Jukebox Heroes: Six musical themes for upcoming MMORPGs

Usually in Jukebox Heroes I’m looking back at current and sunsetted MMORPGs, but this week I thought I’d change things up a bit by looking ahead. That’s right — we’re going to be going into the future to listen to a half-dozen main themes to upcoming MMORPGs.

Some of these titles are on the cusp of releasing this year, while others have a long way to go. Still, it’s kind of exciting to listen to these themes and imagine actually logging into the finished product, don’t you think?

So here we go, with title tracks from Crowfall, Fractured, Gloria Victis, Worlds Adrift, Project Gorgon, and Camelot Unchained!

1. Crowfall

It’s pretty obvious that this title track is borrowing heavy inspiration from Game of Thrones as well as the format for many trailer themes (which makes sense, because ArtCraft has been trying to cultivate that Game of Thrones connection since its pre-Kickstarter campaign). And you know what? That’s not a bad thing. It’s an intense, dark, and stirring theme that serves well as a call to war. You hear this, and you’re going to want to grab a sword and start swinging!

2. Fractured

This title is still a very, very long way out, but I guess it already has a theme song! It’s adequate — pretty, even. The horns and Skyrim chants are a little overblown, but when this track simmers down, something charming emerges. If this is what the team ends up using, then I think it will serve the game just fine.

3. Gloria Victis

There’s a huge temptation to go big and loud for a main theme, but Gloria Victis surprises by starting soft and eerie. It continues in that vein for a while, and even when it does start building up, it’s more like you’re hearing the music approaching you without being too overwhelming. The more I listen to this track, the more I fall in love with it. Well done indeed!

4. Worlds Adrift

I had high hopes for a theme to match the distinct and attractive visuals, and Worlds Adrift did not disappoint. It’s a sweeping, magical theme that absolutely swirls about with unsupressed glee. There are moments of mystery and uncertainty, but the forward momentum of this track propels us right to the end, where a piano brings us to a quiet close. Spot on.

5. Project Gorgon

Like the MMO itself, Project Gorgon’s theme is a definite throwback to an older generation of games. It sounds like it would fit in well with titles like Asheron’s Call and Dark Age of Camelot, and even brush shoulders with Guild Wars. It’s not the most complex piece, but I’m quite partial to the harpist and the general enthusiasm that’s on display here.

6. Camelot Unchained

Another retro-flavored track, Camelot Unchained starts with a high fantasy vibe but then quickly descends into a much darker place than we’ve seen in some of these other title themes. It’s most definitely a theme that’s telling a story, and when it grows quiet, I’m right there on the edge of my seat, ready to be transported.

MMOs are meant to be heard as well as seen, and chances are that music ties your memories to these games more than you might realize. Every two weeks Jukebox Heroes listens through a game soundtrack and picks out the highlights to share and discuss. And if you like this column, then don’t miss the author’s MMO music podcast, Battle Bards!
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Loopy

That Gloria Victis song is really neat. I’m digging the atmosphere it’s building.