It’s only a few weeks until the BAFTA Games Awards, but which games have been nominated?
Control and Death Stranding have each received 11 nominations – the most any game has ever received in the history of the awards. Death Stranding missed out on a nomination for best game, as it divided opinion on release. Instead, Disco Elysium, a role-playing detective game where you control a detective suffering from alcohol and drug-induced amnesia, is up for a best game nomination alongside best debut game and five other nominations.
But Death Stranding creator Hideo Kojima has plenty of other reasons to celebrate as he will receive the Fellowship, the highest accolade awarded.
Because I’m such a huge fan of narrative-driven games, I’m eager to see who takes the award in the best narrative category. Contenders include Life is Strange 2, The Outer Worlds (which I’ve been playing on PS4), Control, and Disco Elysium, among others.
Another category I’ll be watching with interest is artistic achievement — because who doesn’t like a beautiful game? Nominees include a few games I’m as yet unfamiliar with, like Concrete Genie, an action adventure game for the PS4 that won best original game and best action adventure game at Gamescom 2019, as well as a slew of other awards, and Sayonara Wild Hearts, as well as Control, Death Stranding, Disco Elysium, and Knights and Bikes.
This year marks a turning point for the awards, with new franchises and games taking over from returning fan favorites. Control may have slipped under the radar upon release, but its blend of action, impressive physics and graphics, and intriguing storyline impressed critics so much that many sites name it their game of the year, including IGN. Control has earned a record-breaking 11 nominations this year, although you might be hard-pressed to find a gamer you know who’s played it.
Death Stranding is another game that’s well-deserving of its nominations. Impressive performances, an immersive storyline, and grand ambitions have ensured its popularity – not to mention the fact that we had no idea what the game was actually about from the launch trailers (and some of us still have no idea, even though we’ve started playing it!).
Kojima’s first release since leaving Konami and setting up his own studio is certainly a unique one, with him citing “connectivity” as the game’s central theme.
“The era of today is about individualism,” he said. “We may be connected through the internet more than ever, but what’s happening is that people are attacking each other because we’re so connected.”
The surprise nomination this year is Untitled Goose Game, nominated for best game as well as three other categories. If you fancy rampaging around as a wild bird, this is the game for you! It’s definitely creative, and totally different from anything else out there, which is, after all, what creating a best game is all about.
Other titles up for the best game category this year include Luigi’s Mansion 3, Outer Wilds — which is also up for best narrative, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (my personal favorite!).
Who will win? The BAFTA Games Awards are on the 2nd of April, so we’ll find out then.