A far cry from the bombastic excess of Spike TV's VGX awards, the London-based British Academy of Film and Television Games Awards are an altogether more classy affair: a typically British occasion, restrained but undeniably enthusiastic and passionate, with attendees clad in black tie and presenters who know what they're talking about.
This year's awards ceremony unfolded last night. While the nominations honored a broad spectrum of games, the eventual winners were, for the most part, fairly predictable, with Naughty Dog's The Last of Us, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto V and Media Molecule's Tearaway scooping up the lion's share of the awards.
Here's the full rundown of the winners:
- Best Action-Adventure: The Last of Us
- Best Game Design: Grand Theft Auto V
- Artistic Achievement: Tearaway
- Game Innovation: Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons
- Audio Achievement: The Last of Us
- Best Mobile and Handheld: Tearaway
- Best Multiplayer: Grand Theft Auto V
- Best Game: The Last of Us
- Best Original Music: BioShock Infinite
- Best British Game: Grand Theft Auto V
- Best Performer: Ashley Johnson (Ellie, The Last of Us)
- Best Debut Game: Gone Home
- Best Sports Game: FIFA 14
- Best Family Game: Tearaway
- Best Story: The Last of Us
- Best Strategy and Simulation: Papers, Please
Alongside the game-specific awards, Rockstar Games was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship.
There's no denying that the winners above are deserving of recognition, excellent games as they are, but when looked at from another perspective the list is disappointingly "safe." By now everyone knows The Last of Us is a top-quality title, and the awards could have been a great opportunity to give some additional recognition and exposure to titles that need a bit of an extra push -- particularly since the nominations took the laudable step of, in several categories, considering mobile titles alongside conventional computer and console games rather than confining them to their own separate category. The decision to honor Grand Theft Auto V for "best multiplayer" is also somewhat questionable given its launch problems and the fact that there's very little in the way of buzz surrounding it after its initial disappointments.
Such is the nature of awards lists like this, though; they're seemingly made to be disagreed with. What do you think of the winners? Deserving? Or would you rather have seen some other titles be recognized?