BAFTAs have often been slated in the press as the Oscar wannabe’s of Britain, and their prestige is often overlooked, however although BAFTA stands for British Academy Of Film and Television Arts they are not limited to films and TV, they also offer awards for video games. Today the games awards nomination shortlists have been released, and you can have a say in where the award go.
So, on March 10th the biggest names in gaming converge onto the London Hilton in Park Lane to see who the winners of the various categories will be, and every year there are big winners and surprises. Last year Wii Sports ran away with six of the fifteen awards with BioShock winning the top prize of ‘best game’.
The categories are varied to allow for all different genres of games, so expect to see all of the best there; I will give a quick rundown of all the different categories, which were the winners last year and a quick look as to who is in with a chance of winning this year for the first six categories.
Action and Adventure
Last year this closely fought award went to “Crackdown” which is a 3rd person shooter offering the ability to use cool abilities as you explore the non-linear world, and although it didn’t sell all that well it was a good enough game to win the award. The contesters this year are: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Dead Space, Fable II, Grand Theft Auto IV, Prince of Persia and Tomb Raider: Underworld. My money is on COD4 which has been a very impressive game with universal acclaim for both its multiplayer and admittedly short single player.
The relatively unknown Japanese game ‘Okami’ was the winner last year, so this award offers the opportunity to the less popular games. Having said that the shortlist is packed with best selling games: Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Dead Space, Gears of War 2, LittleBigPlanet and Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. I personally expect this to go to Assassin’s Creed, a game which excel’s in the virtual world it creates, where attention to detail is everything.
The title says it all: this is the big one, the one that every studio wants to win and the award that will really put the icing on the cake for any successful game. The award promises to be a close one again with an impressive shortlist of: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Fable II, Fallout 3, Grand Theft Auto IV, Rock Band and Super Mario Galaxy. I personally think is too close to call, as al of the games have done very well in their individual genres – I will let the judges decide!
It came as no surprise when last year Wii Sports ran away with this award, probably for the combination that the light hearted game and the specifically casual console provided. This year the Wii again joins the shortlist along with many other worthy games: Boom Blox, Buzz! Quiz TV, Guitar Hero: World Tour, LittleBigPlanet, SingStar Vol. 2 and Wii Fit. I would not be surprised to see the Wii Fit win this based on its fitness credentials and the way in which this is well combined with casual gameplay.
This is a very interesting category and is another one that Wii Sports won last year; the shortlist contains a wide variety of game styles from the musical Rock Band to the winning formula of Grand Theft Auto IV, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Grand Theft Auto IV, Left 4 Dead, Mario Kart Wii, Rock Band and Super Mario Galaxy. I would expect Left 4 Dead to win this one because of the wonderful way in which it truly unites players in its brilliant multiplayer side of the game.
This category is specifically set up to accommodate those working with inferior (in terms of power and graphical ability) consoles, and is a new category for this year. The shortlist includes: Geometry Wars: Galaxies, God of War: Chains of the Olympus, The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Patapon, Professor Layton and the Curious Village and Soul Bubbles. I personally do not play that many handheld games, but I am sure that this will be a very tight category judging by the big names in there.
So that is all we have for you at the moment, but watch this space for the rest of the nomination shortlist and to find out how you can vote for your favourite.
UPDATE: The BAFTA Video Games Awards Winners 2009 have now been announced!
Source – BAFTA