Winner: Red Dead Redemption
It didn’t matter whether you were being mauled by a bear, were sat around a poker table or on one of many horseback rides across the plains, Red Dead Redemption sounded like it would have fit perfectly into a Sergio Leone film. The soundtrack itself was at times moving, at others exhilarating and no matter where John Marsden was, the sound team had the ambience nailed. And, to cement its status at the top of our sound category, the game boasted the same high standard of voice work as the GTA series.
Runner Up: Limbo
Limbo garnered attention with its morose visuals but it was the sound that created the lasting impression. Shot with eeriness the sound design was a lesson in less is more, the moments of quiet accompanied only by the pattering of small feet through the hellish world as vital as the startling sound of a giant hungry spider emerging from its cave.
Runner Up: Enslaved: Odyssey to the West
It’s easy to overlook Nitin Sawhney’s delightful soundtrack in light of Alex Garland’s script or the wonderful acting (and lacking gameplay mechanics) but its one of many features that help set Enslaved apart from the myriad of action adventurers out there. Its greatest asset was its delicacy, never intruding and always keeping up with whatever tone was set through the cut scenes or stellar voice work.
Enslaved may have stumbled when it came to being a game but its production values were never anything less than stunning and the sound design rivaled all the best parts – the script, the artwork and the acting – from start to finish.