A score can transform a game from just another mindless activity to an immersive experience. A score that reflects the dynamism that video games provide compared to movies is not easily done. As such, we wanted to award the developers who went the extra mile to produce something truly memorable. To produce a score that transplanted us, that stuck with us. A score that made us feel something as we played and that made it impossible to press the mute button. These are our winners for Best Score. Be sure to check out our sister award for Best Technical Audio.
Winner: Demon’s Souls from Bluepoint Games
It was with trepidation that I approached the Demon’s Souls soundtrack. After all the original is perhaps the best score of the decade. The haunting, melodic tones of the soundtrack rise to brash climaxes before returning to melancholy. The score is like a lullaby that lures the player in. It is the opposite of a typical gaming soundtrack which tries to get the player’s blood pumping harder and harder and harder. The studio at Bluepoint remixed many of the classic tracks to varying degrees of success, but let it not be said that they did not try to put their own stake in the game.
In my opinion, the perfect theme is that of the Maiden Astraea. It is my single favorite piece of music from any score and I have listened to it more or less every week for the last decade. I approached my first listen to the remix with great trepidation. It does not contain the boldness of the original’s piano notes, but instead softens them and cloaks them in an overriding melody. It does what the rest of the game does, takes a magical original game and changes just enough that you feel the familiarity, but can also exalt in the new. Well done, Bluepoint on winning the Golden Lance for Best Score.
Runner Up: Ori and the Will of the Wisps from Moon Studios
Runner Up: Ghost of Tsushima from Sucker Punch