Need For Speed Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the video game score Need For Speed by Photek.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 78.3
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 3.3
Album Excellence: 10.6%
Need for Speed is an online open world racing video game developed by Ghost Games and published by Electronic Arts, released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in November 2015, and released on Origin for Microsoft Windows on March 15, 2016. It is the twenty-second installment in the long-running Need for Speed series, and is a full reboot of the franchise. It marks the series’ second eighth generation installment, and is the first Need for Speed title to only be on eighth generation hardware. It marks the franchise’s first return to the import scene and tuner culture focus since the release of 2010’s Need for Speed: World. The score is composed by Photek.
Need For Speed has been with us since the 90s and it’s first few games which had awesome soundtracks. It was licensed tracks though, but the many scores of the more modern Need For Speed games has been released and this is the latest one by Photek AKA Rupert Parks. As one would expect from a modern car racing game, the music is fast paced and usually in the electronica realm of scoring. This is of course the case here as well. It opens with ‘The Crew’ a trip hop kind of cue with links to dub step, hip hop and dance. It’s nice, but nothing awesome so far. I like that this score seems to focus a bit on rhythm instead of overusing pure synths for the music. I can hear it in ‘Pursuit Low’ again and it’s actually very satisfying. I believe good electronic percussion enhances the excitement and driving mood while playing. I can feel it now and I want to drive. Maybe this cue is a bit too slow, but that’s probably why they have a “low” version and a “hi” version. The “hi” version is indeed faster, but not by a lot, but maybe that’s enough. It’s exciting and that’s what matters. I love the sliding dark synth Photek use here. Still I prefer the “low” version overall.
There has been a number of great driving soundtracks for games in recent years and every time I hear one of them, I want to get into my virtual car and race. This is no different. I feel the need, the need for speed. The one criticism I have for this score is that it’s just too slow. I like the moods though, they feel right for the Need For Speed universe, but I miss the real hardcore action driving music, the ones that get my adrenaline pumping just by listening to them. Cues like ‘Cool Down’, ‘Heat’ and ‘Underground Legends’ are nice “menu” music cues but when I’m driving I want something fast, frantic and explosive. Strangely only ‘Pursuit Max’ has given me such feelings, but even that has some problems. That’s a shame though because it would really push this score into excellence.
2. Pursuit Low