The 2018 BAFTA Games have arrived and I’m going to recap you all on the winners of the night and my thoughts of each particular game. So, dive in and remind yourself of the fantastic night provided to us all thanks to the 14th instalment of the gaming BAFTA’s.
As usual nominations for this years BAFTA’S were particularity exciting, with indie games such as Ninja Theory’s Hellbalde: Senua’s Sacrifice and What Remains of Edith Finch from the developers at Giant Sparrow up for best game. After the dominating success of indie games at the 2017 BAFTA’s (you can read that coverage here) hopes were high for a repeat scenario. As well as indie games 2017 was a bountiful year for established video game developers, with titles such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Legend of Zelda: Breath of The Wild and Destiny 2 dominating the charts, the 2018 BAFTA games awards was always going to be a spectacular ceremony, and indeed it was.
Kicking off the night with the BAFTA for Original Property was Horizon Zero Dawn. Guerrilla Games have worked incredibly hard on making this open world IP impactful and memorable and with over 7 million copies sold its undeniably achieved those aims. Next was the BAFTA Award for Music which went to Cuphead, with a whimsical score filled with charming lilts and an energetic jazz theme carried through each track, Cuphead truly deserved this award.
Up next was Game Design which went to Mario Odyssey. Following on from that was the Evolving Game Award. Nominees in this category included big hits such as Fortnite and Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds but the BAFTA eventually went to Overwatch for its continuous development of the multiplayer fan favourite since its 2016 release. Narrative was the next category and one of my personal favourites. Beating some big developer titles and surprising us for all the right reasons was Night In The Woods, this indie title scooped up the Narrative BAFTA which hopefully will bring more attention to this excellent title. Shortly after that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice collected the Game Beyond Entertainment Award. A new category introduced in tonight’s 14th BAFTA Game Awards which celebrates video games which showcase raw topics, genres’s or materials. The driving force for Hellblade is mental health and its portrayal of the struggles a sufferer lives with was so thoughtfully executed that Hellblade earned its first BAFTA of the night.
Debut Game was the following category with Gorogoa collecting the award. After seven years in development and financial issues threatening to prevent this puzzle game ever releasing, it was an incredible achievement for developer Jason Roberts to hold the BAFTA Award for Debut Game at the end of the night. Picking it its second award of the night was Mario Odyssey with the BAFTA for Family Game, it is clear that after tonight that the innovative nature of the latest Mario Game has indeed paid off. The BAFTA Game Awards category for Mobile Game was up next with Golf Clash collecting the award, following them was Artistic Achievement which saw Hellblade collecting its second award in the ceremony. The 11th category was Multiplayer, although it was standing alongside some strong competitors Divinity: Original Sin II was the winner of this category. Audio Achievement was the next award to be dished out and although it could have gone to several of the nominees, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was deemed the winner. With its eerie sound design and haunting track this third win for Ninja Theory was a perfect compliment to the audio of the game.
Nintendo won another BAFTA for Game Innovation with The Legend Of Zelda: Breath of The Wild. This refreshed instalment to the Zelda franchise before release lead to some sceptic comments from those familiar with the structured regularity of previous Zelda games. The open world aspect however and freedom in Breath of the Wild was highly successful and any doubts were soon resolved. After this Best British Game went to Hellblade which by now had dominated the ceremony winning most of its nominated categories.
After celebrating the success of developers and the games they produced it was time to congratulate the voice actors who lent their talents to these award winning games. The Performer category was filled with talented voice actors and actresses with the likes of Ashly Burch, Claudia Black and Valerie Rose Lohman all hoping to take home the trophy. It was Melinda Juergens who lent her voice to Senua from Hellblade however who won, picking up Hellblade’s fifth trophy of the BAFTA Games Awards.
Tension and excitement began to build as nominees for the illusive Best Game award were announced. Indie games had once more done an excellent job at this years award ceremony but Best Game nominees included Horizon Zero Dawn, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Assassins Creed: Origins. Would one of these huge titles take the biggest award of the night, would What Remains of Edith Finch finally collect a well deserved BAFTA or would Hellblade win its sixth BAFTA?
I am exceeding happy to report that it was What Remains of Edith Finch by Giant Sparrow Games won the Best Game Award of the 14th BAFTA Game Awards. With an incredibly touching narrative, a beautiful soundtrack and one of the most sensitive depictions of grief I have ever seen in a video game What Remains of Edith Finch is an outstanding piece if media. Simply put, I love What Remains of Edith Finch. The gratification which it received with the award of Best Game made my night and hopefully will introduce a new wave of players to Giant Sparrows incredible game.
So that’s it for the 14th BAFTA Game Awards, you can read the fill list of nominees and winners here and make sure to comment your thoughts of the events of the evening below!