Composed by John Debney
I will have to admit that due to my love for gaming, whenever I watch a movie now a part of my brain is keenly taking note of what kind of scoring the movie uses. When I caught this Mel Gibson film on the big screen, I was impressed at how visually the story of Jesus Christ was brought to life. I was more impressed, however, with how moving the score was.
Chronicling the events leading up to the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, and his subsequent resurrection, the soundtrack has a wide spread of emotional notes that one can use to enhance a game. While some soundtracks have musical tracks that flow from one to the other, this soundtrack nicely has each piece seemingly self-contained within its time limits, fading in or out as appropriate, making them all easily loop-able for a long running sequence. The tracks also have a thematic similarity to one another, making this soundtrack an excellent accent to a game since it can give the story it is used in a notable signature impact. Save using this soundtrack for a story arc of epic dramatic proportions and that point in the game will often be remembered in the years to come.
As expected, the highlights of this soundtrack are the tracks Crucifixion (track 11), Raising the Cross (track 12) and Resurrection (track 15) which all have an intensely powerful release of pathos, bringing to mind one final act of heroism before the darkness falls apart. Key this track in just as the heroes bring an epic battle to conclusion, and you'll have your players standing up from their seats and cheering aloud.
On the flip side, the song that plucks the most emotional drawstrings to enhance drama would have to be Mary Goes to Jesus (track 09). The song plays with a angelic voice accompanying the music and brings to mind moments where secrets have been revealed, betrays are admitted, and regrets bring the coming of tears.
All in all, this soundtrack is worth the purchase. I have yet to find a non-comedic game that does not benefit from this soundtrack. Even a game based on a show with a signature sound, such as Battlestar Galactica, will find this soundtrack fits in very nicely.
The Passion of The Christ track suggestions
WTF moment: Simon Is Dismissed (track 07), Peaceful But Primitive/Procession (track 10)
Introspective/calm moment: The Olive Garden/Night Sky (track 01), The Stoning (track 05)
Tense/mystery moment: Crucifixion (track 11), Raising the Cross (track 12), It is Done (track 13)
Combat music: Jesus Arrested (track 03)
Hopeful moment: Bearing The Cross (track 02), Flagellation/Dark Choir/Disciplines (track 08)
Drama/sad moment: Peter Denies Jesus (track 04), Song of Complaint (track 06), Mary Goes to Jesus (track 09), Jesus is Carried Down (track 14), Resurrection (track 15)
Best Used In: Any game where immense sacrifice and tragedy is key to the theme. Genre doesn't matter. I've used this soundtrack successfully on a modern day zombie game, a dark ages vampire game, a science fiction story based on Battlestar Galactica, and even an attempt by Browncoats to evade some Reavers.