Album Review | Destiny Original Soundtrack (MusiCube)

By David Lovato 15.09.2015

There are video game composers, and then there are video game music legends. Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, Yoko Shimomura, Akira Yamaoka… Some might argue it's too soon to say, but most would agree former Bungie composer Marty O'Donnell has cemented his place on the list, following his work on, among others, the Halo franchise. After Bungie departed Microsoft and signed on to produce a series of games with Activision, things infamously exploded between the companies and the composer (culminating in the termination of their relationship with him), but O'Donnell's work remains present in Destiny. Cubed3 gives that work a listen.
Image for Album Review | Destiny Original Soundtrack (MusiCube)
It's been a rocky first year for Destiny. Critics place it anywhere from "overrated" to "just okay" to "downright bad." Fans range from diehard fanatics to those putting in the occasional casual grind. Put them all in a room together, however, with the goal of finding one thing everyone agrees on, and that will likely be the quality of the game's soundtrack.

The aforementioned Marty O'Donnell worked with composers Michael Salvatori, C. Paul Johnson, and the legendary Paul McCartney, of the Beatles fame. The results of their labour permeate the Destiny experience; there's rarely a silent moment in the game, whether players are orbiting the solar system, engaged in combat, or dancing on whatever random in-game geometry they can position their characters on top of.

Ominous horns, melodic vocal harmonies, guttural guitar crunches—it's all here, and it's all arranged into an epic science fiction experience many would argue is better than the game it underlies. Destiny, like many Bungie games, is full of words, single groups of letters most English speakers come across every day, but used in a way that stops them dead in their tracks, suddenly giving them new meaning: Hope. Traveller. Collapse. Fallen.

The team behind the soundtrack has gracefully translated these into music themes; "The Hope" is a harp-laden, floating piece that evokes guardians in flight. "The Collapse" puts violas and cellos to use, reminiscing of times forgotten. "The World's Grave" conjures images of crawling, tunnelling creatures, perhaps made of bone and terror itself, while "The Hive" uses pumping, dance-inspired beats and electrical screeches to bring those creatures to the forefront.

Finally, at the end of this 139-minute journey, the soundtrack proudly and hopefully proclaims that "All Endings Are Beginnings," moving along to march-style drums, while the string sections take flight, providing an ending more beautiful and more hopeful than the game's story was able to produce.

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10
For all the criticism and controversy levelled at and surrounding Destiny, music is one area it passes with flying colours. Both in-game and as its own entity, fans of ambient/orchestral music will find magnificent work in this soundtrack, and while it's hard to imagine anyone humming along the way they do with tunes like the "Super Mario Bros. Theme" or "One-Winged Angel," the tracks on the Destiny OST are legendary in their own right. The soundtrack was designed to convey a story through raw emotion, and many—including some of Destiny's biggest fans—would argue it does so in ways the game never will.

Box art for Destiny





First Person Shooter



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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