Content of the article: "My rankings/mini reviews for every Assassin’s Creed soundtrack."
Brotherhood; My favourite Assassin's Creed game has my favourite Assassin's Creed soundtrack. Much like Origins' every single track in Brotherhood is perfection. The ONLY thing that gives Brotherhood an edge is that a few of Origins' tracks don't QUITE stick with me as much. With Brotherhood I can instantly identify every track from the very first note. This soundtrack, much like Brotherhood the game, just 100% works for me. And that's why it's my number one Assassin's Creed soundtrack.
Origins; The first of two soundtracks where I think EVERY track is brilliant. Sarah Schachner just came in swinging and created one of the most gorgeous, spectacular, emotional and just all round unique soundtracks in the industry with a fantastic mix of traditional Egyptian instruments and modern synth to create the first non-Jesper Kyd soundtrack to absolutely own and nail the franchise's tone and feel culminating in the best version of Ezio's Family (fight me). A masterpiece of a game deserves a masterpiece of a soundtrack.
Assassin's Creed II; It was a REALLY close thing between this and Valhalla's soundtrack. Unfortunately for Valhalla, while Assassin's Creed II's soundtrack has lower lows they're significantly lower in number in comparison and Assassin's Creed II's highs are MUCH higher!!! I mean, Ezio's Family, Earth (Heart), Venice Rooftops, Dreams of Venice… Do I need to say anything else??? This soundtrack has been, is and always will be a masterpiece.
Valhalla; The dream team has arrived; main man Jesper Kyd returns, with Origins' Sarah Schachner in tow, how the hell could this NOT be a fantastic soundtrack??? I'll confess, I was gunning for it to be the best soundtrack of them all and it unfortunately misses out due to a few REALLY bland tracks here and there. That WOULD be a disappointment, if it wasn't for the fact that EVERYTHING else is fucking astounding. Beautiful, mystical, exciting, emotional and instantly iconic. Also special mention to Wardruna's Einar Selvik, for producing some of the most beautiful songs to ever grace a video game. Imagine the soundtracks for Assassin's Creed I and Origins had a baby in Norway while they were also having a bit on the side with Black Flag's soundtrack and you've basically got Valhalla's soundtrack. Incredible talent equals an incredible soundtrack.
Assassin's Creed III; Now sole composer, Lorne Balfe took the opportunity to truly make his mark on Assassin's Creed with both hands. The first non-Jesper Kyd composed game, Assassin's Creed III has a much more brutal and bombastic sound than its predecessors but does so with pride, while also remembering to have a heart with its inclusion of Native American instruments and vocals that also gives the soundtrack a very unique sound. Not every track is memorable, but even those tracks aren't less than decent and so fortunately don't tarnish the soundtrack as a whole.
Revelations; OK, so Revelations despite not actually having any terrible or even mediocre tracks does have a number of tracks that are kinda forgettable and unmemorable. The rest though is some of the best of the franchise. Jesper Kyd's swansong (pre-Valhalla anyway) is epic, emotional, bold, creative and just all out brilliant. After two games with pretty similar sounding music he got the chance to branch out stylistically and went all out. Meanwhile you also have Lorne Balfe all ready to play, bringing a totally fresh musical voice to Assassin's Creed. Speaking of Lorne Balfe…
Odyssey; I'll be blunt I feel dirty putting this so high up the ranking, especially since Odyssey has some of the worst music Assassin's Creed has ever had and… it's Odyssey you know. But at the same time, it deserves it. The feel and atmosphere of every ambient track is spot on, the combat tracks all have unique and recognisable melodies, the naval combat theme is hands down my favourite naval combat music of them all, the Shanties are near universally fantastic and there's a lot of beautiful female vocals that's shiver inducing. It's just that the bad stuff isn't just OK or even mediocre, it's fucking terrible and cringey. Thank God the good stuff is so good and more than balances it all out.
Rogue; My thoughts on Rogue's soundtrack are very similar to Black Flag's, HOWEVER Rogue has no joke some of my favourite tracks of the entire franchise. Its ambient tracks in particular are glorious, it has the best pause menu track in the franchise and Shanty wise I'd say it overall trumps Black Flag. In fact if it wasn't for the more mediocre and forgettable stuff, that can overshadow the good tracks due to being greater in number, this would've had a real chance at breaking my top five. Damn shame.
Liberation; This is RIDICULOUSLY overlooked, most likely because it's for a spin-off game. And it really shouldn't be, because it's legit excellent. The ambient tracks are great and there's some truly spectacular and epic combat music. Not every track is memorable or even good, but overall if you've not given this a listen you really should.
Black Flag; To me this is the most overrated of the franchise. There's some genuinely fantastic stuff, even without delving into the Sea Shanties, be it combat, stealth or ambient. But at the same time there's a greater number of tracks that I think are just OK, and many of these 'OK' tracks are to me forgettable and pretty unnoticeable in game on a level almost to that of Unity's soundtrack. Not amazing or terrible, just decent.
Assassin's Creed I; To clarify, there is a sizable gap between this and my bottom two. Assassin's Creed I's soundtrack has some tracks that are significantly better than others, but regardless it's a beautiful, creative, mysterious and unique chunk of music both in Assassin's Creed and gaming as a whole that's unfortunately low down my ranking purely because of how cold and sterile a lot of it feels.
Unity; Once again, positives first. The main theme, and its variations, is REALLY good. In addition both Vol. 2 and the Bonus Tracks are both full of genuinely fantastic music be it gorgeous and mysterious ISU-esque music or big, bombastic action music. Shame though that all that is severely underused and the game itself seems to primarily use music from Vol. 1. And Vol. 1, aside from the main theme and its variations, is REALLY boring and subdued. It sounds soulless and generic, which also results in it not being very noticeable in game and ending up as just background noise. I consider it better than Syndicate's soundtrack because it at least doesn't have the shitty songs, but as mentioned below the two are overall interchangeable for me. Truly the darkest period in Assassin's Creed soundtrack history.
Syndicate; I'll confess my bottom two are pretty interchangeable but anyway. Positives first. The style and tone of the soundtrack fits the game perfectly, in game it's very noticeable and actively adds to combat and stealth encounters and there's still a decent number of legit good to great tracks. Ironically, the style and tone of the soundtrack ALSO end up being its biggest issue. Roughly 2/3 of the soundtrack is comprised entirely of violins, piano and some percussion. It makes so many tracks, even a sizable number of the good ones, mesh together and sound practically identical to each other. Without knowing every name I'd be shocked if many people could identify most of the tracks just by ear. But what about the other 1/3 of the soundtrack??? Well, that brings us to the songs. I like about three of them and tolerate two others. The rest??? I hate them. I genuinely hate them. I get they once again fit the tone and style of the game, but they just come across as campy and awkward to me and are a waste of soundtrack space. I've tried to like more of them I really have, but I just can't they don't work for me at all. Speaking of 'campy' that's my final criticism; I don't like Syndicate the game's light jovial tone and I REALLY don't like Syndicate's soundtrack's light jovial tone. Once again we should've gotten dark, mournful and foreboding much like the Industrial Revolution itself was but alas. Not a total shitshow of a soundtrack but definitely my least favourite.
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