December 23, 2012, 10:30

Community Game Of The Year 2012: Best Audio Experience

By David Howard, Editor-in-Chief

Editor’s Note: We recently asked you, our community to vote for your Games of the Year across a variety of categories, and following all of your votes it’s time for the results. Enjoy.

When we decided upon the categories last year we wanted to make certain that we were as inclusive as possible; thus how the Audio Experience category was born. A game’s audio is made up of more than just its soundtrack or voice actors, we wanted to ensure those with unique or interested audio mixes were recognised as well. Sometimes a game may not have a stand-out orchestral composition but use a mainstream song perfectly. Last year, it was Battlefield 3 that took the award for Best Audio Experience thanks to its sound effects and backing track.

This year there’s a wonderful blend of options: we have the wonderful music from 18th century America, the progressive tunes of an trippy racing title, the wonderful performance from Vaas, the moving score for Master Chief’s return, the zen-like accompaniment to a day in the sand, the excellent soundtrack to Max’s third adventure, some custom designed and layered tracks for a PlayStation platformer, the bitcore tracks for one of the most challenging games in years, the minimalistic nature of the universe of the Swan, and the comprehensive cast and soundtrack to those still living.

The Nominees were:

Community Game Of The Year 2012: Best Audio Experience

Whilst there were many strong contenders, it was one platform that ran away with it. Winning its third award after already picking up Best PlayStation and Best Visual Appearance crowns, Journey can sit aloft of the throne for Best Audio Experience, cementing the title in our record books already. Not only the second title to pick up three awards, Journey is the first title to win both visual and audio awards in the same year – a mightily impressive feat. The PlayStation Network exclusive captured 21.95% of the vote to win the award, ahead of another PlayStation exclusive, Sounds Shapes (18.29%).

It’s hardly surprising that Journey was voted the Best Audio Experience of 2012 given that it broke a 55-year record by becoming nominated for a Grammy Award. Composed by Austin Wintory, the game’s soundtrack has been nominated in the Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media alongside the likes of film composers Howard Shore (Hugo), Hans Zimmer (The Dark Knight Rises) and John Williams (Tintin).

The score became the highest-charting original videogame score ever on the Billboard 200 and dominated the “soundtrack” category on the iTunes chart, before winning “Best Original Score” at the Video Game Awards earlier this month.