Last night (Friday) was a big night for the gaming world as, months after the BAFTA Video Games Awards 2010 nominees were announced in February, the biggest names and developers in the business gathered under one roof for the annual BAFTA gaming awards which got underway at 8:30pm and was hosted by the typically charismatic (and unlike many of the people awarding the prizes, avid gamer) Dara Ó Briain.
You could even watch the BAFTA Video Games Awards 2010 ceremony live on the Internet which is a great sign of how serious they are becoming in terms of entertainment awards, who knows we may see them broadcast on TV in a few years!
As far as 2009 is concerned it was a good year for games, and unsurprisingly some of the big names were prevalent across the board in the nominations: Batman: Arkham Asylum, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Assassins Creed 2 and of course Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 all featuring heavily.
But on with the awards, and the first one to be announced was that for best Action game which went to Uncharted 2; managing to fight off all of the other big names such as Left 4 Dead 2 to win its first but by no means last award of the night.
Secondly we had the Family game of the year which deservedly went to Wii Sports Resort which as anyone who has played it will testify is great fun: nothing is quite as fun as beating the virtual stuffing out of your nearest and dearest!
Use of Online
The first of the completely new categories for this year was ‘Use of Online’ which went to the incredibly popular (selling more than 9.7 million copies) FIFA 10.
Use of Audio
I certainly couldn’t argue with the winner of this award, Uncharted 2 picked up its second award of the night for ‘Use of Audio’.
Next we had the Handheld category, which went to Little Big Planet which has now proven to be a success on both of Sony’s platforms beating off some big names in the handheld world including the likes of Mario and Professor Layton!
One of the most interesting awards in the gaming BAFTAs has got to be the GAME award which due to the fact that it’s the only award given by a public vote gives a better reflection of what the most popular game of the year was – so it came as no surprise that it went to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 with Assassins Creed 2 taking a well deserved 2nd place and Uncharted 2 receiving 3rd place.
Last year we saw Sid Meier’s Civilisation Revolution take the Strategy award, and this year it again went to the latest of an amazingly successful series of games, this time the Total War games and the latest (as of 2009) incarnation of the brand: Empire Total War.
Next came the proof that perhaps the ‘Use of Audio’ and ‘Original Score’ are very much connected as Uncharted 2 won the latter to collect their 3rd (but not last) award;
Next up was the ‘Multiplayer’ award in which Left 4 Dead 2 followed in its predecessor’s footsteps by bringing the award home for Valve, an interesting choice given the initial outcry of how many fans thought it should have been free DLC content.
‘Gameplay’ was another category which due to the impressive list of nominees was set to be close, but it was Batman: Arkham Asylum which won it in the end – leaving Assassins Creed 2 the only of the big four nominees not to have received an award!
Unsurprisingly (given its earlier success and hyping-up by multiple ‘award givers’) FIFA 10 took its second award of the night in the ‘Sports’ award category.
With so many games offering great stories these days, it was good to see a truly cinematic game story being the winner in the shape of Uncharted 2 who took their 4th and last award of the night for best ‘Story’.
One to Watch
One of the other new awards for this year was the ‘One To Watch’ award which celebrates some of the more inventive and ‘off the wall’ games around at the moment and was won by ‘Shrunk’ in which, as the title suggests, you play a shrunken pepper-pot sized character out to save the world, and was received by a very charming group of students all of which wished to thank their families which was a nice touch!
The penultimate award was for ‘Artistic Achievement’ which went to the Flower for its aesthetically pleasing design, and was picked up by an equally likeable representative who by his own admission was very surprised to win the award which was well deserved!
The final, and quite possibly biggest, award is that for Best Game and it went to Batman: Arkham Asylum, and although that may not have been my first choice it has to be said that it was a very good game and very well deserved.
So that’s the end of this year’s gaming BAFTAs, so we can all start looking forward to the games yet to come this year and the good fun it will bring! In the meantime you can check out the video highlights of the BAFTA Video Games Awards ceremony below.