Destiny triumphs at BAFTA Games Awards
As ever, it was a night of surprises at the British Academy's 2015 Games Awards. We run down the big winners, and some of the losers, at the event.
Destiny, the first-person shooter from Halo developers Bungie, was named best game at last night’s British Academy Game Awards. The long-awaited title from the US studio has divided players since its release in September last year. Its lacklustre campaign and nonsensical plot was not enough to detract fans who have praised the game for its other elements, notably its fluid combat, online co-op content, character development and constantly updated goals and achievements.
Meanwhile, the gorgeous and serene mobile puzzle game Monument Valley was a less contentious winner. Developers UsTwo Games scooped the best British game award as well as best mobile game for their memorable iOS and Android title. Based on the mathematic artwork of M.C Escher and borrowing from PSN title Echocrome, Monument Valley was a surprise indie hit upon its release and definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already done so.
Following on from our report on last year's Dare to be Digital competition at Abertay University, two-tone stealth game Chambara lifted the BAFTAs Ones to Watch Award. The five-strong team of Overly Kinetic created their title as a homage to ‘couch multiplayer’ games such as GoldenEye and with a resurgence from the likes of Nidhogg and Towerfall Ascension it seems the genre’s renaissance is in full flow.
Despite being a game from 2013, The Last of Us scored two awards for its 2014 prequel DLC, Left Behind. Ashley Johnson won best performance for her return as smart-mothed teen Ellie, beating off competition from Kevin Spacey’s turn as the (not-really-a-spolier alert) bad guy in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Its second prize was, less surprisingly, for best story.
Celebrating best original property was one of our own games of the year, Valiant Hearts from Ubisoft Studios whilst best debut game went to the touching, if flawed, Never Alone by Upper One Games. Roll7’s multi-platform, retro skateboarding game OlliOlli fended off stiff competition from the likes of Forza and FIFA to pick up best sports title in the same week its sequel was released for free to PlayStation Gold subscribers.
There were some big omissions from proceedings with the sumptuous Mario Kart 8 leaving empty handed whilst Alien: Isolation deservedly won best audio but picked up nothing else. Less surprisingly was the absence of Ubisoft’s infamously broken triple-A title Assassin’s Creed Unity.
The BAFTA fellowship went to David Braben who released the excellent Elite: Dangerous late last year. As the fourth game in the series, Braben was picking up the prestigious award more for his ground-breaking work on the original 1984 title, but stated to the crowd that “It’s the best time there has been to be in this wonderful industry.” After more than thirty years and having crowdfunded his latest game to some success, he should certainly know.