I’m asking because I honestly don’t know the answer, and wondered if anyone else knew why. Did Marty ask for too much money? Was it a change of developer thing? Did 343 just want someone else?
I’ve just been listening to some of the old Halo music (from Halo 1-3), and it reminded me of how much Marty’s music is/was a part of Halo. I respect Neil Davidge for his efforts on Halo 4’s soundtrack, but… it’s just not the same. There’s nothing in Halo 4’s soundtrack that comes close to the kind of emotion that Marty brought. Going into Halo 4, I had already resigned myself to the fact that the music wasn’t going to be the same, but I was still disappointed at how little the soundtrack lived up to the Halo name. Even Halo Wars, which had its soundtrack composed by Stephen Rippy, managed to still feel like “iconic Halo” while maintaining it’s own unique identity.
I think one of the biggest problems is that there’s really no recognizable theme in Halo 4’s soundtrack. I can instantly call to mind every main theme from past Halo games - often times not just one, but several from each game. The main, iconic Halo theme, the “chanting monks”, the Maw, “On a Pale Horse”, Respite from Halo 2, Unforgotten, the piano theme from Halo 3, “One Final Effort”, and the list goes on. I can hear each one in my head like I’m playing the game, and often I can remember the exact part in the game when you first hear the music.
Nothing in Halo 4’s soundtrack really… “catches” me quite the same way. I can’t really recognize anything that stands out as a recognizable theme. Most of the music seems to focused more on having a “beat” to it, than developing a musical idea. It’s like a collection “generic epic music” that you might find on Youtube.
Again, I don’t mean any offense to Neil Davidge - I understand his and 343’s desire to do something totally new, rather than just imitate Marty, but… when you’re following up a genius who composed some of the most iconic video game music ever, you better be pretty confident that you can make something comparable to it. And for me, Halo 4’s music just doesn’t.
Which is what brought me to ask the question - why didn’t Marty come back?