Bungie certainly raised a few eyebrows a couple of years back when it was announced that none other than Paul McCartney had joined the development of Destiny. Without elaboration, the story died until last month, when the New York Times came up with some further details about his involvement , specifically that he had worked with ex-Bungie composer Marty O’Donnell and Mike Salvatori on the game’s orchestral score, and had also recorded a theme song that was being lined up as a single release to follow soon after the game.
Then, more silence – until now, thanks to YouTuber Kilo Juliett captured the song, called Hope for the Future, from the game’s credit sequence:
As you’d expect form the guy who brought us Wonderful Christmastime and We All Stand Together (The Frog Song), it’s gloriously cheesy – the kind of overwrought, overproduced pop-schlock you’d expect from an 80s fantasy movie, and I have to admit I kind of love it. It’s funny: the recent live-action trailer for Destiny, directed by Tron Legacy’s Joseph Kosinski, caught some flack for its inclusion of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song as what some perceived as attempt to ape Guardians of the Galaxy‘s genius juxtaposition of space opera and retro rock, yet to me that Zep tune and this song help make the game’s overbearingly self-serious tone much more palatable. I tried shooting Knights in the grill on the Moon while playing this song: It works surprisingly well. I’m not sure whether it’s a missed opportunity or a sign that Bungie weren’t really sure what to do with the game tonally.
Either way, one hopes that when the single releases we’ll learn more about the collaboration – I’d be interested to know what McCartney added to the orchestral material in particular. It’s ground he’s covered a few times in his career to some acclaim, for example here with this gorgeous piece written as a tribute to his then recently-deceased wife Linda:
Also, anyone who might be wondering how the hell the generally-dignified Macca could bring himself to sing this song, or what he might’ve been thinking as he sat through meetings about giant space ping-pong balls and wizards from the Moon, should remember that he was in The Beatles – the man has written some weird shit.
Something else I spotted in those credits: Brian Posehn as a Creative Consultant? The Brian Posehn? I haven’t been able to find any further information on this but I can’t think how his influence could’ve made it into this thing, unless the Art Department borrowed his record collection for inspiration.