Boris Salchow's Music for Resistance 3 on Top Score

by Emily Reese
September 20, 2011

Listen Top Score - Boris Salchow
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Boris Salchow (Tom Bowles)
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I'll admit right off the bat that I looked forward to September 6, 2011 for more than a year. Resistance 3 came out that day, and I was excited.

But I was even more excited for the opportunity to speak with the man who wrote the music for it, Boris Salchow.

Boris was in a unique position for the third installment of the Resistance story. It's not terribly common that the original protagonist, in this case Nathan Hale, dies at the end of the second game (not so much a spoiler anymore).

The first two games depended on Hale and his story to carry the larger story of the game, which is a simple concept: aliens invade Earth. By the time the third game begins, 90% of the world's population is gone.

That alone presented Boris with another opportunity – scoring a first-person shooter void of an element generally constant in all First Person Shooters – an army. There is no organizational humanitarian element in Resistance 3; almost everyone is dead.

Musically, this translated to a large departure from Boris's previous scores, most of which has a military element present. No military? No trumpets and snare drums.

Enter the heart of the orchestra – the warm, thick tones of cellos, horns, euphoniums; as for drums, you'll hear far more bass drum and timpani than snare drum.

All of this made for two things: a gripping story, enjoyable to play through, and a beautifully lush score, far different than any other I'd encountered in a First Person Shooter.

Boris, who hails from Northern Germany, grew up listening to Russian operas. His father was singing in Boris Godunov when Boris was born, but his father won't admit that's where he got the name.

Hear more about Boris Salchow and Resistance 3 on the new episode of Top Score from Classical Minnesota Public Radio, also available on iTunes.


  • INTRO: Resistance 3 - You Are the Resistance
  • Resistance 3 - Tell Susan I Loved Her
  • Resistance 3 - Exploring St. Louis
  • Resistance 3 - Pray For Us
  • Resistance 3 - Fighting the Chimera
  • Resistance 3 - Life in Haven Town
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time - Menu Loop
  • Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time - Space Wander 1
  • Camille Saint-Saens - Carnival of the Animals: The Swan, perf. by Clara Rockmore
  • Resistance 3 - Meet Jean Rose
  • Modest Mussorgsky - Boris Gudanov: Coronation Scene
  • Resistance 3 - The Remnants
  • Sergei Prokofiev - Romeo and Juliet: The Child Juliet
  • Igor Stravinsky - Apollo
  • Modest Mussorgsky - Pictures at an Exhibition: The Great Gate of Kiev
  • Resistance 3 - In Satan's Realm
  • CREDITS: Resistance 3 - You Are the Resistance