Guild Wars Prophecies Soundtrack Review

  • Name: Guild Wars Prophecies Original Game Soundtrack

  • Label: DirectSong/Artistry Entertainment Inc.

  • Composer(s): Jeremy and Julian Soule

  • Number of Tracks: 36

I must confess that those four years ago when I bought Guild Wars a big drawcard for me was that Jeremy Soule was to compose the soundtrack. After being entranced by his beautiful work he did for Morrowind I wasn't disappointed when Guild Wars came around. The only thing that I could fault with the actual game was that the calm and serene tracks that would pervade most of the album was also used for combat sequences - this would be rectified however in ArenaNet's later games (i.e. Nightfall and Eye of the North). Anyway, Jeremy Soule's website DirectSong sprung up shortly after and gave fans of the music a chance to purchase and download the soundtracks online at a reasonable price. The only gripe I had at the time though was the invasive DRM that was bundled with it but that was enough to turn me away from wanting to purchase the album. Now however, it seems there is no DRM on the albums and since I've gotten back into the mood of playing Guild Wars, I too renewed my interest in its music.

Artistic Merit (65%)
Most tracks on this album are competently done and not many can be classed as what I call "filler" - the mainly ambient "Eve's Theme" gets a thumbs down from me, even if it does work as a necromancer theme in the game - it's just not very listenable on a CD player though! The same goes for the dreary "The Charr" and "The Great Northern Wall" - they are truly depressing tracks to listen to (yet again, they're meant to be when placed in the context of the game). The rest however, are pretty good. I especially liked the tracks that made use of the "Opening Theme", particularly "The Moment of Truth" (which was used in an early Guild Wars trailer), "Gwen's Theme" (a nostalgic piece that makes you imagine the beauty of Pre-Searing Ascalon), "Guilds at War" (a somewhat pompous, but appealing marching theme with horns) and "Tasca's Theme" (a track that is often played in the Shiverpeak Mountains). "Over the Shiverpeaks" should also get a special mention since it only has two "instruments" (the flute and strings/violin) but it is a truly emotional and beautiful piece. Finally the first lot of bonus tracks (not the new ones, which frankly don't fit very well with the rest of the tracks) are all highly recommended ("First Light", "The Elementalist", "A Warrior's Heart" and "Beyond the Ocean").

Value (100% - Good)
The album is available as a direct download from DirectSong - which means you don't get a nice CD cover but on the plus side, it seems DirectSong have got rid of their existing scheme of DRM and its music is now DRM-free! You also get a lot of tracks as part of this album thanks to not only a large number of original tracks but two lots of bonus tracks as well!

Some of the tracks may not be too special (some of the more ambient or artificial sounding ones) but overall there are enough good tracks to warrant the purchase - I mean it's only US$6 after all!

Length (100% - Good)
As mentioned there are a lot of tracks here, so it definitely doesn't fail on this front. I think pretty much all tracks featured in the game (and then some) are on this album.

Total Score: 88%
For those interested in obtaining this album, visit DirectSong, register an account with them and then you're ready to order the album online with your credit card. Once the payment is approved you can download the soundtrack straight to your computer :).

Guild Wars Opening Theme - Jeremy Soule

First Light - Jeremy Soule

Over the Shiverpeaks - Jeremy Soule