Jesper Kyd
Hitman: Blood Money


4.0
excellent

Review

by RunAmokRampant USER (8 Reviews)
December 7th, 2008 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: By tastefully and subtly blending traditional classical / symphonic composition with modern electronic music, Kyd has created some of the most memorable tracks for a video game.

In recent years, as video games become increasingly more cinematic, it seems natural that the approach to music composition follows the same direction. I personally don’t listen to much soundtracks music at all, let alone video game soundtracks so I’m treading in new water here when reviewing this kind of stuff. But what I am experienced with is Jesper Kyd’s work on the Hitman franchise. I have played all the games in the series and even begrudgingly sat through the godawful film adaptation in despair that they didn’t even implement Kyd’s work into it. Perhaps there were contractual issues or Kyd (probably rightfully so) didn’t want to take any part in the film, but one of the main things that elevates the Hitman series from the generic action shooter is the atmosphere created through Kyd’s hybrid of electronic and symphonic music. It couples the visuals and narrative to heighten gameplay and these days high anticipated games that strive to push the boundaries of gameplay cannot be successful without the cinematic touch which has become integral since the gaming consoles have become more adapted to home theatre entertainment technology. Gamers these days take for granted the cinematic quality of their games for their home entertainment systems. For me Kyd’s work on the Hitman franchise has pioneered this cinematic movement and I think his most defining work is in two of the games: Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and Hitman: Blood Money.

Now I’m not going to delve into Silent Assassin, I think it was the soundtrack that helped elevate his status as not only as a reputable composer for games, but a reputable composer for the wider community outside of gaming. Hitman: Blood Money, however, is his greatest work by far. His sense of the character of 47 and his story and the feel of the game has been progressively refined over the course of previous instalments, and now with a bigger budget (yes Silent Assassin did have the biggest budget for a game soundtrack for its time but regardless had access to more resources) enabled him to flesh out, in what I think is one the greatest gaming soundtracks of all time.

Kyd’s main strength and appeal is his tasteful blend of electronic music, full with drum ‘n bass, trip hop, and synth backgrounds, with classical and symphonic elements. In the official soundtrack to Blood Money, the compositions vary from being exclusively symphonic / classical to being fully electronic. But the ones that I find the most interesting are the hybrids, in particular tracks like ‘Hunter’, ‘Rocky Mountains’ and the ‘Main Title’. They are not only great atmospheric tracks, but also very experimental and forward thinking and both the electronic and classical elements blend seamlessly, flawlessly. Kyd’s knack for being able to elicit emotion from the gamer to the story in the game is unquestionable, as his detail is meticulous and never does the soundtrack fall into classical soundtrack cliché or becomes overburdened with techno rabble.

Probably the most well known composition after Kyd’s rendition of ‘Ave Maria’ is ‘Apocalypse’. This track is the perfect example of Kyd’s talent as a traditional composer. It gives chills and creates the perfect image of the protagonist, a character bereft of moral obligation, soulless and dangerous in world that gives him the best opportunities to carry out his living as an assassin. Each composition is rendered appropriate to each stage or level of the game; from dark ambient undercurrents when the player is snooping around undetected searching out the target to charged bolts of urgency when the player has been detected or attempting to escape after carrying out the mission.

Overall this is an amazing soundtrack, not only to listen to while playing but also as stand alone. Notable tracks are ‘Apocalypse’, ‘Hunter’, ‘Vegas’, ‘Rocky Mountains’, ‘Daylight in New Orleans’, ‘Trouble in Vegas’, ‘Main Title’.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
4.3
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
rasputin
December 7th 2008


14550 Comments


holy shit wall of text

smooth editThis Message Edited On 12.07.08

RunAmokRampant
December 7th 2008


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

changed. sorry about that. any grammar issue etc plz let me know. Kinda wrote this fairly quickly. I proofread but only briefly.

taylormemer
December 7th 2008


4917 Comments


smooth man smooth

feels good though

AtavanHalen
December 7th 2008


17927 Comments


Break up that first paragraph.
Otherwise, this is really well done.

KritikalMotion
December 7th 2008


2262 Comments


Awesome, this is one of my favourite games. 1000GS on 360 too haha.

Phantom
December 7th 2008


8930 Comments


Nice review. I have this game on the 360 too and the music is pretty awesome, but I wouldn't buy this by itself.

windpromoteshate
December 7th 2008


179 Comments


I could read this.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 7th 2008


16437 Comments


Game is awesome.

Digging: Swallowed - Lunarterial

Prometherion
December 7th 2008


208 Comments


At last, a Hitman OST review. Those games have my favourites soundtracks. Of course, the review is also great.

badtaste
December 8th 2008


824 Comments


Swell review.

I ought to give the game a run.

RunAmokRampant
December 8th 2008


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah you should. Start chronologically tho for the best Hitman experience.

DoctorNurse
December 8th 2008


475 Comments


Haven't written any reviews yet, but this tempts me to review the OST's for either Shadow of the Colossus or Braid, both of which are excellent.

SharkEthic
December 8th 2008


583 Comments


"Start chronologically tho for the best Hitman experience."

Yeah, but the 2. and 3. game sucks! Codename 47 and Blood Money are epic games, and got the whole stealth/action combination just right (C47 had its hiccups, but still)...the 2. and 3. are run-and-gun shooters with the occasional option to use your stealth and wits (which rarely works out)...I've even talked to some of the developers that agree on this!
But, the soundtracks have always been incredible! Can't see myself listening to them without playing the game though...

Digging: Single Mothers - Negative Qualities

RunAmokRampant
December 8th 2008


228 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Contracts isn't that great. imo it goes like this from worst to best: Contracts, Codename 47, Blood Money, Silent Assassin.

KritikalMotion
December 8th 2008


2262 Comments


I like them all. First was amazing.

MassiveAttack
December 8th 2008


2688 Comments


Interesting choice for a review. The Hitman games got better every time they released a new game. All of them were superb and improved various elements, but jeez the first game had the hardest controls + difficulty for PC.

MO
December 19th 2010


18865 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

siiick soundtrack



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