Battlefield V: War in the Pacific

Johan Söderqvist and Patrik Andrén

" 'Battle of Dan-no-Ura (Japanese Traditional)' is impressive "

Written by Joep de Bruijn - Review of the download only release

In 2016 the video game Battlefield 1 was given in the hands of Johan Söderqvist and Patrik Andrén. The overall score for the game and its expansions included cliché music, but also allowed the composers to follow their regular working methods of experimenting with interesting, unique sounds and instruments. It was devoid of a 'historical' sound. These trademarks make for the better parts of the overall score, but in the case of Battlefield V, I haven't experienced all in-game use, only the music releases: the first EP, normal release and the War in the Pacific expansion.

The use of Japanese singer/musician/composer Junko Ueada is reminiscent of the wonderful 'interior' pieces of music of the previous entry, written and recorded with a male and female Kurdish singer, along an oud and ney player. Her use in tracks like 'Battle of Dan-no-Ura (Japanese Traditional)' is impressive. Söderqvist had listened to 'Dan-no-Ura' on Youtube and was blown away by the raw power of her performance. The piece tells the story of an ancient Japanese sea battle; a relevant and inspiring thing to in include. On a side note, Junko Ueda's many collaborations with Dutch flute player Wil Offermans is something worth exploring. Unfortunately, Offermans wasn't involved in the music to War in the Pacific.

There are several Japanese instruments, amongst them woodwinds and percussion heard throughout the score. I must admit, it is somewhat cliché music, with routinely sounding coloring by Japanese sounds that we have heard before. Nonetheless, most of this is really effective, especially the more low-key eeriness and tension building in a track such as Ghost Warriors. Of the action cues, 'The Jungle / Waves of Darkness' is wonderful.

As expected, the new take on the classic Battlefield theme returns, as heard in cues solely preserved for a traditional take (Beginning of the End and Wake Island), while phrases appear, buried under a carpet of ethnic sounds in 'Despair of the Earth'.

Battlefield 1 had two remarkable expansions, In the Name of the Tsar impressed by the use of choir and the bohak, Apocalypse through the use of strong brooding textures, while the two remaining expansions offered very little interesting musical material. The Battlefield V expansion War in the Pacific is somewhere in between.

1. Battle of Dan-no-Ura (Japanese Traditional) (feat. Junko Ueda) 2:34
2. Wake Island 2:51
3. Glorious Victory 2:01
4. Ghost Warriors 3:47
5. Battle Of Iwo Jima 3:24
6. Death Of Antoku 3:21
7. "Tropical Storm " 2:55
8. Despair Of The Earth 3:13
9. Beginning Of The End 2:54
10. Empire Of The Sun 2:56
11. The Jungle/Waves Of Darkness 4:49
12. Awaiting The Enemy 1:47
13. Processions 2:34
14. Imperial Victory 1:50

Total duration: 40:55

(written 04-04-2020)
(click to rate this score)  
(total of 4 votes - average 2.5/5)

Released by

Electronic Arts (download only release 2020)