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.