Another year, another set of BAFTA Games Awards for some of the most prestigious, creative and downright classic contemporary gaming titles.
This year sees Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed zombie survival epic The Last of Us take on the blockbuster that is Grand Theft Auto V for best game. But there are plenty of other big hitters and indie titles waiting in the wings to steal their thunder. So don’t be surprised if there are some upsets tonight folks.
One thing you can certainly rely on is our live update feed. Stay tuned and we’ll bring you all the awards updates as they happen. It’s just like the real thing, only we don’t get to sit and bask in the legendary glow of Hideo Kojima. Oh well, you win some you lose some. Anyway, keep it locked here for all the latest from the BAFTA Game Awards.
19:30 And we’re off. The awards are being broadcasted live from London’s Tobacco Dock. Dara O’ Brien has taken to the stage with nominees and stars, and members of the public, watching the event in the audience. And O’ Brien is already making digs at the slow release stream of new games for next-gen consoles. And he’s also just taken a stab at in-app purchases, how topical.
19.37 Having riffed on GTA V and The Last of Us, O’Brien is now targeting the untouchable Kojima by bringing out the infamous cardboard box used in so many of the developer’s iconic Metal Gear Solid games. Oh and he just got in the box! Kojima is clapping, so it’s all good.
19.40 The first award is for best action/adventure. And the award goes to…The Last of Us. What will this mean for its chances for the rest of the night?
19.48 The next award is for best British game. Suitably, veteran Brit developer Ian Livingstone is presenting the award. Will it be Rockstar’s year? Or will BAFTA choose a smaller British company’s title? And the award goes to…Grand Theft Auto V. How did we guess? Perhaps because it was the biggest title of last year.
19.49 The third award of the night is for best music. There are some great original scores on games these days so this should be an interesting one. And the award goes to…Bioshock Infinite.
A brief interlude now. A video regarding consumers’ views on the best titles of the years is being broadcast. GTA V is getting some love, as it should.
19.55 Back to the main event. Next up is the award for best story, presented by Sherlock writer Steveen Moffat who has just heralded video games as a new art form. Praise indeed. Tell it like it is Steven! And the award goes to…The Last of Us. Could this be the beginning of a clean sweep for the PS3 exclusive?
20.00 Strategy and Simulation is the genre of choice for the next award. Quite a diverse one to be honest as two distinct categories seem to have been merged together. Therefore we get Forza alongside Papers Please. And the award goes to….Papers Please. The first indie win, collected by the game’s developer Lucas Pope.
And O’brien just made a daring immigration joke about Pope’s wife.
20.05 The award for best artistic achievement is on now. And the gong goes to…Tearaway. A platform video game developed by LittleBigPlanet developers Media Molecule for the PlayStation Vita, Tearaway arguably utilises the handheld’s controls better than any other title. An adventure set in an imaginary world made entirely of paper, it truly is a visual treat.
Didn’t want to be too biased tonight, but what the hell. It would be great to see Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch get more attention. We love Studio Ghibli and RPGs, so it’s really a no-brainer for us.
20.10 Up next is the award for audio achievement. Will it go to a bombastic action title or a more refined puzzle game? Let’s find out. The BAFTA goes to…The Last of Us. That’s three awards and counting. Will Naughty Dog beat their own record set by Uncharted 2, which took home four awards?
20.15 Best sports title is the next trophy to be handed out. And the winner is…FIFA 14. With 33 nominations over the last few years, the FIFA franchise really is unbeatable when it comes to football games. Bring back Pro-Evo! Shhhh….quiet at the back!
Okay so these videos of ‘average’ people proclaiming their love for a recent title are getting a bit silly now. Is anyone paying attention? I think the gimmicky music is to blame personally.
20.20 Up next is best family game. Interesting to hear some of these c-list celebs tasked with presenting the awards pretend to love video games. I guess not everyone is as big a gaming fanatic as the What Mobile team. Anyway back to the trophies. The award for best family game goes to…Tearaway. Double whammy! PS Vita owners, now you know what should be at the top of your wish list.
20.25 The game innovation award is up now. And the BAFTA goes to…Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Available on Xbox Live arcade, it marks the transition in to gaming for Swedish director Josef Fares.
20.30 Next up is our favourite category, best mobile/handheld game. And the award goes to…Tearaway. The Media Molecule team only just sat down. Give them a chance to soak it all in people. Anyway, another well deserved win for the inventive handheld title.
Next up is a biker confessing his love for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Come to think of it, this bloke kind of looks like a pirate too.
20.35 Next up is the BAFTA ones to watch award, representing the most promising titles in the gaming industry. The winner is…Size Does Matter. A twitch arcade rhythm game for mobile devices, Size Does Matter features a great electronic soundtrack and neon effects.
20.40 The game design award is next on the agenda. And the winner is…GTA V. A behemoth of a game that most people will probably have a hard time completing. I’m talking 100% people, not just completing the main stoyline.
Looks like Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is one of the biggest losers of the night. It’s been nominated for several awards but no luck as of yet. Well at least it has a fan in that biker pirate dude.
And now some footage from the BAFTA Inside Games event that What Mobile covered earlier.
20.45 Next up is best multiplayer game. And the winner is….GTA V. Although it was a rocky start to the online mode of the latest GTA, Rockstar quickly fixed that with a series of solid updates and patches.
20.50 Moving swiftly on, next up is best debut game. And the award goes to…Gone Home. Set in Portland this subtle mystery game takes place in June 1995, with a young woman who returns after traveling abroad to find her entire family gone from their home.
20.55 And now the award we’ve all been waiting for, the big one, best game of the year. Presented by Carol Vorderman, strangely enough. And the BAFTA for best game goes to…The Last of Us. Naughty Dog have done it once again, and they’ve beaten the biggest game of the year GTA V in the process. And the lovely guys at Naughty Dog are using the occasion to thank all the other nominees. How nice.
Before you get up to leave, hold on a minute. There’s still a few awards left.
21.05 The best performer award is up now. And it goes to…Ashley Johnson for The Last of Us. Who isn’t at the awards, so it’s being collected by a member of the Naughty Dog team who are obviously accustomed to collecting these awards by now.
Also I’m sure someone has mentioned this by now, but Ashley Johnson’s character in The Last of Us is eerily similar – in terms of looks – to Ellen Paige, who was also up for the same award.
21.10 Ladies and gents, Hideo Kojima is on stage. Speaking in Japanese, with an English translator, Kojima is confessing his love for film and its intersection with video games. And of course, that’s where the BAFTAs come in because they award both mediums. Kojima goes on to discuss his love for Half Life and GTA, which he claims are both huge inspirations for him. Kojima is here to present the BAFTA fellowship to Rockstar, creators of the GTA series. And remember folks, they also made Red Dead Redemption and LA Noir. And now the Rockstar development team are on stage and the audience are all on their feet. “Rockstar was created with the mission statement that video games will be the next mass market medium”. And I’m sure we will all agree that Rockstar themselves have made a very large contribution to that goal.
So that’s all folks. The Last of Us was the big winner yet again. Naughty Dog must be running out of space in their trophy cabinet. And no love for Nintendo. Alas, GTA V missed out on best game but that BAFTA fellowship should help heal the wounds of that loss.
Thanks for tuning in and reading along. Now get back to gaming!