Frank Klepacki and Jarrid Mendelson
3) Lone Trooper
11) Dusk Hour
12) The Defense
13) Mad Rap
15) What Lurkes
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Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun
The Command & Conquer series is undoubtedly one of the most successful game series ever, but few of its titles were more eagerly awaited by fans and critics than Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. Released in 1999, it sought to revolutionize the real-time strategy genre and bring cinematic quality to PC game screens. Fans were queuing at gaming stores to get their hands on an early copy. As big as the hype was, the disappointment seemed to top it: the game didn't meet the standards it promised to deliver. Haunted by unexciting gameplay, outdated graphics and buggy controls, the title turned out to be quite conventional.
Composer Frank Klepacki has been on board with the Command & Conquer series from the very beginning and his scores had always been appreciated by fans and critics alike. Mostly consisting of rock and techno tunes, his soundtracks are characterized by an anti-orchestral approach to scoring. With the music to C&C: Tiberian Sun, Klepacki stayed true to this formula and delivered, once again, a score that forces the game into the uber-cool direction that many fans seem to prefer. Additionally, he infused the sound with ambient electronics thus trying to reflect the dark and yet futuristic new C&C universe.
Assisted by Jarrid Mendelson, Klepacki wrote about 60 minutes of music. Rock and techno tracks change with more ambient, electronic pieces which makes for a varied listen if you're into that kind of music. What the score fails to achieve, however, is to give the game any serious sense of drama, emotion or scope. Instead, the music has a certain gaming-hall feel to it. What’s more, the two factions of the game remain musically faceless and the heavy-metal, electronic score tends to crush the pictures it was written to underline. Although there are some thematic ideas worked into the music, there is little melody to grab. You won't be humming any theme after having listened to the score. That's not necessarily a bad thing of course, especially for a strategy game soundtrack. If you're a fan of movie music though, you'll be shocked at the monotonous and electronically overpowering approach to a dramatic science-fiction title.
In the end, it pretty much comes down to taste. You either like Klepacki’s take on scoring or you don’t. If you think that orchestral soundtracks are the best way to convey atmosphere and emotion in games, stay clear of it. You might, of course, disagree. If you do, then this is the score for you.