Acclaimed composer Bear McCreary is behind the soundtrack for the upcoming Jack the Ripper DLC for Assassin’s Creed Syndicate.
McCreary has scored Outlander, The Walking Dead, and Battlestar Galactica, as well as many other projects. On his blog he writes about the influences behind each of the songs he composed and gives us some clues about when the DLC will come out.
He has listed the soundtrack release date as December 15. That probably means we have just a couple weeks to wait until the DLC itself is available to download. It’s available to buy through digital outlets like the PlayStation Store with the Assassin’s Creed Syndicate Season Pass right now.
So what can we expect from the Jack the Ripper score? McCreary says it’s “one of the most intense, mysterious, and vicious scores I’ve ever composed.”
For Jack the Ripper’s theme, McCreary focused on discordant, percussive stringed instruments like pianos and harpsichords.
“I also bashed a piano with mallets, scraped strings, and inflicted mayhem on these poor instruments. These techniques created a signature color palette that I could draw from to instantly evoke the presence of Jack the Ripper,” he writes.
The other main theme McCreary worked on for Jack the Ripper was Evie Frye’s. With this post, McCreary confirms that Evie is indeed the main protagonist of the Jack the Ripper DLC. Where that leaves her brother Jacob is unclear. The DLC takes place twenty years after the main game, and Evie has spent at least part of the interim time living in India.
For Evie’s theme, McCreary focused on more elegant, controlled sounds. He married together the cello and a Turkish instrument called the yialli tanbur to give the theme a distinctive sound. The cello and yialli tanbur are drastically different instruments, and McCreary said that getting them to sound good together was a challenge. If you’re interested in composing, I really recommend reading the post.
“Writing a theme for one of the first female playable characters in the history of Assassin’s Creed was something I took very seriously, and I am very happy with the result,” McCreary said. He went on to say that fear is another major theme of the DLC, and that the player protagonist is going to be a major source of that fear. To me this sounds like Evie is going to be putting the fear of God in Jack the Ripper? Sign me up.
Jack the Ripper is one of history’s most enduring serial killers. Because his murders were committed at the same time as the birth of forensic investigation, there are detailed records of the investigation. But he straddles a foggy place in our history: He’ll always be the one that got away, and we will probably never know his true identity. He has become almost an urban legend.
The worst part, of course, is that his victims were all women sex workers who never received justice. Positioning Evie Frye as the main protagonist of the DLC where, presumably, Assassin’s Creed will give us their own take on the Ripper mythos, is a brave and fitting choice.
The full soundtrack for the DLC will be five tracks long, and you can buy it from digital retailers like iTunes and Amazon. It will also be available to stream through Spotify and Apple Music, starting December 15.