OnlySP is proud to present the winners of our Best of 2018 awards, including Best Direction, Best Performer, and Best Game Design.
Best Studio — Sony Santa Monica Studio (God of War)
Known for its previous entries in the God of War series, Santa Monica Studio blew players away in 2018 with a soft reboot of the series focused on Norse mythology. With a development spanning almost four years, God of War is a testament to the skill of the team at Santa Monica.
Runners-up: 11 bit studios (Frostpunk), Bandai Namco Entertainment (Soulcalibur VI, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), Capcom (Monster Hunter: World), Dontnod Entertainment (Life is Strange 2, Vampyr, The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit), Insomniac Games (Marvel’s Spider-Man), IO Interactive (Hitman 2), Rockstar Studios (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Best Direction — Cory Barlog (God of War)
Cory has really demonstrated his skill in directing God of War—from the incredible achievement that is the one-shot camera, to directing the phenomenal performances of Kratos and Atreus—and he has proven himself more than worthy of this award.
Runners-up: Matt Thorson (Celeste), David Cage (Detroit: Become Human), Brian Horton, Bryan Intihar, Marcus Smith, and Ryan Smith (Marvel’s Spider-Man), Rockstar Studios (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Best Performer — Roger Clark as Arthur Morgan (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Roger’s performance as Arthur—through both motion capture and voice acting—is an incredible achievement. The emotion that he brought to the role throughout such an extensive narrative is impressive, and his low, raspy voice will be engrained in the minds of players for a very long time.
Runners-up: Bryan Dechart as Connor (Detroit: Become Human), Christopher Judge as Kratos (God of War), Rob Wiethoff as John Marston (Red Dead Redemption 2), Yuri Lowenthal as Peter Parker / Spider-Man (Marvel’s Spider-Man)
Best Ensemble Cast — Red Dead Redemption 2
Full of incredible, underrated actors such as the reverberant Benjamin Byron Davis as Dutch van der Linde, the iconic Steve J. Palmer as Bill Williamson, and the incredible Alex McKenna as Sadie Adler, Red Dead Redemption 2 has one of the most iconic casts of a video game and will go down as a staple for ensemble casts in this medium.
Runners-up: Detroit: Become Human, Far Cry 5, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, Octopath Traveler, Marvel’s Spider-Man
Best Narrative — Matt Sophos, Richard Zangrande Gaubert, and Cory Barlog (God of War)
An emotional story following the relationship between a father and his son after a significant loss, God of War is beautifully told through gameplay, cutscenes, and performances. We had some phenomenal narratives in gaming this year, but God of War just manages to take that top spot.
Runners-up: David Cage and Adam Williams (Detroit: Become Human), Dan Houser, Michael Unsworth, and Rupert Humphries (Red Dead Redemption 2), Akihiro Hino (Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom), Jon Paquette, Benjamin Arfmann, Kelsey Beachum, Christos Gage, and Dan Slott (Marvel’s Spider-Man)
Best Art Design — Conrad Roset (GRIS)
The art design in GRIS is unbeatable. Every frame is a painting in itself and each painting continues to improve as the game progresses. GRIS is transcendent of anything in the medium to date.
Runners-up: Nobuyuki Yanai, Hiroshi Matsuyama, Hiroyuki Maeda, and Yoshiyuki Momose (Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom), Naoki Ikushima and Mika Iizuka (Octopath Traveler), Amber Long and Josh Nadelberg (Spyro Reignited Trilogy), Takashi Ishihara (Tetris Effect)
Best Audio Design — Lazlow and Alastair MacGregor (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Each footstep, each gallop. Red Dead Redemption 2’s sound design is masterclass and demonstrates the talent that Rockstar’s developers hold. Every sound in the game immerses the player even further into the game world and the game is more than deserving of taking this award.
Runners-up: Lydia Andrew (Assassin’s Creed Odyssey), Aurelien Baguerre (Detroit: Become Human), Mike Niederquell (God of War), Blake Johnson (Marvel’s Spider-Man)
Best Game Design — Imran Sarwar (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Rockstar Games has crafted so many immersive and relevant gameplay systems in Red Dead Redemption 2, from the combat, to the horse care, to the customisable weapons and outfits. We saw some incredible gameplay design in 2018, but Red Dead Redemption 2 is a monolith of a game and is certainly deserving of this award.
Runners-up: Simon Wasselin (Detroit: Become Human), Derek Daniels (God of War), Viktor Bocan (Kingdom Come: Deliverance), Cameron Christian, James Cooper, Mike Daly, Joel Goodsell, and Mark Stuart (Marvel’s Spider-Man), Teruki Endo and Yugo Yogawa (Monster Hunter: World)
Best Original Score — Woody Jackson (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Woody’s score enhances Red Dead Redemption 2 to truly feel like a piece of Western media. Building upon the successes of the original game’s soundtrack, the score adds a unique twist to the Western sound with modern accompaniments and adds new emotional heights to the game to truly immerse the player in the narrative.
Runners-up: Philip Sheppard, Nima Fakhrara, and John Paesano (Detroit: Become Human), Bear McCreary (God of War), John Paesano (Marvel’s Spider-Man), Noboru Mutoh (Tetris Effect)
Audience Award for Best Original Score — “See the Fire in Your Eyes” by Daniel Lanois (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Sometimes, awarding the best soundtracks is not enough. Some games feature original songs, using lyrics and melody, which also deserve to be awarded. While any song on this list is surely deserving of this award, “See the Fire in Your Eyes” is a step above, with meaningful lyrics accompanied by a soft and beautiful melody.
Runners-up: “Come Live By My Side” by Daniel Lanois (Red Dead Redemption 2), “Connected (Yours Forever)” by Kate Brady (Tetris Effect), “Guidance” by Yuko Komiyama and Ikuko (Monster Hunter: World), “Legend” by Generdyn and Backchat (Beat Saber), “Lifelight” by Hideki Sakamoto and Abby Trott (Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), “That’s the Way It Is” by Daniel Lanois (Red Dead Redemption 2), “The One They Call the Witch” by Yasunori Nishiki (Octopath Traveler), “Unshaken” by D’Angelo (Red Dead Redemption 2)
Stay tuned for our Best of 2018 genre awards, including Best Action Game and Best Platform Game, as well as our Best Game of 2018! In the meantime, keep up with OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for the latest news, reviews, previews, and interviews in single-player gaming.