Jukebox Heroes: City of Steam's soundtrack

Jukebox Heroes City of Steam's soundtrack

City of Steam has to be the first MMO soundtrack that I've seen sold prior to the game actually launching. I mean, it's probably happened before, but I can't recall when. In any case, I had a good listen to this steampunk-inspired score months before its launch, but its lack of a presence on YouTube kept me from writing it up.

Enter Composer Daniel Sadowski, who emailed me asking why I hadn't covered his soundtrack yet. I was like, "Well, it's not on YouTube," and he was like, "Well it is now," and I was like, "I saw Ferris pass out at 31 flavors last night." True story.

I'm glad he did because this is a surprisingly decent score. With many browser-based MMOs, it might be easy to dismiss the music with the same wave of the hand that some dismiss the game itself, but that would be a shame. There's a lot of passion and ingenuity at work here. Let's listen!

1. Main Theme

City of Steam's main theme is wonderfully haunting, suggesting a wilderness even within the game's urban sprawl. There are so many fantastic elements at work here, from the choir to the strange instruments, and it congeals to create a track that's highly emotional while also being action-oriented. It even sounds a bit western, which isn't a bad thing at all.

2. Riven's Flight

Here's an obviously action-heavy piece with pounding percussion that goes strong for its 80-second run. Let's just say that you're getting your money's worth here. No filler, just a strong beat and an ominous feeling that something serious is going down. I would say this even sounds movie-like in quality.

3. Ebonhold

The combination of industrial synth sounds and tense strings always appeals to me. It gets my leg jiggling in that "I'm so pumped up" sort-of way. This is a very short track again, but I'd rather have a solid one-minute of listening bliss than five of filler. I'm betting you're probably the same.

4. Tomorrow Light

Tomorrow Light is a big shift from the previous three tracks, although it too is pretty short. It's a floaty, dream-like piece with enchanting female vocals and a periodic piano chiming in. I do wish it were longer, however, and developed into something a little more substantial, but it is a nice track overall.

5. Battle of the Oracle

Another dark action piece, Battle of the Oracle restrains itself from going all-out epic, but that perhaps forces it to be more focused. You definitely can pick up the sci-fi feel from this intense track, picturing our heroes suiting up and racing to the fight.

6. Through the Epoch

So if you took the soundtracks to The Dark Knight, Inception, and Tron Legacy and threw them in a blender, what pops out might well be this score. Through the Epoch wraps us up with yet another (excellent) action cue, doing that BAWMMM blare thing that made Inception's trailer so popular.

MMOs aren't just about looks; they also have great soundtracks that often go unnoticed. Heroes don't stand for that! Every Tuesday, Jukebox Heroes will check out a game's soundtrack and feature the best tunes to share and discuss. Your DJ for the hour is Justin Olivetti, and the request line is open!