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Composer brings energy, heart to Guardians of the Galaxy

Richard Jacques is no stranger to working on big franchises. The veteran composer has worked on several throughout his career, including the original Mass Effect and James Bond 007: Blood Stone. He added another last year — Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

The franchise is known for mixing in classic rock songs into its soundtrack, a challenge Jacques was more than ready to tackle.

“We knew we wanted a lot of 80s tracks in there,” Jacques said. “We knew we wanted to have a big, epic orchestral score and we have an original rock album in the game as well.”

Weaving in and out of licensed music and the game’s original score was key to not only setting the tone, but creating a seamless soundtrack throughout.

“It’s pretty unique in the sense that we really took a great deal of care to make sure it was a very smooth transition between the score and the licensed tracks,” Jacques said. “It really does give a memorable and smooth experience for the players. We definitely achieved what we set out to do.”

In addition to working in licensed tracks, although many view the Guardians of the Galaxy as a fun, high energy franchise, the game’s story also has its share of emotional moments.

“It’s an action-adventure game with a big story and the game has a big heart,” Jacques said. “You have all the challenging combat moments, so a lot of big, epic orchestral choirs. There are also quite a few poignant moments. It’s interesting to go through those moments, to get the emotion right for the player. It’s a total change of tone from the big, bombastic action scenes or flying inside the Milano exploring.”

The result was one of the most highly acclaimed games of 2021. Guardians of the Galaxy, including its score, was nominated for numerous awards, and Marvel released “Welcome to Knowhere,” featuring the soundtrack to the game on various platforms. And Jacques’ score has received praise from numerous reviews, putting a cap on a rewarding and fun experience, Jacques said.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Jacques said. “It’s a really satisfying process to go through. The entire team, they really went for it with this game and I think they delivered.”

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