Composed by
Jeremy Soule

 

Published by
DirectSong (2005)

 

Tracklistings
Battle Pak One
1) Ice Cave Confrontation
2) Once More Into The Breach
3) Tomb Of The Primeval Kings
4) Return To Ascalon
5) Arrival In Silverwood
6) Riverside Province
7) Converging Descent
8) The Dragon's Lair
9) Entaglements
10) A Test Of Strength
11) The Line In The Sand
12) Fort Ranik March
13) Prisoners Of War
14) Bloodstone Fen
15) Borlis Pass
16) Rebirth

Sorrow's Furnace Mini-Pak
1) The Foundry
2) Dark Forge
3) Grenth's Footprint
4) Sorrow's Furnace
5) The Latch
6) Sorrow's Stand
7) Stone Summit
8) Strenuous Trek

 

Extras
- Game website
- Composer website

 

Availability
- Battle Pak One:
DirectSong

- Sorrow's Furnace:
Get It For FREE!

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Guild Wars Battle Pak One

It's a sad reality that most games don’t have nearly enough music to support them and repetition of music is a well-known issue that any gamer can confirm. Guild Wars Battle Pak One tries to counter that problem. It's the official music expansion software for Guild Wars and adds 60 minutes of new music into the game.

DirectSong.com states that the music was composed by “the original award-winning guild wars team”. It's obvious from the beginning that composer Jeremy Soule was involved in the project, to what extent and what other composers might have been working on the score remains unclear though. Battle Pak One builds upon the sound introduced in the original Guild Wars score but puts more emphasis on epic brass statements. The two opening cues are good examples of this. “Once More Into The Breach” also features a new sub-theme performed boldly and heroically. To heighten the epic effect, choir is added at certain points, like in “Tomb of the Primeval Kings”, and it works wonderfully well. Fortunately, the Guild Wars main theme is brought back as well and makes its big appearance in “Return To Ascalon”, “ Fort Ranik March” and “Rebirth”.

The album has its quieter moments too, most notably in “Arrival in Silverwood” and “Riverside Province” that feature delicate percussion, sombre strings and ethereal choir. As the album progresses, you get to three hefty ambient cues on the disc: “Entanglements”, “A Test Of Strenght” and “The Line In The Sand” that consist of drums only and are meant to be listened to in-game. But once you get through them, you’ll be impressed by the patriotic and engaging “Fort Ranik March” and the beautiful “Borlis Pass”. The album ends with a triumphant reprise of the main theme in “Rebirth”.

Compared to the original Guild Wars, the Battle Pak One is less thematic which might bother you if you're interested in the music out of context. Many cues are written for specific areas and happenings in the game and don’t work as well as stand-alone listens. Still, the Guild Wars theme and a few sub-themes are introduced which make the album an enjoyable listen overall.

The quality of the music is on the level of the original soundtrack which is great of course. If you’re an avid gamer of Guild Wars, there’s really no excuse for not getting this music expansion. The new music is clearly noticeable in-game and makes for a more varied and musically fulfilling gaming experience. If you don’t play the game but just can’t get enough of Guild Wars’ music then this album is recommended as well. Be aware though that it's not possible to burn it on CD and take it with you to listen to in the car, for example. The copy-protection system of Windows Media Player prohibits it which is a real shame, especially because the original score could be burnt on CD with no problems. Apart from that, Guild Wars Battle Pak One offers something for everyone and continues the greatness of the original score.

 

Sorrow’s Furnace Mini-Pak: The Battle Pak One is not the only additional music package Soule has released. For a specific Guild Wars game update, the Sorrow’s Furnace location, he has composed 25 minutes of music which you can get for free! To fit the in-game location, the music is brassy, atonal and dark. The furnace-motif makes its first appearance in “The Foundry” and is then reprised in “Sorrow’s Furnace”. If you’re a Guild Wars gamer, you’ve probably already gotten it and if not go download it! Now!