If you are not familiar with the Mass Effect space opera trilogy, this soundtrack will most likely be another collection of electronic beats interspersed with some violins and fancy arias now and then. But if you are familiar with the trilogy, especially the conclusion Mass Effect 3, then this soundtrack would be one to remember.
A good soundtrack should be able to accentuate the dramatic moments of the scenes in which the tracks are featured, and here, there is something magical going on. Indeed, this particular soundtrack is a departure from the soundtracks of the previous two installments, because this one features orchestral elements and vocal arias, providing a rather epic feel to the proceedings.
Clint Mansell provided the haunting backbone of this soundtrack: the bookends Leaving Earth and An End, Once and For All, both with the same basic haunting refrains but put together in ways that are complete opposite of each other. Leaving Earth is heartbreaking and bleak, as it should be, while An End, Once and For All is a bittersweet paean to the necessity of sacrifice and the hope that springs from such sacrifice. Sam Hulick also contributes some of the best pieces here. I’m Proud of You conveys the exact amount of pathos, while the love theme I Was Lost Without You is all about connecting with your loved one before everything crumbles the next day. We Face Our Enemy Together is a stirring rallying cry for war despite overwhelming odds.
And for something completely different in this series, Christopher Lennertz offers A Future for the Krogans, which completes with female arias and rousing crescendo more at home in a medieval fantasy game. But in the context of the game, this one fits the scene perfectly. There’s a reason why the Priority: Tuchanka stage of the game is one of the best moments in the trilogy, and the music plays a big part in making that stage works.
As a standalone soundtrack, this one is a pleasant listen. But as an accompaniment of the game of same name, this soundtrack succeeds in heightening the immersion effect of the game. It’s safe to conclude, if you ask me, that this soundtrack has done its job well.
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