Yesterday the shortlists for the BAFTA video games awards were announced and the more aware of you will have read yesterdays post (BAFTA Video Games Awards 2009 Nominations – Part 1) going through the first few categories and looking at the previous winners and who is on the shortlist for this year; we also gave our predictions on who we think may clinch it this year, but some were just too tight to call! Now it is time to look at the remaining categories and see who is in with a chance…
With the introduction of easy-to-use online multiplayer on the seventh generation consoles (i.e. The Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii) this is a category that has become increasingly populated and important in recent years, and last year it was won by the ever present Wii Sports. This year the following games will battle it out: Buzz! Quiz TV, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Gears of War 2, Left 4 Dead, Mario Kart Wii and Rock Band. I think it will definitely be tight, but I think COD4, Left 4 Dead and Mario Kart Wii are in for the best chances because of their respective high quality, innovative and downright fun takes on gaming.
Nowadays people tend to notice the music less, but it does have a massive impact on the game and many millions are spent on getting the score right, last year the award was won by ‘Okami’ which set their total at two. This year the shortlist is packed with big names: Assassin’s Creed, Dead Space, Fable II, Fallout 3, LittleBigPlanet and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots; I think it is unfair to judge this category unless you have specifically listened to the music but from what I have experience I think Metal Gear Solid 4 and Assassin’s Creed both have very good chances.
A category that often sees the same games (FIFA and PES for example) last year was won (unsurprisingly) by Wii Sports and this year has another Wii representative in the shape of Wii Fit. The other games in with a chance are: FIFA 09, Football Manager 2009, Motorstorm Pacific Rift, Pure and Race Driver: GRID. I personally expect, judging by its overwhelming popularity, that Wii Fit will follow in its predecessor’s footsteps by winning this award.
This category has slightly changed from last year when it was called ‘strategy and simulation’ and was thus won by Wii Sports. The games looking to win this are: Advance Wars: Dark Conflict, Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3, Ninjatown, Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution, SOCOM: US Navy Seals Tactical Strike and Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise. Strategy games are very much subject to opinion: one person may find one game confusing whilst to someone else it is very diverse, so this is very hard to call.
Story and Character
As games become more like films and players demand a more immersive experience the story (and therefore the characters in it) becomes ever more important, as shown last year by God of War 2 which won the award. This year offers several very different offerings: Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Fable II, Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto IV and Mass Effect – all of which have very different stories and characters. I personally found Assassin’s Creed plot to be the most involved, but all the other games have a very good chance also.
This award (won again by God of War 2) rewards the games that have pushed the boundaries of possible in a game and been successful. This year we have Assassin’s Creed, Fable II, Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, LittleBigPlanet and Spore all fighting for the prize; I personally hope to see Spore win not only because it only nominated for one award but because it is also a great example of how a game can be technologically advanced as well as accessible to all.
Use of Sound
Our last main category is the use of sound, which last year was won by Crackdown (bringing their total to two) and is another category that is not obvious when you actually play the game. The shortlist is: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Dead Space, Gears of War 2, Grand Theft Auto IV, LittleBigPlanet and Super Mario Galaxy; but I know that if it is judged purely on how addictive it makes the game LittleBigPlanet will win hands down!
There are also a couple of sub-awards, namely the ‘one to watch’ award which will be between little known VegeMe, Origamee and Boro-Toro; and the GAME Award of 2008. Confusingly this is GAME as in the high street store that sells games, and they are putting this award up to a vote.
If you go along to the BAFTA website you can place your vote for the game which you think is the best from last year from a list of 10 of the biggest and the best. These will then be collated and the prize will be awarded on the night: this is a great way to see what the public think and will therefore mean that little bit more than the standard awards.
So, if you’re not excited yet, why not? It’s not long to go and the countdown has started; so who do you think will be the big winners this year, and which games do you think have been missed out?
UPDATE: The BAFTA Video Games Awards Winners 2009 have now been announced!
Source – BAFTA