhibitions. I really love this genre and especially love composing for live orchestra, so this title ticked both boxes at the same time for me, personally."
Kevin: "The one thing, for me, that’s always helpful, is to have plot points and a good understanding of the story. Not to mention concept art and some gameplay footage. For this game Jason and I were given the liberty to just create, using traditional techniques without many guidelines or restraints. This is a huge factor in letting a composer not feel limited and freeing them up to convey the story in the best possible way that’s best for the game."
5/26/2012 Ben Dutka