- Name: Mass Effect 2 Original Game Soundtrack
- Label: EA Games Soundtrack
- Composer(s): Jack Wall, Sam Hulick, David Kates and Jimmy Hinson
- Number of Tracks: 27
I spent a long time trying to find a way to acquire the Mass Effect 2 soundtrack that was DRM-free and available for purchase in Australia. Thankfully, AmieStreet had the album available so now I can review it!
Artistic Merit (52%)
I had to double-take when I saw the score for Artistic Merit since just like the previous Mass Effect soundtrack, it appears I've given it the exact same score, even though to be honest, I felt this had some far superior tracks. The best tracks on this album to me would be the ones which build on the original Commander Shepard/Mass Effect theme as they tend to be played at the most uplifting moments in the game; these include "Lazarus Project", "The Normandy Reborn" and "Tali" which if you listen closely enough all have a bit of that old theme in there somewhere. It all eventually culimnates in the sensational track "Suicide Mission" majestically blaring at the end of the game which at first I didn't think was as good as the excellent "M4 Part II" by the Faunts in the original Mass Effect... however you're always teased with the original Mass Effect theme up that point so there's a great sense of euphoria when you do finally hear that familiar theme. It's almost as if the music is trying to say to you that Shepard has fully recovered and he's back with a vengeance, ready to take on the challenges that await him in Mass Effect 3.
Another track that borrows from previous cues is the "Illusive Man" which manages to capture the ruthless yet brilliant nature of the eponymous Illusive Man. There is also an old favourite from the original Mass Effect, "New Worlds" which makes a reappearance in the sequel. There are some subtle changes but it's mostly the same, however the bass towards the end of the track is especially cool and very cyberpunkish.
Two tracks which are quite a bit different yet are favourites of mine are "Rude Awakening" with its Blade Runner/action movie feel to it, and "Samara" which has a very exotic or medieval sound to it, which is appropriate considering Samara is like a warrior monk or knight.
Most of the other tracks are pretty good too, the only ones I disliked were "Jacob", a tremendously boring and dreary track; "Jack", for the same reasons as the "Jacob" track; and "Horizon", which although it's suitably creepy and menacing, is mostly ambient and therefore forgettable.
Value (100% - Good)
I managed to get the album for $5 off AmieStreet which is pretty damn good value! AmieStreet however has a system that the first few purchasers of an album get a discounted price but it will increase by a few cents each time it is purchased, but don't worry, the albums are capped at $10 so even then it's still good value!
Length (100% - Good)
There are a lot of tracks on this album (and they imply by the track numbering that it should be on two discs) so full marks in the length department.
Total Score: 84%
For those interested in obtaining this album, visit AmieStreet, 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 :).
The Illusive Man - Mass Effect 2 Soundtrack
The Normandy Reborn - Mass Effect 2 Soundtrack
Suicide Mission - Mass Effect 2 Soundtrack
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