(Credits: Relic Entertainment)
Project: Company of Heroes 3 – Announcement Trailers
We Did: Composition, Recording
Alex Pfeffer and Benny Oschmann, two of our most experienced composers, had the extreme pleasure to compose the soundtracks for Company of Heroes 3‘s announcement trailers. They wrote the adventurous compositions which were later recorded by a live studio orchestral sections, to capture the perfect essence of the upcoming action video game. The woodwinds, brass, and strings were recorded separately in Budapest in 2020 in cooperation with the Budapest Symphonic Scoring Orchestra.
Company of Heroes 3
The Company of Heroes games are renowned and publicly acclaimed as one of the best real-time strategy video games since the original’s inception in 2006. Company of Heroes 3 follows the story of a group of Allied companions battling against German forces in North Africa and landing in Italy at the onset of the Allied invasion. Following the company’s assault on German positions, the game carries the players through battlefield strategy, flanking maneuvers, artillery shelling and more as it immerses them into the period of the Second World War.
“I was aiming for the typical and familiar WW2 style of music. I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel here, but I was also aiming for a little more modern and gritty approach and without the typical military snares,” Alex Pfeffer said regarding creating the soundtrack. “There is a lot of preparation, infiltration, and destruction going on. So, I wanted to make sure to underline that. The only shiny moment is basically the airstrike at the very end which is perfectly resembled by the main theme.”
The cinematic announcement trailer
Part of the immersion is having the right soundtrack, and you can see and hear in the videos how Alex and Benny captured this.
The first video, the cinematic announcement trailer, opens with a slow horn drone while Allied soldiers race across the beach and paratroopers drop from the sky. The music is then used to signal mystery and tension with a staccato string rhythm. Tension builds with a timpani striking like small explosions to accent the rhythm.
And then silence to accent the action. Horns blasting, rising, lowering, following the queues of each scene, giving space or heightening the underscore as its needed. As the actions build, so do the strings and the heroic, almost swashbuckling resolution when our heroes emerge from the wreckage, nod to the woman helping them, and hurry off to start their next mission.
The gameplay trailer
The second trailer is the gameplay trailer. Here we start off in the parachutes, with the action-adventure strings already warmed up and bowing as we look through flashing scenes from the announcement trailer. The music quiets down and lets the timpani take over as the voiceover comes in, setting up the scene. When the voice finishes the introduction, the strings pick up and keep the adventurous, actionable mood of the game.
“The tricky part of the trailer was to set up the flow and the mood for all the different, mostly, unfinished scenes and imagine how it all turns out in the end,” said Alex. “To be honest, I am very happy with the results and Benny did an awesome job on writing that main theme.”
Our involved team:
Composers: Alex Pfeffer and Benny Oschmann
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