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Game of the Year 2012 - Soundtrack

A musical voyage.

Soundtrack

Our Game Soundtrack of the Year 2012 is Journey by Austin Wintory. This beautiful orchestral soundtrack is at times tense, dramatic and thrilling while managing to convey a range of emotion through its subtlety and delicacy. It has such an integral part in what made Journey an unforgettable experience for so many that it seems neither the game nor the soundtrack could properly exist without the other.

Journey was perhaps an obvious choice. We’ve been championing it since the game’s release in the early springtime and we’re not the only ones. Amid so much critical acclaim, Journey has recently become the first game soundtrack ever to have the honour of a Grammy nomination.

It wasn’t a runaway winner though, as part of the voting process we considered a range of soundtracks – both original scores and compilations. The only criteria for nomination was that the soundtrack featured in a game that was released in 2012.

The wonderful music from Mass Effect 3 wasn’t too far behind in second place. That’s hardly a surprise, Clint Mansell’s (Requiem for a Dream) involvement alone almost guarantees quality but several composers also returned from their work on Mass Effect 2 DLC to complete the third game in the series’ dramatic score.

Third place went to Halo 4, with a musical score by Neil Davidge (Massive Attack).

Here’s our top five represented as a bar chart.

Soundtrack

And here’s the final ranking of every game soundtrack which received at least one vote.

  1. Journey
  2. Mass Effect 3
  3. Halo 4
  4. Sound Shapes
  5. Velocity
  6. Asura’s Wrath
  7. Dishonored
  8. Super Hexagon
  9. Max Payne 3
  10. Rayman Origins (Vita)
  11. Metal Gear Solid HD
  12. Fez
  13. Kindgoms of Amalur: Reckoning
27 Comments
  1. Alex C
    One for all.
    Since: Forever

    Only game soundtrack I bought this year. By far and away the best game soundtrack for years. Since Rez, possibly.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 15:17.
  2. Youles
    Member
    Since: Feb 2011

    Strange, I don’t recall anything memorable about the Journey soundtrack, hence my vote went to Sound Shapes. Perhaps I’ll have to play it through again.

    WipEout 2048 had a decent soundtrack too but isn’t even there :(

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 15:20.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      There were some excellent soundtracks this year – Lumines Vita, Dyad and Hotline Miami too. It’s a shame there can only be so many that make the shortlist and only one winner, really!

      Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 15:57.
      • KeRaSh
        Member
        Since: Nov 2009

        Yeah, the Lumines Vita soundtrack is ace. Windowlicker, anyone? :P

        Comment posted on 24/12/2012 at 06:38.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      Did you enjoy Journey, Youles? If not, that would explain why the soundtrack felt so unforgettable.

      For me, it’s such an integral part it’s phenomenal. Sure, it’s a “nice” soundtrack and particularly so for the games industry but when you couple it with the game (as you play through) it’s an interactive extravaganza of lush, soft sounds from melancholic chords to joyous, celebratory moments of pure heaven.

      Obviously if I was younger I’d have just said “it’s not crap” which means “awesome”, I believe. ;-)

      Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 16:13.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        I loved Journey, had a great experience – met some traveller half way through, reached the sumit with them, and then they sent me a friend request afterwards simply saying “Thank You”. It was fantastic, and I beleive I was fortunate enough to have experienced the game as it was intended, travelling through the conditions and perils together without being forced or directed, or without communication. I just don’t remember anything about the soundtrack, but obviously that’s not to say it was bad. ;)

        As I say I may try it again and pay more attention to the music!!

        Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 17:18.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        If you get a chance, fella, go for headphones and tell the outside world to piss off (if you get a chance to play through it again). ;-)

        Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 23:28.
      • Youles
        Member
        Since: Feb 2011

        Ok matey, will do! ;)

        Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 23:47.
  3. GregHorrorShow
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    Great soundtrack, although I voted for Max Payne 3 :op

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 16:01.
  4. Kennykazey
    Member
    Since: Mar 2010

    Well deserved. It made the game in my opinion. Rayman Origins has a great soundtrack too, far better than Sound Shapes, at least in my head. But I guess being released last year impacted its votes.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 16:44.
    • dave87fez
      Member
      Since: May 2011

      I wouldn’t have thought of Rayman until I saw it on the list, but it was a very fitting soundtrack…although, wasn’t it technically a 2011 release?

      Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 17:00.
      • dave87fez
        Member
        Since: May 2011

        Ah…the Vita version. My bad.

        Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 17:01.
    • KeRaSh
      Member
      Since: Nov 2009

      Rayman Origin’s soundtrack is one of my all time favorites. I too think that Rayman lost a few votes because it’s been quite a while since it originally came out but it’s still nice to see that it gets some very deserved support.

      Comment posted on 24/12/2012 at 06:40.
  5. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    Nice to see Velocity and Ausura getting some love.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 16:48.
    • Blair Inglis
      hisnameisblair
      Since: May 2009

      Asura’s soundtrack is fantastic, would’ve clearly been number one if everyone had played it as they did with Journey ;)

      Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 22:42.
  6. Origami Killer
    Member
    Since: May 2010

    My vote went to Journey, sometimes I scroll over the game on the XMB and leave it play it’s main theme for a few minutes.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 17:12.
  7. Dan Lee
    Common like the rest of us.
    Since: Jun 2010

    Velocity followed by ME3 for me. Not one track from Journey stuck with me.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 17:32.
  8. Sitorimon
    Member
    Since: Jul 2011

    I SO nearly put down Botanicula as my soundtrack of the year but Journey juuuust edged it. Some excellent music this year though.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 18:41.
  9. YOURMUMANDME
    Member
    Since: Oct 2008

    I can’t help but think that Skyrim has been hard done by. Was it in last years category?

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 19:07.
    • Peter Chapman
      Team TSA: Editor
      Since: Forever

      Skyrim was released in 2011 and we didn’t do soundtracks last year (but we should, this was a really popular category for votes!)

      Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 20:40.
  10. colmshan1990
    Member
    Since: Apr 2009

    Of the games I’ve played this year, there were four stand-out, truly brilliant soundtracks.
    Journey > Lumines > Soundshapes > Wipeout.

    Journey’s soundtrack is my most listened album this year according to my phone, it’s truly brilliant, and great to listen to as I walk across the city at dawn or when I’m writing up a report and want some nice background music.

    Comment posted on 20/12/2012 at 19:34.

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