The BAFTA Game Award nominees for 2017 have been announced by the academy. Here’s the lists as well as my opinions on who I’d choose as the winners.
Jeez, this is a pretty specific category, no? I don’t know anything about esports, other than I’m too old and not nearly good enough to ever get involved! They all have a solid online competitive space though. But it’s probably going to go to Overwatch, isn’t it?
I think this is the hardest category of this entire thing. All of these games have great art direction and I’m really struggling to choose one over the others. Ultimately I think in terms of doing the most with the least, I’d give this to Abzu.
I’ve only played a couple of these, so it’s a hard one for me to pick. But ultimately, in terms of the audio making you feel like you’re actually there, I’m going to have to give this one to Battlefield 1.
It’s nice to see so much indie game presence in an overall Best Game category. These are all great games and of course I gave Uncharted 4 a spot on my own best of 2016 video. But in this case I think I’d go with Stardew Valley for the surprising amount of depth hidden inside.
I didn’t realise these were all British. That’s pretty cool! I haven’t played many of these, so my options are kind of limited. But in terms of polish and overall playability (other than the frame rate!), my choice is definitely Planet Coaster.
The Witness as a debut game? From the company, maybe. But Jonathan Blow was responsible for Braid in 2008, which kickstarted the indie game movement we’re still seeing today. Personally I think I’d have Firewatch for this one. It didn’t break any barriers, but it’s a solid game with a beautiful art style and a good story. I’m hoping to see more good stuff from Campo Santo in the future.
I assume this award title is talking about emergent gameplay, so I’m running with that. And if that’s the case, there’s really only two games it could be. It’s a classic at this point, but the level of deep conflict, faction warfare and insane real-money sabotage keeps amazing me. Step up, Eve Online!
I’m not an expert on family games, but the Lego games are all pretty reliable, right? They’re all kind of similar though. Tough call for the rest. It might be too complicated for an “all ages” game, but I think I’d go with Overcooked here.
This is a very vague award title if you ask me. These are all games. They have all been designed. But they’re all too different to really compare this way. So just to be controversial I’m going to choose The Witness for the elegance of the overall game design. That’ll do.
Innovation is a hard one to call. I wouldn’t say many of these really pushed the boundaries of what games are capable of. Yes, there are challenging subjects and solid narratives. But is that innovation? I wouldn’t say so. With that in mind, the one game here that really changed perceptions was Pokemon Go.
Honest question for you here. Is anyone still playing Pokemon Go? For me this award was never really in question, although Banner Saga is a close second. But Reigns is so clever with so much emerging gameplay that I can’t not put it on the list!
In terms of population, nobody is going to try and deny that Overwatch has this in the bag. But is it the best? I honestly don’t know because I’ve never played it. From what I’ve read, Titanfall 2 should probably take this one although I haven’t played it. So for me it’s another one for Battlefield 1.
Believe it or not I’ve only played one of these, and I wouldn’t say the music blew me away. But I’ve watched enough videos to know that the Doom soundtrack is awesome and matches the mood of the game perfectly.
These are all great narratives and each is very different. We’ve got guns blazing action, stealth, text-based and tense interactive fiction. I watched Jesse Cox play through it and the story kept me guessing right up to the end, so for that reason I’d go with Firewatch.
We’re covering old ground with this award. Each of these games is a really solid entry into a new property with plenty of opportunities to build on the universe they created. Some obviously reviewed better than others, but again I haven’t played any of them. That makes my choice hard. So because I really like the creepy-ass world they created, I’ll go with Inside this time.
Any of these people deserve this one, especially the Uncharted 4 crew (did they need 50% of the shortlist though?). Nolan North is great, but he’s already won a ton of stuff. I said it in an old lost blog post, but I’d go for Emily Rose in this one.
The BAFTA Awards
What do you think? Do you agree with my choices here or am I off the mark? Leave me a comment! You can keep up with the ceremony at the official BAFTA Games site here.