Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s daily hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-ass sounds they make. Today we jump aboard our pirate ship and search the seas for Templars and loot in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag.
I’ll admit that when 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (playlist / longplay / VGMdb) first came out, I didn’t love it like everyone else. I think I had just been playing too much Assassin’s Creed at that point in my life and Black Flag was a victim of poor timing. But in the years since, I’ve gone back to Black Flag and its semi-sequel Rogue and found great games. And in the case of Black Flag, I found some wonderful music too.
Let’s take a listen:
That intro music was very good and set a tone. It told players booting up the game for the first time that no, this ain’t like the other Assassin’s Creeds games you’d played before. No, this was a story about larger-than-life pirates and the open sea.
And while I’m talking about great music in Black Flag, I feel compelled to mention “Take What Is Ours.” This is some big, exciting pirate music:
Ubisoft / Brian Tyler (YouTube)
Some of these tracks might sound like they could easily be tossed into a huge Hollywood action movie about pirates, and there’s a good reason. The soundtrack was put together by composer Brian Tyler, who is one of the most prolific film composers in recent history. He’s scored a long list of major films, including Iron Man 3, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Fast Five, Constantine, and many, many more.
As of November 2017, films that he’s scored have grossed $12 billion worldwide, making him one of the top 10 highest-grossing film composers of all time. Weirdly, he hasn’t actually done many games, especially compared to other composers we’ve talked about in past Morning Music entries. Maybe he got bored creating huge soundtracks for giant films? Maybe he just wanted an early copy of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag? Who can say. Regardless of why he decided to score a random entry of the Assassin’s Creed franchise, the end result is a big, fun soundtrack that is one of the best in the franchise’s history.
And this being Black Flag, I have to include at least one of the beloved sea shanties (playlist). Your crew singing songs as you sail around the world has become a staple in other Assassin’s Creed games, including the recently released Valhalla. But this is where it all started. I can still sing some of these songs to this day. Hard to pick a favorite, but “Drunken Sailor” is the song that I still remember the best. In fact, I’m now singing this song as I type this.
Ubisoft / Nyx Raven (YouTube)
(Please enjoy visualizing that.)
That’s it for today’s Morning Music! Arr, I be going away now, but I be betting I see you all again some day soon! See you tomorrow!