The Best Sound 2016

by on December 27, 2016

 

Over the years, most AAA games and
even indies have mastered the art of sound design and picked the right voice
actors for the parts. Choosing a winner could be difficult in most situations,
but this year is different and not because other games didn’t do well, but
Mafia III did such an amazing job that, for me, it managed to overshadow every
other game.
                As a
disclaimer, I love older music, so listening to the 60s hits alienated the
grind through the game’s repetitive missions, but Mafia III’s sound is composed
of so much more than just a really good soundtrack. The game’s voice acting is
surreal with memorable performances from the well written trio of Lincoln Clay,
John Donovan and Father James. Even in terms of sound design the game stands
out. The weapon fire is synchronized perfectly with the gun’s kicking power and
a reverberation that enhances the satisfaction of shooting mobs that fly over
in a rag doll spectacle. Sound is well adjusted to the environment with each
location coming to life through an amalgam of realistic and ear pleasing
sounds. Materials trigger distinct sounds and the character’s footsteps have a
sense of touchability enhancing the immersion to a great extent. Even the
overly filtered sounds from the fictive 60s cars are not to be disregarded.
                Mafia
III screams 60s from every aspect of its sound body. Either soundtrack, cars,
dialogues or radio conversation, the game is set on taking players back in time
and does it so well in spite of its own set obstacles. Mafia III’s sound has an
overall quality that’s unmatchable this year in an ironic antithesis with most
of the game which can’t keep up with its greatest
aspects.