GAME British Academy Video Games Awards 2011

The BAFTAs is a rare chance for video games to gain some positive attention. The ceremony is never particularly ground breaking, but it’s a good excuse for us Brits to sit down and commend some of the best titles from the last year. Dara O’Briain will be hosting the event on March 18th, so in the meantime lets analyse the nominations and make some predictions. I’ve picked out the most interesting categories to discuss, but a full list of nominations can be found here.

Action
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Battlefield: Bad Company 2
BioShock 2
Call of Duty: Black Ops
God of War III
Halo: Reach


 

Such a tough one to judge. Although Call of Duty outstrips them all in terms of sales, but there are also a lot of prolific and platform exclusive titles. Halo: Reach has been commended for its excellent multiplayer suite on Xbox 360, but conversely God of War had a stellar single player campaign on PS3. Battlefield has its fans, but I’m just not sure if it had enough to make it stand out from the crowd. Bioshock 2 and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood were both phenomenal, but will likely be perceived as extensions of  past games.

Predicted to win: Call of Duty: Black Ops
I would vote for:  Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

Artistic Achievement:
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
Call of Duty: Black Ops
God of War III
Heavy Rain
LIMBO
Mass Effect 2

Strangely, the nominations for artistic achievement are quite similar to the ones for action. Personally I can’t see how Black Ops could possibly be justified in this category, but who knows, maybe it’s destined to clean up this year. Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood had an excellent vision of Rome and the time period, but I don’t think there’s enough imagination to really win it. LIMBO is undoubtedly the favourite, the creepy puzzler winning over the XBLA community with it’s monotone visuals and infuriating puzzles. Heavy Rain is probably a close second, the sense of story and unorthodox gameplay structure lending itself to a more cinematic product.

Predicted to win: LIMBO
I would vote for: LIMBO

Best Game
Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
FIFA 11
Heavy Rain
LIMBO
Mass Effect 2
Super Mario Galaxy 2

No doubt the award that everyone’s hoping to win. I thought that 2010 was a fantastic year and it’s been represented fairly well through these nominations. The exclusion of Black Ops is refreshing, although the inclusion of FIFA 11 and LIMBO will be likely to raise some eyebrows. Super Mario Galaxy 2, known for holding one of the highest Metacritic ratings ever recorded, will hold a slight advantage over the others. Holding the fort for Nintendo, the sheer range of gameplay ideas will put it in good stead. Mass Effect 2, Heavy Rain and Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood all hold an equal pedigree in second place.

Predicted to win: Super Mario Galaxy 2
I would vote for: Heavy Rain

Handheld
Cut the Rope
God of War: Ghost of Sparta
LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
Professor Layton and the Lost Future
Sonic Colours
Super Scribblenauts


 

Admittedly, not a particularly strong year for portable titles. How LEGO Harry Potter found its way onto the list, I’ll never know. Regardless, Professor Layton is always a hot contender; although there was nothing particularly new or revolutionary in the Lost Future, it was another solid title with excellent presentation values. Cut the Rope has a huge novelty factor, representing the rising popularity of gaming on the iPhone and iPad. Super Scribblenauts had a fantastic concept, but is still pretty boring as a game. God of War and Sonic Colours are unlikely to get a look in either.

Predicted to win: Cut the Rope
I would vote for: Professor Layton and the Lost Future

Original Music:
Alan Wake (Petri Alanko)
Fable III (Russell Shaw)
Heavy Rain (Normand Corbeil)
James Bond 007: Bloodstone (Richard Jacques)
Mass Effect 2 (Jack Wall)
Super Mario Galaxy 2 (Koji Kondo)


 

Admittedly, I had to go back into these games to remind myself of their compositions and scores. Alan Wake blended songs from legitimate artists with its own original soundtrack, creating an interesting sense of sound throughout. I’m not sure if it would win, but Welcome to Bright Falls is a chilling, brilliant example of why it should be remembered. Fable 3 hosts a series of sufficient but stereotypical adventure compositions. Kingmaker Theme will remind you of how it can still give you goosebumps from time to time. Heavy Rain is my personal choice, complimenting the drama of its narrative in emotional, wholly unexpected ways. Just listen to the Main Theme if you want to have your heart racing. Super Mario Galaxy 2 will be boasting something different, the quirky Nintendo spirit ever apparent in it’s combination of world themes and humorous power ups.

Likely to win: Heavy Rain
I would vote for: Heavy Rain

Who do you guys think will win? Leave all of your comments below and let me know what you think of my predictions!

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