After years of anticipation and hype, Marvel's Avengers finally launches worldwide on Friday. The video game is set to unite some of Earth's Mightiest Heroes in a brand new action-packed story, one that has grown on a lot of fans and potential players as more and more information has been released. Those who have played Avengers' beta or checked out its early access this week have found a lot to love about the game, from its roster of characters and customizations, to its immersive world. One key element of that world is the game's score, which is crafted by composer Bobby Tahouri.
Tahouri is no stranger to the world of video games - he composed the soundtrack for 2014's Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark and 2015's Rise of the Tomb Raider - or even to the Marvel universe, as he provided additional music to 2008's Iron Man movie. This makes his work on Marvel's Avengers all the more special, and his unique approach to the game's epic scale and roster of characters is overwhelmingly apparent.
In anticipation of the worldwide release of Marvel's Avengers, ComicBook.com got a chance to chat with Tahouri via email about his work crafting the game's sound. We talked about his relationship with the Marvel universe, the pressure of creating an entirely new main Avengers theme, and the various influences that found their way into the soundtrack. Keep scrolling to check it out, and share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
ComicBook.com: What was your relationship with the Marvel universe prior to joining this project?
Bobby Tahouri: It feels like I’ve known about the Marvel universe ever since I was a little kid. I really enjoyed watching Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and The Incredible Hulk growing up, and I feel extremely fortunate that I had the opportunity to work on Iron Man in 2008. Who could ask for a better introduction into the MCU?prevnext
What was it like to craft the main Avengers theme, especially when the movie theme has become iconic at this point?
That was pretty stressful actually, because I knew people were probably going to make comparisons. Let’s face it, Alan Silvestri is a musical genius who can come up with an iconic theme in his sleep, so instead of going down an anxiety rabbit hole, I tried my best to clear my mind and come up with a memorable Avengers theme for the game that could stand on its own, and sound like a natural fit for the franchise.prevnext
I was wondering if you could expand on your approach to each of the individual characters’ music, because they all seem so distinct.
In addition to having one main Avengers theme, audio director Jack Grillo and I discussed giving each character their own distinct sub-theme, as well as an instrument or group of instruments to help identify them. I first tried to come up with assigning each Avenger a musical instrument or two.
Iron Man would get electric guitar and bass. Hulk would get cello when he’s Bruce, and guttural brass and taikos when he’s in Hulk smash mode. Captain America would get trumpet and strings. Thor would get Anvil (of course) and electric guitars because he feels like a rock star. Black Widow would receive stealthy synth sounds, and Kamala Khan’s instrument would be an electric keyboard that sounded almost like a sonar ping. Her sound was a combination of various synths that I combined, and I think the end result sounds lonely and isolating, much like her character feels in the game. When Ms. Marvel shows up, her sound changes to long string and brass tones to match her embiggening powers.prevnext
I was talking about the game with some of my coworkers, and one of them pointed out that the music in the winter-themed levels sounds somewhat like John Carpenter’s The Thing score. Was that an intentional homage?
Ooh, good ear. Actually, that was completely unintentional, although I love the score to The Thing. Perhaps it was my subconscious associating one winter setting with another? I will always try and use a low analogue bass pulse in my scores if I can.prevnext
In that same vein, were there any homages or references you worked into your score, outside of the direct inspirations from Marvel?
Jack Grillo and I decided that Bruce Banner would probably be listening to baroque music in his lab, so I took inspiration from a few various Bach Preludes whenever we see Hulk on screen.prevnext
What surprised you the most while working on the score for Marvel’s Avengers?
Just how realistic this game felt. The writing, acting, and graphics made me feel like I was scoring a feature film. Crystal Dynamics did a fantastic job at making these characters and scenarios come to life.prevnext
Is there a sequence in the score that's your favorite?
It’s so hard to say because I had a blast writing for every moment I scored. Kamala traversing the streets of Jersey City was a lot of fun to write. Iron Man and Thor’s combat pieces were also memorable. I assume it’s because I got to use full orchestra, percussion, synths, and guitars all at once.prevnext
What are you most excited to see fans respond to with your score?
There is a wide range of emotions in the score, from epic to intimate, and I really hope the fans enjoy the musical journey I tried to take the player on.prevnext
Do you have any other upcoming projects coming up that you want our readers to know about?
I’m currently working on an animated series that is supposed to come out later this year, and another video game title is in the works. I’m under NDA for both, so unfortunately I can’t reveal what they are just yet.0comments
Marvel's Avengers, from publisher Square Enix and developer Crystal Dynamics, is scheduled to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Google Stadia on September 4th. It is also set to release on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X later this year. You can check out all of our previous coverage of the Marvel-branded title right here.prev