Jukebox Heroes: Star Citizen’s soundtrack

    
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With more money than several third-world nations, Cloud Imperium Games and Star Citizen certainly has the luxury of affording the best for its (undoubtedly) stellar upcoming game. To be completed June 2057. Sorry, had to get that out of my system early.

So I am not at all surprised to discover that Star Citizen already has an absolutely massive soundtrack out there — and that much of it is quite well-done and suitably space operatic.

Portuguese composer Pedro Camacho (Fairytale Fights, Audiosurf) was tapped to lead up this project and has his personal stamp on many of the MMO’s tracks. However, he is not the sole composer on the project; Steve Jablonsky (The Sims 3), Geoff Zanelli (Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3), Faux Tales, Goteki, George Oldziey, Matthew Fossa, and possibly others also contributed to the score. It’s got chops, is what I’m saying.

While Star Citizen — and presumably its soundtrack — is still a work-in-progress, I think that there’s more than enough created to pull out a half-dozen samples to get a feel for its audioscape.

1. Main theme

It seems that with space games, you’ve got two main options for a soundtrack. You can go really rich, full, classic orchestra in the vein of 2001 and Star Wars — or you can go all futuristic synthy like Mass Effect. Star Citizen’s main theme… does both. And throws in a choir for good measure. When I heard it, it quickly shot into my top 10 favorite MMO themes with it’s uplifting spirit and memorable melodic hook.

I do have to say that I actually adore the first Happy variant of this theme even more, if that is possible. That one sounds like Star Wars and Back to the Future had an adorable baby.

2. Hero March

Right off the bat, you can sense the pent-up energy of this track — and it’s almost torture waiting for it to explode into something great. It’s delicious torture though, with long, soulful cello notes juxtaposing against the frantic violins. This track keeps rising in intensity until it hits the final seconds, and the listener is left imagining whether victory or defeat followed.

3. First Light

This track jettisons the dominant orchestra and goes full Blade Runner on us. And I love it! It’s got this eerie, otherworldly atmosphere to it that will make for a great in-game track. The touch of vocals and the fast violin work, thanks to Julie Elven, make for a goosebump-raising climax.

4. Speed Activated

With race tracks and racing ships in the game, it makes sense that there’s music to go with this mode. The pulse-pounding techno in Speed Activated is well-suited for this kind of gameplay. I love that it ramps up for the first 40 or so seconds before the race kicks off and then sends us careening on a musical thrillride.

5. Red Giant

This track, by Stellardrone, wasn’t a “love at first sight” kind of deal. There was something about it that attracted me to it, and over the course of a half-dozen or so listens, I found myself strangely enthralled with its ambient trance. This almost belongs more in a game like EVE Online, if EVE had a touch of the ’80s in it. In any case, I would totally fly through the cosmos listening to this track.

6. A Symphony in Motion

If the synth didn’t come into play here, I would totally peg this as a weepy eastern fantasy tune. But this mixture of violin and synth is spellbinding and definitely takes music to outer space. I get a shot of joy whenever I listen to this piece and weep only because it is too dang short.

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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Rhime

I just fired up these tracks the other day while doing some house chores…of course the volume was at 11!:)

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Hirku

Does it sound better in Dubly?

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Rhime

Absolutely! 👌😊

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angrakhan

Isn’t this game pretty much guaranteed to to be stellar? I mean it’s named *Star* Citizen after all. Get it? Star… stellar… ok, ok I’ll see myself out.

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Hirku

Yes, you need to get of here and nova come back…

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Ken from Chicago

Alright you two, that’s just … (ga)lazy … writing!

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McGuffn

I hope we get the soundtrack to Blizzard’s Titan someday.

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Michael18

Always loved the music in this early trailer (if you are in a hurry, start at 2:05):

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Armsman

You do realize that music was pretty much based on BGM from the film “Battleship” (2012), right?

(The relevant part starts at about 1 minute 38 seconds in. ;)

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Oleg Chebeneev

This is probably the first time when I loved ALL tracks in jukebox column.

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Amorey

Thank You for posting this Justin :)

Gives me the change to share this article from The Guardian about how game music is becoming more and more mainstream

https://www.theguardian.com/games/2018/sep/03/how-video-game-music-waltzed-its-way-on-to-classic-fm-soundtrack-awards