BAFTA 2015 Breakdown Part 2
So we come now to part two of my BAFTA breakdown, I’ll be honest and say I’m going to skip over a few of the more ‘boring’ categories. It’s like at the Oscars in a way, no ways cares for best editor or sound design, instead we choose to focus on the best actor/actress categories before the grand prize of ‘Best Film’. So with that being the case, Alien Isolation won best sound design, so well done them, that’s all I have to say.
As some one with the weakest of internet connections I rarely ever indulge in Multi-player, occasionally i’ll find myself drawn to games such as Hearthstone but out side of a few matches on the ladder here and there I don’t care for Multi-player that much. Anyway the nominees are
- Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
- Mario Kart 8
- Minecraft: Console Edition
- Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Apart from one, I’d say all these games deserved a place in this catergory. The one I don’t think does is Minecraft, because seriously that game was released how many years ago? New ports of it don’t deserve recognition. As for the rest I’d say games like Titanfall, Call of Duty and Destiny all seemed to get their multi-player right, with fun and engaging shooting. But then again how hard is shooter multi-player to get wrong now that the COD formula is applied to almost every game in the genre. This leaves us with Mario Kart 8 and Hearthstone, both great fun to play both solo and with friends so each one was deserving of a win.
The winner was of course Hearthstone and It’s not hard to see why, it’s a easy to learn, hard to master card game that makes game play just simple enough for almost anyone to pick up and play, but with such a degree of replayabilty that it’s easy to see why this game won best Multi-player.
Best Debut game
Any debut game from a new studio is always an interesting prospect. With it you can learn much about the developers influences and gaming past. Great debuts in the past include Super Giants Bastion, a near perfect game that was amazingly well realized for first time developer. So what of this years debuts? The nominees are:
- The Banner Saga
- Never Alone
- Counter Spy
- Hitman GO
- Shovel Knight
- Vanishing of Ethan Carter
One of the stronger line ups for any of the categories with each being a great game in their own right. The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was graphically stunning for sure and took the genre of 1st person exploration games in an interesting direction. Shovel Knight is one of the finest games that harks back to an era of gaming so many of us miss. The Banner Saga was an odd hybrid of choice driven RPG and tactical combat game, which had it’s flaws but was gorgeous to look at (Should have been in best art style). I’ve yet to devote enough time to Hitman GO to really give a full opinion but I do like that a mobile game was eligible for this category. Counterspy is a game that had massive potential but for me just didn’t live up to it, it’s a game that given a few more months of development time could have been something great (full review here)
This leaves us with the winner; Never Alone. A unique game given it’s cultural background, highlight the life of native Alaskans. While the game itself isn’t that great this game won on what it represents, the growing cultural diversity that is beginning to take shape in gaming today.
Best British Game
It wouldn’t be a BAFTA award ceremony without a bit of nationalism, so here we have the best British game award, an award which Mike Bithell will win next year for Volume (Prove me right, Bithell!) Anyway the nominees for this award are:
- Monument Valley
- Alien: Isolation
- Forza Horizon 2
- Geometry Wars 3
- Lumino City
- 80 Days
A fine selection of games no doubt about that. I’ll be honest though and say I have very little knowledge about any Forza game so it would be wrong to pass judgement (They have cars right?) Alien: Isolation showed us that triple A horror wasn’t dead just resting, and that a licensed game can be done well if your developers aren’t liars. 80 Days is a great game, with excellent writing and a ton of replay-abilty to, and really captures the spirit of the Jules Verne novel as well as that of choose your own adventure books.
Lumino City and Geometry Wars 3 are still blind spots in my knowledge of games but I shall endeavor to rectify that soon. This leaves us with the winner, Monument Valley which was the only game this year to win two awards so well done them.
Best Sports Game
I don’t give a dam!
Best Family Game
“It was Minecraft because of course it was bloody Minecraft” Horatio the Panda – 2015
Finally a category for me. Yes the winner was the Last of Us: Left behind, no real surprise there, it’s an excellent story and one of the best to be told in games bar none. But lets look at the other nominees shall we?
First up we have Far Cry 4 whose story can be summed up as “We really liked Vaas, here’s a new nutter’. From what I’ve gathered the rest of the game’s story was pretty meh (just like Far Cry 3’s). 80 Days story was rather good but nothing ground breaking, that said the writing was brilliant and I’d love to an audio version come out.
Broken Age Act 1 was also on the list, the writing is typically Schafer-esqe and very enjoyable to listen to, but part of me feels conflicted about it’s inclusion. Since Broke Age isn’t finished and for all we know the second act could be awful (it won’t be). As for Never Alone the games strength comes from it’s unique cultural background. But being unique isn’t enough, instead it’s what’s done with it.
And so we come to the only real competition that the Last of Us faced, the Wolf Among Us. Honestly I was surprised not to see more Telltale games on this list, so maybe the judges whittled it down to the one they felt was the strongest of their recent out put. While i’m not sure if I agree with that logic the Wolf Among Us is something we so rarely see in games, a Noir detective story. (Noir being favorite genre of mine)
That’s the end of Part 2. I’ll be concluding with Part 3 tomorrow, these last two categories will require a lot of thought, particularly the best game winner. (Seriously WTF!?)