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Mass Effect 3 and the Power of a Good Song (and Clint Mansell)

Mass Effect 3 and the Power of a Good Song (and Clint Mansell)

by Greg DeVriesFebruary 15, 2012

So, the Mass Effect 3 demo hit yesterday, and those of of us that weren’t busy with Valentine’s day got to enjoy it and welcome Shepard back. A melancholy welcome, given what Shepard has to deal with and that we have to wait a month, but a warm welcome nonetheless. Crystal already gave her impressions of the demo, but I want to focus on one aspect of the demo – the music.

For Mass Effect 3, Bioware brought on Golden Globe winning composer Clint Mansell, famous for films like Moon, Black Swan, and The Wrestler. However, Mansell is BEST known for the amazing score to Requiem for a Dream. Not that the scores for Mass Effect 1 and 2 were bad, far from it. But for a finale on the scale of Mass Effect 3, you need someone epic, and Clint Mansell has proved over and over again that epic is his middle name. Clint Epic Mansell. Listen to this:

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DKSY4Yi2ypno img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/KSY4Yi2ypno/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over skin=stormtrooper.zip bandwidth=high autostart=false /]

The demo for Mass Effect 3 runs the whole spectrum of emotions: hope, fear, joy, anger, intensity, determination. And this is only the demo. The music is amazing throughout, but there is one moment towards the end of the first part of the demo I’d really like to highlight. So if you haven’t played the demo SPOILERS FOR MASS EFFECT 3 DEMO.

The scene in question is at the end of the first half of the demo when Anderson and Shepard are in the trenches fleeing from the Reapers. They are just barely rescued by the Normandy. Shepard gets on the Normandy, and tries to get Anderson to come aboard but he won’t. The Normandy and Shepard fly away and this song starts, and we get to see how far gone the earth is.

[stream provider=youtube flv=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DLg1ElmVQ2pw img=x:/img.youtube.com/vi/Lg1ElmVQ2pw/0.jpg embed=false share=false width=640 height=360 dock=true controlbar=over skin=stormtrooper.zip bandwidth=high autostart=false /]

Things are on fire everywhere. Dead bodies lie all over the place. Reapers as far as the eye can see. Shuttle trying to evacuate people get shot down left and right. A boy Shepard tried to save prior is seen getting into a shuttle, giving a moment of hope that he’ll be safe before the shuttle is destroyed. All while Mansell’s score plays. The earth is lost, and Shepard really is the only hope.

This track is amazingly eerie. The quiet piano speaks to the quiet desperation of the planet and the people, while the overpowering, almost klaxon-like bass resonates with the power of the Reapers. It is really a dirge, a funeral song. The piano carries throughout the track and just stays with you. The room may have gotten a little dusty during that scene, and even now listening to it after I’ve played the demo, I still get shivers. Thus is the power of a good song.

So thank you, Mr. Mansell, for giving me yet another reason I can’t wait for March 6th. I look forward to hearing the full score and getting shivers all over again.

About The Author
Greg DeVries
  • Hwa

    Im sure you had fun writing this article eh? 😉

  • Delpha

    I\’ve been waiting a long time for this.

  • Gilberto

    Online gaming is growing faster then anything I have ever seen.

  • Corie

    really excited for this!

  • Winnifred

    really excited for this!

  • Jokerzwild

    Ya the song was very good for the scene, I can’t wait to play ME3, I think I’m going to replay ME1 and 2 leading up to it.

    • Greg DeVries

      I’ve got a character ready for Mass 3. Planning on going 1-2-3 after that.

  • D3ZZY

    im looking for some music like karl jenkins, clint mansell, era, and x-ray dog.

  • clntvrrt

    “Meltdown” by Clint Mansell, it’s from the movie Requiem for a Dream.
    If it helps, here’s the song…

    (don’t worry about what’s in the video, just the song)
    Thanks a lot!

  • Michael

    For additional reference, it’s the Lord of the Rings; the Two Towers song.

  • Kristian

    Hello everyone! =]
    I’m currently trying to make a movie but id like to know whats the title of a music by Clint Mansell.

    Here is The link to listen to a little sample of the music.

    Why do i think that its from Clint Mansell?
    -Because where i heard it said in the credits that the artist was Clint Mansell.

    Please guys i just wish to have this song! its so beautifull! XD
    BTW dont mind the Footsteps and the door sounds in it i had to record it with it XD

  • Peter

    Not the stupid piano one, the actual score to the song.
    I can only find it of music notes, but that site is expensive.
    i didnt say i wanted an illegal copy, thanks for the report
    i wanted to buy the sheets because its a favourite of mine
    i love having the official music


    please tell me who makes better music and why,thanks.

  • Sergeant Pickle

    I need a composition that sounds as epic as this.

  • x_blind_x_gamer_x

    What instruments are used in the song Lux aeterna by clint Mansell

    What is the cultural perspective of the song?

  • Joey 01

    Can anyone recommend good tracks like ‘O Fortuna’ and ‘Clint Mansell’s Requiem For A Dream’? I like tracks like these but haven’t heard many like them. Can anyone recommend good stuff similar to these?