The lights are on
"Batman isn't Batman until there's music and lighting. Otherwise it's a guy standing there in a costume and it looks like a convention," says Eric Holmes, the creative director for Batman: Arkham Origins. While visiting Warner Bros. Games Montreal for our cover story on the next Arkham game, the team remained relatively silent when asked about the music and composer for this year's release. We were able to squeeze a couple of details out of them, including how they hope to incorporate the Christmas setting into the soundtrack.
The demo that we saw and played had music that mixed in the sounds of sleigh bells. Holmes explained the game's use of bells: "One of our inspirations for that is Die Hard, which I think is one of the greatest movies ever made, but it's also a Christmas movie, right? One thing they use in there is whenever McClane has an idea you hear the Christmas bells. So the moment for example when he has the two bullets left for his pistol and he knows Hans has his wife... then you see the Chirstmas tape and the camera punches in. You hear the same thing just before he sends the guy down the elevator... all of his ideas are little Christmas moments."
Since Batman: Arkham Origins takes place on Christmas Eve, we had to ask whether or not the team was tempted to include the widespread Batman-themed parody of Jingle Bells that includes references to The Joker. "No comment... One thing I can say to partly answer that is there's no Robin at this part of the continuity. There's no concept of Robin. Batman works alone," says creative director Eric Holmes before adding "Who knows, perhaps the first egg may be laid..."
We don't know whether or not Arkham City composers Ron Fish and Nick Arundel will be returning for Origins, but we'd put our money on a new composer named Christopher Drake. This is speculation, but the composer of the animated version of The Dark Knight Returns and contributing composer for Injustice: Gods Among Us teased work on a big DC-based game on a recent episode of Kevin Smith's Fatman on Batman podcast.
On the topic of writing music for games, Drake says "...it's really interesting, it's kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure. Instead of just writing the cue, you've got to be like here's Batman walking into a room, or Superman or whoever, and you can go through door one, two, or three..."
Rather than jump to the conclusion that Superman will be in Batman: Arkham Origins, it's more likely to assume that Drake was trying to cover his tracks. Later in the podcast he talks about having combat music fade in when a character starts to fight. Kevin Smith, host of the podcast all about Batman, later says that this big project is "a cool gig and it's very relavent to this show, and we'll just leave it at that."
What do you think of a new composer for Batman: Arkham Origins? Let us know in the comments section below.
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