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Homefront's Original Soundtrack works well in the game, but taken on its own merits lacks any real form.
Amid the massive media campaign surrounding Homefront's hotly anticipated launch, we have seen a small army of peripheral products to sate gamers' hunger for related merchandise. But, where the Homefront novel delivered a fitting accompaniment to the game, the original soundtrack provides less to enjoy.
Homefront's Soundtrack album isn't awful. But as a standalone piece of music it ought to be judged according to how it does just that: stand on its own.
It opens very positively, with Stand Your Ground providing the kind of pop-promo video that has proved successful for other games - like Mirror's Edge (with the sublime Still Alive by Lisa Miskovsky). Here, as there, this sets the stage for a promising event-game soundtrack.
Unfortunately though, while the music undoubtedly provides excellent background and dramatic ambience to the game, Homefront's soundtrack doesn't deliver anything that grabs the attention musically. There are no standout themes; few recurring melodies and really very little to suggest to the listener anything other than setting and mood.
Listening to the soundtrack is like have a friend or partner playing the game in the next room. It's simply a series of tonal pieces designed to give dramatic musical weight to the game's encounters. Track titles such as Lobby, Escape, Bridge Assault and Warehouse could almost have been taken directly from the game own map data.
Enjoy it in its proper place, alongside the action it so effectively scores.
It's a real shame, because the quality of the recording is very high and the instrumentation excellent, but unfortunately the album has nothing to offer beyond this. It would be a saving grace if the unobtrusive nature of the music allowed the soundtrack to be used as background for work or entertaining; but sadly as most of the music is loud, tense and dramatic.
My recommendation, if you enjoy the music to Homefront is to enjoy it in its proper place, which is alongside the action it so effectively scores. Even for fans I would suggest that there is little to cherish here as a standalone musical experience.
[Chris Jarvis writes the Novel Gamer column where you can read his reviews in the style of Short Fiction.]
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