Game music of the day: Halo: Reach

Game: Halo: Reach

Song: The Battle Begins

Composers: Martin O'Donnell, Michael Salvatori

Above: The Battle Begins from Halo: Reach

By now, you know. You've read GamesRadar's super review. You've heard the earth-shattering, heart-breaking, jaw-dropping, seizure-inducing news. And you've reacted with a corresponding degree of completely justified horror and/or delight.

I scored Halo: Reach an 8. I thought the game was "great." My sincerest apologies…

Anyway, one of the things that I found particularly "great" about Bungie's prequel was the soundtrack. It's a beautiful blend of old and new, of familiar and surprising, of triumphant and tragic. You only need to listen to a few seconds of today's track, The Battle Begins, before you recognize it as Halo. The signature chanting. The insistent, pounding drums. But something's different…

While the original Halo trilogy chronicled Master Chief's heroic rescue of the galaxy, Reach takes place when the war has just begun, when humanity is caught off guard and when the situation is at its most dire. Spoiler alert: You're not gonna get much of a happy ending here. Reach's music, therefore, is sadder. Quieter. Epic and bombastic, still, but with a somber mood of duty, finality and inevitability.

To help with the comparison, here's the original Halo theme, as performed by awesome living room amateurs:

To sample the rest of Halo: Reach's music, head here.

Game music of the day: Halo 3 ODST
Neon Night by Martin O'Donnell and Michael Salvatori

Game music of the day: Mass Effect
Saren by Jack Wall and Sam Hulick

Game music of the day: Gradius III
Invitation by Ueko, Uehara, Muraoka and Morimoto


Game music


  • talkraider - January 31, 2011 2:33 a.m.

    So your saying you would give the halo reach music an 8/10
  • TheMonarch - September 16, 2010 11:22 p.m.

    "I scored Halo: Reach an 8. I thought the game was "great." My sincerest apologies…" Mr. Bearhat you make me chuckle. I mean how you could you not match Giant Bomb's 4 out of 5? /sarcasm
  • Cleanser247 - September 16, 2010 8:29 p.m.

    I'm sure if Charlie gave it a 10/10, people would still complain, I think 8/10 is perfect. As for the music, it is beautiful. Good Game Music Of The Day Charlie!
  • punkduck2064 - September 16, 2010 6:29 p.m.

    I haven't loved a sound track this much since the first time I watched the Star Wars Trilogy. Good effing Job Mr. O'Donnell
  • Spybreak8 - September 16, 2010 5:38 p.m.

    I've always liked the Halo soundtracks. I even enjoyed Halo Wars' soundtrack and that was done by Rippy (Age of Empires composer), not O' Donnell. The Battle Begins track got my blood flowing, it does have a bombastic sound to it.
  • SausageLozenge - September 16, 2010 4:16 p.m.

    I still like you Charlie.
  • TBag - September 16, 2010 3:20 p.m.

    TizzleSniper great post I agree with you completel. Another thing to consider is some thing that is said on tdar. That games radar is so small that you guys get to choose the games you want to review unlike ign or the other huge websites. But maybe that is the problem you all choose games your interested in which are more top tear games but still the issue is you clam 8 9 10 is great but you give most games those scores how are we the readers to react when you give reach a 8. On the 8 is great scale 6 7 is average. When we the readers are use to the 8 9 10 scale. It's not our fault you rate games high. Practice what you prech. Really a 8 for bionic comando in your super reviews you compare games so these two are equal...come on you muging me off. I still love you Charlie Bearhat (;
  • philipshaw - September 16, 2010 10:50 a.m.

    The music in the Halo games has always been high quality and this sounds like no exception
  • TURbo - September 16, 2010 5:40 a.m.

    GamesRadar is a strict review scoring site, because they only use positive integers. What's next for GamesRadar 8 out of 10 week?
  • TizzleSniper - September 16, 2010 4:55 a.m.

    (on topic) the music is great in reach (Marty is a great composer). (off topic) after playing through the entire campaign (on legendary) i will agree with Brett that it didnt feel as "epic" as i thought it was going to. but, i also had unbelievably high expectations and still feel the campaign was better than H3. (and easier too follow) i would have given it an 8 for the campaign. as for the multiplayer, i feel it is one of the most polished, complete, enjoyable experiences you can have. the guns feel better, the hit detection feels better, forge is immensely better, firefight matchmaking (finally),and the custom games are insanely customizable (as is firefight). and frankly, i feel it is the best multiplayer on the market. and i would easily have given the multiplayer a 10. @Brett regarding your statment about being held in the 8-10 grading area. isn't Gamesradar (its staff) the only people to blame for that? i mean, you guys give out 8's and 10's like its nothing (bionic wife arm anyone?) and maybe if you guys would give certain games lower scores, and used a more broad scale (actually using 7-6-5 and heck even 4s) for your opinion of the game. then maybe when it came time to review a high profile release it wont be a shit-storm of hate when you give it an 8. because frankly, games that were generally mediocre (once again, bionic wife arm anyone?) could have been given scores that of 6 or 5. Like MNC, sure, its great for the price, its rather fun, but its a very limited game (no campaign, not alot of customization) but yet it got an "8" because it was "great for a downloadable game". but if you really look at the game itself, its rather bland in comparison to something along the lines of Halo Reach, sure they both maybe "great" in their own right, but maybe you should make categories for your games (i.e. instead of saying that its "great" say its "great, for a downloadable game" [MNC]), this way, games aren't getting compared to games of the same score. or, you guys could just be entirely honest and not let things like, genre, price, and $ony paid us money (JK!) in your reviews. because if you compared MNC to other games, it fails in comparison to things like Halo Reach, Metroid OM (maybe), Spider man SD, Kingdom hearts BBS, and RUSE, it really only has its price going for it when compared to full featured games. in the end, you guys have only yourselves to blame for not using the entire scoring spectrum. if you would reserve 8-9 and 10s for games that were truly "great" "awesome" and "incredible" instead of games that were "mediocre" "good" "enjoyable, but not great" and " you probably wouldn't have this problem in the future when you actually give your honest opinions on a game. Sorry about the insanely long post (2800 characters). and i hope that Brett and the rest of the GR staff take this into consideration when reviewing games in the future (that is, if you agree, at all)
  • TBag - September 16, 2010 4:04 a.m.

    I just beat the game and have played the multi for a little I feel like the game should of gotten a higher score but I have also realized I'm a huge Halo fan boy. Charlie I apologize for me giving you a hard time. Every one has an opinion and you put yours out with your thoughts to back it up
  • goochbiscuit - September 16, 2010 3:05 a.m.

    Hey I didn't see this song on the OST, at least not the one for sale on iTunes. I haven't bought the soundtrack yet, so do you have any idea if it has another title?
  • batmanboy11 - September 16, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    As with the other Halos, the music in Reach was awesome. Also, about this whole "8/10" score thing: 8 is still good, people.
  • elpurplemonkey - September 16, 2010 1:54 a.m.

    I am very much enjoying the music in Reach, especially in the second level (with the night vision) when the guitars start (for lack of a better word) rockin'. And to add to this off-topic discussion: My favorite review scale is that of Joystiq, since it uses stars- just like movies. It reminds me of Netflix actually- 3 stars for a movie you like, 4 for one you really like, and 5 for one that you love- you don't need anything more than that. But somehow 4 stars doesn't sound as special when translated to 8/10. Maybe it's that most gamers/sites have limited themselves to the 6-10 scale and have made it less special? My point is this: numbers are stupid, we should all use stars like movies. It makes everything much simpler.
  • ScrEAMaPiLLar - September 16, 2010 1:34 a.m.

    Not surprised to see this but it is good music though.
  • GamesRadarCharlieBarratt - September 16, 2010 1 a.m.

    @SausageLozenge Reviews can't help but be subjective, you're right - BUT we do write for our audience, rather than for ourselves. We're not just discussing what WE think in a review... we're attempting to predict what YOU'LL think as well. I still believe that most people will find Halo: Reach's multiplayer "awesome" (9), its campaign merely "good" (7) and the game overall a "great" (8) but not "incredible" (10) experience. Of course, I can't predict everyone's reactions to the game. That's why there are 30 other reviews online - if you don't like what mine says, there are plenty of others that will tell you exactly what you want to hear. Sorry, SausageLozenge, only the first paragraph of this comment was directed at you. The rest was meant for humanity in general.
  • SausageLozenge - September 16, 2010 12:28 a.m.

    Marty is pretty amazing. Reviews are subjective, so Charlie can give it what ever he wants. If I was reviewing it for G-dar I would have given the game a 10. I think that Reach is the complete package and includes so many features that other games don't. But I don't work at G-dar.
  • McSpermie - September 15, 2010 11:44 p.m.

    "I'm really tired of being limited to the 8-10 review scale for high-profile games." I completely agree. But usually these high budget games have high scores because they ARE good, if they weren't, they WOULD get low scores. Kain and Lynch 1 is the perfect example of a high budget, highly anticipated game that flopped hard.
  • SHEESHKAH - September 15, 2010 11:24 p.m.

    People mad about the Halo: Reach review need to realize a review is an opinion and everyone thinks differently. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and Charlie didn't behold it as a 10 out of 10. DEAL WITH IT.
  • juicenpancakes - September 15, 2010 11:08 p.m.

    So... yeah... anyway... this music is good... remember? This is Game Music of the Day, calm down. Someone's feelings are going to get hurt, and I really don't want to have to call the BLAM!bulance.

Showing 1-20 of 37 comments

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