If you’re aware of the work of composer Bear McCreary, it’s probably in the context of television music, such as the incidental music for Battlestar Galactica. As such, scoring for sci-fi is pretty much in the comfort zone of his skill set, so in many ways it makes sense that someone like him would be chosen to create a soundtrack for a multiplayer sci-fi video game. He also has a tendency toward relatively indie projects; he has already composed soundtracks for multiple other video games, direct-to-DVD film releases, and pilot episodes.
That said, for someone who likes to try his hand at a variety of composition styles, much of his music runs in the same vein: a cross between John Williamsesque orchestral grandeur and pumping electronic-based action sequences. Not that this is a bad thing – in fact, for sci-fi, it’s downright perfect. McCreary was perhaps the perfect composer for the Moon Breakers game, and although there’s not much to the soundtrack (only four tracks total, the last of which is an extended version of the first track), what there is leaves the listener wanting more.
The title track “Theme from Moon Breakers” falls mainly into that pumping electronic-based action sequence category, and still manages to incorporate an orchestral break in the middle. It’s a short track, only two minutes, but the extended version expands on the themes and gives a bit more fullness to the presented motifs.
“Clans of the Space Pirates” starts out sounding like more of the same, but switches gears slightly with a bagpipe lilt reminiscent of Lord of the Dance and an absolutely infectious beat. At just over seven minutes, it’s the longest offering on the soundtrack and really gives McCreary a chance to show that he’s about more than just theme exposition. “Government Armada,” the remaining track, is another full-length track that slows the pace down a little, with a more menacing feel and a definite sci-fi sheen.
These three pieces fit together quite well, and really the only complaint is that the soundtrack isn’t longer. A lot more could be done within the context of the game; one has to wonder if there were budget concerns (I’m sure McCreary doesn’t come cheap) or if the music just wasn’t considered as extensively as other aspects of the game. Either way, it’s nice to have the soundtrack, however short; there are enough other similar Bear McCreary soundtracks out there for anyone who is a fan of this one and wants to hear more.
1. Theme from Moon Breakers
2. Clans of the Space Pirates
3. Government Armada
4. Theme from Moon Breakers (Extended Version)