Review by Richard Buxton
HALO 4 may not have been a great step forward for the series’ celebrated gameplay, and its narrative hardly broke boundaries for storytelling in the video game format. Yet it was in its score that players and listeners alike found an evolutionary jump that can clearly be distinguished from its forerunners. NEIL DAVIDGE and KAZUMA JINNOUCHI’S excellent score for HALO 4 was met with both acclaim and confusion, with some fans unsure as to whether a HALO score not written by MARTIN O’DONNELL and MICHAEL SALVATORI is a true HALO score at all. This particular composing duo may have moved on from the HALO franchise once and for all, but that doesn’t mean their influence has evaporated from the game’s consistently expanding universe.
HALO: SPARTAN ASSAULT, by TOM SALTA, is a score that ably bridges the musical gap between the original trilogy and HALO 4, arguably leaning more towards the former’s style. There is no doubt that this is a HALO score through and through. The unmistakable choir, incisive piano, and irresistible percussive rhythms are scattered across the entire release, resulting in a collection of cues that would not be out place if spread throughout the original trilogy.