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Fracture by Michael Giacchino, Chris Tilton, Chad Seiter


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 The Game: X360
The Game: PS3
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Fracture (Soundtrack) by Michael Giacchino, Chris Tilton, Chad Seiter

Composed by Michael Giacchino,
Chris Tilton, Chad Seiter
Promo Release (2008)

Rating: 7/10

* This promo is not available for purchase

11 Full tracks from The Force Unleashed  22 Soundclips!

If the FRACTURE franchise does continue on (and many agree that the core of the game could warrant another go) then the musical foundation laid by Giacchino, Tilton, and Seiter, is certainly solid enough from which to build further.

by Christopher Coleman

Jesse Harlin

" I know I did my job well when fans and critics alike comment on how great a particular track was at a given moment of the game, or if they praise the composer for having written such an appropriately dynamic score that always seems to perfectly fit the mood of the gameplay."

Jesse Harlin

Read the full interview with JESSE HALRIN


Following close on the heals of LucasArts behemoth-title, THE FORCE UNLEASHED, comes another "ground-breaking," albeit substantially less marketed, third-person shooter, FRACTURE. For some time the gaming community has been stirring over this project particularly in regards to the game's central selling point - "terrain deformation" - it's key feature of game-play. Players have the ability, via their futuristic weapons cache, to transform the terrain around themselves or around their enemy in order to, among other things, gain a decisive strategic advantage. "Terra-fragging" anyone? With the potential experience of launching an enemy (or a buddy in one of the 8 multiplayer versions) into the air, or creating on-demand cover from enemy fire, early buzz on FRACTURE was positive. Post-release; however, reviews and gamer's comments have been a bit south of "glowing" - citing concerns with enemy A.I. and weapons accuracy. Still, more often than not, what garners words of praise is the relevant storyline, the potential of terrain deformation and the games original score.

Having worked with composer MICHAEL GIACCHINO and his team at EDGEWATER MUSIC on past games such as SECRET WEAPONS OVER NORMANDY, developers LucasArts and Day 1 returned to them to provide the fully symphonic backdrop to the story and game-play for their latest gaming creation, FRACTURE. Once again it fell on the shoulders of LucasArts staff-composer and music supervisor, Jesse Harlin to take the musical output of the trio and give FRACTURE it's final shape. The story is set in the 22nd century where war has broken out in the United States. Due to the melting of the polar ice cap, the Mississippi river has flooded - destroying the central portion of USA and leaving two factions to its east and west: The Atlantic Alliance and The Republic of the Pacifica. In the single player campaign you play the character of Jet Brody who is a part of the Atlantic Alliance. For FRACTURE, the amount of time and energy sunk into the development of all of these story details is important in terms of the game's score and would be apart of the challenge for Giacchino and his co-composers, CHRIS TILTON and CHAD SEITER.

There are two main "faultlines" from which FRACTURE'S original score emerges. First, there is the theme for The Atlantic Alliance and this theme dominates the first third of the score. It is introduced in track 1 "Main title" and is found in one variation or another in all but one of the first six tracks. It is the sort of bold, no-holds-barred theme we have come to expect from Giacchino, Tilton and Seiter. Written in 3/4 time and brandishing the brass, string, and percussion sections like weapons in and of themselves, this main theme feels more "superhero" than it does "post-deluge" ... and with good reason. In the single-player campaign, you play through as, "the hero," Jet Brody, who is a part of the Atlantic Alliance. This theme then serves as the hero's theme and by extension the main theme for the game. This heroic theme stands in clear contrast to the second major theme of the game.

While the Atlantic Alliance, which is comprised of the eastern half the former United States plus Europe, relies upon great technological advancements in cybernetics to survive in this "new world," the western half has formed a union with Asia, called the Republic of Pacifica. Unlike the A.A., this western faction, instead, relies upon advancements in genetic manipulation as their main platform for survival (or dominance) and this difference can be heard in their main theme. Introduced in track 3, "The Pacificans" we hear that a slightly darker, slightly more menacing theme, but not a completely villainous theme either. That comes later and elsewhere. While it begins on low strings, low brass, and harp, the piece builds to a much brighter performance via much higher brass, percussion and woodwind accents as the track progresses. The Pacifican theme all but disappears until track 10, "Desert Base," where by this time the tone of the score has become more reliant upon subtleties and suspense than aggressive, action quotations. This same characteristic is carried through "Mole Men" (11) and "Into the Core" (12). With both faction's themes well established, we are set for the game and score to conclude with a raucous collision.

Before speaking about those climactic tracks, there are are action pieces and secondary motifs worth noting.  In regards to action, well, there is a lot of it, so the number of action pieces should come as little surprise.  Most of these sequences make liberal use of the established motifs and are laden with suspense and drama.  By far, the most intriguing of these pieces is "TESLA RUN."  Initially, this is a bold and quick-tempoed piece features quick brass, string and woodwind runs that are certainly mindful of latter-day John Williams action compositions.  "Tesla Run" changes tempo and personality several times before it's conclusion, making it one of the most engaging pieces of the release.

As the game-play of FRACTURE spans various locations from around the former-USA, there are a couple of important locations that are given their own motifs.  First, in "Welcome to the Rock" we have a subtle yet methodical theme played on woodwinds and pizzicato strings to represent the location of San Francisco.  Later, in tracks 15 and 16 we hear a specific theme created to represent Washington D.C.  "1600 Pennsylvania Ave" (15) delivers a very striking militaristic performance of the "DC theme" while "Beneath the White House" (16) features a much more restrained arrangement.  Lastly, I'll make mention of one more important theme in this score. Rather than affix a dark, malevolent theme to the person at the heart of your mission, General Nathan Sheridan, that dubious honor is given to the big, baddie, weapon, The Dreadnaught. In track 9, "The Dreadnaught Rises" we hear the wonderfully villainous idea introduced. The composers' most menacing music of the score has been reserved for "the Dreadnaught" where percussion and 8 quick notes on french horns or trumpets are repeated with slight variations. The motif returns with an even stronger in "The Dreadnaught Attack" (18).

When we reach "Dreadnaught Falls" (19), we finally have the collision of our two main themes. Here, we first pick up on The Pacifican theme played on French horns, but they are quickly layered with a variant of the Atlantic Alliance theme underneath. After a brief respite provided by the elegy-like "Lawrence's Demise" (a wonderful adaptation of the Atlantic theme), the battle re-engages one last time. "Battle With Sheridan" is the climactic piece of the game and here we have one of the most forceful performances of the Pacifican theme until it is finally bested by one, final and victorious quote of Jet's (A.A.'s) theme.

The musical direction taken for FRACTURE an interesting one. While, we can depend on MICHAEL GIACCHINO, CHRIS TILTON, and CHAD SEITER, to deliver a solid score, (and they do again here) there was one noticeably absent element from this score.  This effort is devoid of an electronic edge. Perhaps the choice was made simply to help separate this potential franchise from the countless others it's in competition with. The mega-franchise HALO and countless-would-be's have well worn the electronic/symphonic hybrid for sure. Still, given the time frame and the core of the story and gameplay revolving around advanced technology, it would seem natural that some electronic elements might make their way to the forefront.  This isn't to say that adding some strong electronic edge would make this score any better, it simply very noticeable that none exists.  The juxtaposition of this militaristic, symphonic score against the techno-war backdrop might have been a bit more "earth shaking" had KEVIN REIPL's "HUXLEY" not done something similar earlier in 2008. If the FRACTURE franchise does continue on (and many agree that the core of the game could warrant another go) then the musical foundation laid by Giacchino, Tilton, and Seiter, is certainly solid enough from which to build further.  It'd be my hope that a bit more textural diversity might be employed on any follow-up projects.  Still, for those who truly enjoy the big, bold, style of Giacchino and company, so often employed in their game projects, then FRACTURE is another title you will enjoy.  (No official details on an official soundtrack have bee released at this time).

Rating: 7/10

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Track Title Track Time  Rating
1 Main Theme 2:29  ****
2 Atlantic Alliance 2:46  ****
3 The Pacificans 1:58  ****
4 Welcome to the Rock 2:45  ***
5 Alcatraz Attack 2:01  ***
6 "Go Go Go!" 2:36  ****
7 Kicked in the Hydroballs 4:55  ***
8 The Tower 3:18  ***
9 The Dreadnaught Rises 3:42  ***
10 Desert Base 2:29  ***
11 Mole Men 3:21  ***
12 Into the Core 4:10  ***
13 Mariko 1:16  ***
14 Tesla Run 3:46  ****
15 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. 3:07  ****
16 Beneath The White House 2:02  ****
17 Restoring the Shield Grid 4:28  ***
18 The Dreadnaught Attack 4:10  ***
19 The Dreadnaught Falls 2:04  ****
20 Lawrence's Demise 2:59  ****
21 Battle With Sheridan 2:09  ***
22 End Credits 4:50  ***
  Total Running Time (approx) 67 minutes  




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