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The Assassin's Creed franchise isn't just known for having massive open worlds and great gameplay. These games are also known for having iconic soundtracks that have lasting impressions on the people who play them. For those of you out there who have a knack for attuning your auricular senses to Assassin's Creed music, you'll be pleased to know that a few unreleased bonus tracks from the game series have just been made public.
Composer Sarah Schachner, best known for working on some of gaming's biggest franchises such as Assassin's Creed and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, recently appeared at this past year's The Game Awards to introduce the theme song for the show alongside Harry Gregson-Williams and composer icon Hans Zimmer. She also recently released some of the previously unreleased bonus tracks from Assassin's Creed: Origins on her Soundcloud page.
You can listen to the tracks right now, starting with the first of two "Underwater Swimming" tracks that play during the game while Bayek explored the depths of Egypt's rivers, pools, and secret caverns. As expected, the tracks are short and atmospheric, playing on the theme of ambiance built around distant voices and some synthetic sounds.
There are nine tracks in total that have been uploaded to the Soundcloud page. The third track on the list is the track that plays for rescuing prisoners... more specifically, it's also the third variant of the prisoner rescue track. It's another synth-laden piece with a quick beat and some exotic string instruments that add texture to the melody while dulcimers and ouds help round out the character of the piece. It reminds me a little bit of Lorne Balfe's "Fight Club" for Assassin's Creed III, which was easily one of the more memorable pieces from that fantastic soundtrack.
There's a no-drum version of "Born of the Sun" that's part of the track listing. It's a two-and-a-half minute contemplative piece, much like the following track on the list "Great Sand Sea -- Desert Exploration", which is music that fits with the exploration-heavy gameplay featured in Assassin's Creed: Origins. There's a more tribal vibe to this piece near the halfway mark before it gently glides back into a more relaxed melody themed around plucked instruments and an ensemble of strings.
Most of the pieces are just a little over two minutes, or just under three minutes. One of the most commonly played and recurring themes throughout Assassin's Creed: Origins, the "Victory" rendition of the "Gladiator Arena" set, also makes the cut. Once it starts you know exactly what song it is. The distorted guitar set against the traditional orchestral ensemble is still just as standout now as it was when it debuted with the game back in 2017.
Apart from the action pieces and exploration music, there are also some thinking pieces included as well, including the "Stargazing" rendition of "Bayek and Khemu", which is more like progressive ambiance, and incorporates a few of the more ancient sounds of the sand among the more modern tapestry of synth and sine. That has always been one of the more intriguing aspects of the Assassin's Creed soundtracks, combining the technological elements associated with the Animus and the modern day segments, with the more ancient flavors of the era that players travel back to. Sarah Schachner definitely plays more with the dichotomy of eras more-so than some of the other composers, which really helps juxtapose the presentation of events that bridge the gap between wildly different time periods. It makes you wonder what her Anthem score will be like.
You can listen to the unreleased tracks for Assassin's Creed: Origins right now over on Schachner's Soundcloud page.