Gongs: BAFTA Video Game Award Winners

The weeping face of a Rockstar fan statue.

Games had their BAFTAs tonight – the British equivalent of the Oscar (in the same way as Diggerland is the British equivalent of Disney World) – and prizes were awarded. It’s super-fabbo that BAFTA recognises games in this way. As much as I’ve written stupid things all the way through this, it’s a mark of legitimacy that is welcome. But who won what, you demand to know, slamming your fist down on the table, scaring a child. For goodness sake, calm down. They’re below.

The esteem in which they're held.

I don’t know how to tie a bowtie, so I wasn’t there this evening. But by the magic of copying it off another website, I’m able to provide you all the winners. (Not literally, of course – despite appearances, I’m not a shop.) Red Dead Redemption is conspicuous in its absence, but it seems this may be because of a temper tantrum Rockstar have thrown after GTA IV didn’t win anything last year, meaning they refused to enter RDR this year. Well, that’s what people have told GI.biz, anyway. I imagine they’d be the people to sue were that not true.

Anyhow, games that you can play on PC gave a fair showing. So… /rustles envelope.

Bestest Game Of Them All:

Mass Effect 2

Most Actiony:

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood

Artistic Achievement Award For Artisting:

God of War III

Game That Doesn’t Have Heads Getting Chopped Off:

Kinect Sports

What The Hell Is “Gameplay” Award For Gameplay:

Super Mario Galaxy 2

Most Handheld:

Cut the Rope

Most Average Multiplayer Apparently Because Good Grief:

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

The Not Much Good For The GOTY Box Quote Award For Original Music:

Heavy Rain

Aaron Sorkin’s Social Network Game:

My Empire


F1 2010

The Oh Phew This One Is Useful Award For Story:

Heavy Rain

The Civilization Award For Strategy Games Called Civilization:

Civilization V

The Wow Actually Let’s Put The Music One On The Box Too Because Now It’s A List Award For Technical Innovation:

Heavy Rain


Battlefield: Bad Company: 2

BAFTA Ones To Watch Award in association with Dare to Be Digital, Where The Other Two Finalists Were Called Mush And Sculpty:


The One Voted For By The Weirdo Public:

Call of Duty: Black Ops

BAFTA Academy Fellowship For Being In Your 50s And Still Working:

Peter Molyneux

Jubilant winners at the BAFTAs celebrate in style.


  1. skinlo says:

    I want to go to Diggerland!!

    • Kelron says:

      I always missed the opportunity to go when I was younger and now I have to steal someone’s kids if I want to go without looking stupid.

    • Groove says:

      I think you’d need more than kids to not look stupid on that ride.

    • frenz0rz says:

      I totally went to the one in Kent when I was 10, right after it opened. I was sad because I wasn’t old enough to join in the JCB racing :(

    • MrEvilGuy says:

      what the bloody hell is diggerland?!

      Is it some kind of real-life remake of Digger?!?

    • Man Raised by Puffins says:

      Oh my.

      I like horses diggers best of all the animals heavy construction equipment.

  2. pakoito says:

    I liked the humor in this post. I disliked the BAFTA results, so much AD MONEY in there…

    • BAshment says:

      The guy who runs it is the head of sony in the uk I think. So its all very fair and balanced.

  3. Psychopomp says:

    What exactly did God of War 3 art?

    • ulix says:

      Only being one of the most impressively artistic games out there, with (visual) art-direction only very, very few games can match. Actually, I can’t think of any game from the “ultra graphics” category that even comes close (okay okay, I can think of one: Bioshock).

      Not very suprising, considering God of War 1 & 2 had the best art last console generation.

      The incredible visual impressiveness of God of War 3 doesn’t really come from a very good engine, but mostly from incredible architecture, character design, animations and most importantly scope.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      Sorry man, I think the graphics in GoW3 are rather poor. Of course I’m used to PC power, and the consoles are now 5 graphics card generations behind (e.g. ATi X1xxx to now HD 6xxx).
      I also don’t like the art style. It feels washed-out and lacking detail.
      Then again, I think similar of Bioshock. Low-res models and textures. And art deco is just about the most unappealing art style there is.
      I like that they have distinct style though. Different from the default “shiny dark metal” look.

      I wish there were more games doing a distinct style, but still having the highest quality graphics. I mean it can stay the same engine. Just tweak the shaders and maybe not take dark metal for a change.

  4. Hunam says:

    Mass Effect 2 also won “The best game of the year that isn’t quite as good as the first one but sold more copies” award.

    Heavy Rain netted a “The best game where the cast members are actually native English speakers but for some reason don’t sound like they are in the game” award for Norman Jaden’s character who is played by a brit pretending to be american but sounding french instead.

    Assassins Creed Brotherhood also mopped up with “The best game knocked up before lunch yet is still pretty good” award.

    Tips for next year are Dead Space 2 for “Best story game that accidentally forgot the story bit”, Dragon Age 2 for “Good grief this upset far too many people” and Brink with “The other game that released the same day as LA Noire and everyone forgot about” awards.

  5. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Story, Heavy Rain?

    Ahah, cute.

    • pakoito says:

      Aiming for a story, at least. I would say story-oriented game, that is award-worthy by itself in AAA games.
      In fact, most of the awards are more on the efforts to be or to have than the feeling of deserving it. I can’t think of any sane person that thinks NeedforCash or Clone of War 50 deserved any awards in a leave-the-money-spent-on-eyecandy-and-ads-at-the-door competition.

  6. Groove says:

    The Old Man Murray Worst Game Award: Super Crate Box

  7. Davey Jones says:

    The Best Game Ever Award: Super Crate Box

    • JB says:

      Super Crate Box is indeed great. I think Groove would agree but was referring to this though:

      link to oldmanmurray.com

    • Groove says:

      Even worse than Boxxle.

      You couldn’t go lower than absolute zero, UNTIL TODAY.

    • BooleanBob says:

      Roused to unnecessary defence of SCB by the fact that everyone gets that Groove was making a reference, I must nonetheless point out that in the mad blind panic that accompanies every moment of properly playing SCB (read: SFMT) several moments can indeed elapse before one locates, much less reaches the first crate on the screen, even if one is looking very hard for it.

      And in the case of ambush mode one does very well indeed to reach the first crate at all.

  8. Shadram says:

    This made me laugh. Both John’s jokes and the list of winners were very amusing. I could rant, but I won’t.

    • McDan says:

      It is pretty darn funny, until I had to read through it again concentrating to work out what the awards actually were. Serves me right for doing this as soon as I woke up I guess.

  9. RQH says:

    These were amazingly spot-on category names, given the games that actually won them. I smell… a conspiracy. Or else John’s just being clever again. That prankster.

    I know this is a PC games site, but I would like to take the opportunity to note that Multiplayer Winner NFS: Hot Pursuit on console does not come with split-screen multiplayer. How a racing game can ship without split-screen multiplayer, particularly on console, is beyond me. I understand that it’s because few people play multiplayer in the same room these days, but I nevertheless find it sad that now that we own TVs large enough to reasonably support split-screen racing, it’s gone away. (On a more personal level, I find it sad that now that I’m married and have a veritable live-in gaming partner, there are seemingly fewer options for us to enjoy!)

    • bit_crusherrr says:

      I’m also disheartened by the lack of split screen. I wish PC games that supported the Xbox pad came with split screen, as thats what I have most games on. The only game I can play with my chums split screen when they come round is Marvel Vs Capcom 3 or Little Big Planet 2 on my PS3. Wish we could do L4D splitscreen.

    • BeamSplashX says:

      Split the screen yourself.

      Using what? A katana, of course. Or just buy two and enjoy multiplayer action limited only by death.

    • sidhellfire says:

      ON PC SPLIT? SCREW THAT. Almost everyone has a graphic card with two video outputs. Just plug in second monitor / tv / toaster, and play on… Wait a sec… You can’t! What a surprise.

      Dev dudes – read up!

    • Marc says:

      @bit_crusherrr But you can play left4dead split-screen on pc! link to left4deadforums.com uses some left over console code, used to work great for me 4 player.

    • negativedge says:

      man I was going to comment specifically to say that the noises one was the only one they got right. no one talks about the sound in that game. it’s really good. like, significantly affects my enjoyment of the game good.

      edit: it would be nice if this responded to the post on BC2 winning the sound award, what with that being the post I clicked on the reply button for

    • Teph says:

      This. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to find same-screen co-op outside of a couple of downloadable titles.

      On the other hand, Criterion learned back with Burnout 2 that when they split the screen for a high-speed racing game, they can’t then lock it down to 60fps. And Burnout was unplayable at 30fps; I’d suspect the same would be true for NFS.

    • drewski says:

      I’m not sure how much long we’ll be able to enjoy split screen multiplayer on current consoles, if developers keep pushing the graphics boundaries. Reach, to take one example, turns into a frame dropping lag fest in a lot of more intense levels in split screen.

      I can’t imagine the high speed racers would be able to maintain a playable frame rate at their level of detail in split screen, which is presumably why they don’t support it.

    • noom says:

      The decline of split screen games is massively disheartening to me. Getting mates together for some 4 player split screen shenanigans used to be the mainstay of mah social life. As far as Xbox is concerned the only local 4 player games I have now are Codblops and Halo Reach, and I struggle to find anything else worth playing.

    • BAReFOOt says:

      @sidhellfire: Sure you can! Oh, you can’t! lol
      On Linux you can just pipe around stuff like you want.
      You can have two entierly different sessions, each with a dedicated display and input of choice, or even make a screen into two virtual devices, and pipe the sessions in there.
      Wine allows this with windows apps too.
      And if you want, you can surprise people, by having one screen running Windows in a virtual machine in fullscreen, the other normal, put two keyboards in front, and then show them how you *can move the mouse between the two “computers”*. And if they think that’s cool, show them that it’s just one of four sides of your Compiz cube, and rotate it freely, while Windows sits on the cube, animating what Windows animates. :)

      Oh, and use your graphics card ram as a hard disk, if you want. ;)

  10. Nick says:

    Civ V won something… instantly invalidating all other awards given at the BAFTAs! Even turning aside my own vile hatred of it, you can’t really tell me there weren’t better strategy games released in and around it. All they’d have to do was work and have some semblence of challenging AI.

  11. Moraven says:

    Looking at the nominees, I agree with all the redone titles.
    link to bafta.org

    Fallout: New Vegas is a Strategy game?

    • Hoaxfish says:

      yea, er, where exactly is the category which RPGs/adventure games fall into?

  12. sinister agent says:

    The Bad Company one is particularly baffling. I played it loads on a friend’s funsquare and thought it jolly good fun, and significantly better than the first, which I got bored of after an hour or two. But best sound? There was nothing wrong with the sound, certainly, but nothing remarkable either, aside from the generally well-timed and delivered voice acting. Is that all it takes?

    • Hunam says:

      BFBC2 has some of the most technologically advanced sound in the entire video game industry. Occlusion and distance are all taken into consideration with every sound, meaning a gun shot will sound different to each other player depending where they are. It also has some killer artistic touches too like using sound as a sense of chaos as well as direction using some great doppler techniques. Plus they are all recorded amazingly with massive amount of attention paid to detail and recorded from the guns featured in the game.

      So, yeah, it really is a little bit more than that.

    • sinister agent says:

      Clearly, I need to go back and pay attention next time I play it. Thanks.

    • sidhellfire says:

      And in the result the Technology failed them hard, cause game seems to forget that sound does have to travel distance like anything else, and all the bullets are subsonic for some strange reason, cause I can’t hear a single crack there. At least the sound effects are cool, so a ignorant critic may give devs an award for great effects that aren’t accurate at all.

    • tomeoftom says:

      sinister agent: and play it with good speakers! You can set the sound settings to “War Tapes”, which sounds just amazing: link to youtube.com

    • zerosociety says:

      Indeed. With a set of headphones or a good set of speakers, I’ve never run into a game that sounds as good as B:BC2 on “War Tapes” mode. Only game where I’ve ever moved the graphics sliders down to put the sound slider up.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      The only sonic booms you’ll hear are from sniper rifles, despite in some cases using the same calibre.

      M60 and M24 for instance, both use 7.62×51, You hear nothing from the M60 but you get a sharp crack from the M24. The KORD uses 12.7×108, the M82 uses 12.7×99, and yet only the M82 makes a nice sound. Really, really annoying – the only game that I’ve seen get this right is ArmA 2.

      HOWEVER, the sound really is lovely when they get it right.

  13. bascule42 says:

    Cue David Cameron “looking forward to Twang”.

  14. ZIGS says:

    Fallout: New Vegas was nominated in the strategy category. Discuss

  15. sidhellfire says:

    This is pathetic. What then? They all went to a big ball lickin’ party as a bonus for pre-ordering BAFTA award? These games all of games sold well, but in the same time, they were disappointing, medicore, dull. ALL OF THEM. I know that it is all subjective bla bla bla, but c’mon, not even one quality game? NOT EVEN ONE DAMN GOOD GAME FOR ME? Even Peter Molyneux is a failure in game designing for at least a decade.

    • Ikkusei says:

      I think it’s safe to say that if you didn’t think any of the games on that list were at least ‘good’, you may have set your standards a little high.

    • sidhellfire says:

      To be honest, I must admit that CIV5 is quite a good, still not even half good as it’s supposed to be, so Firaxis deserves good spanking, not an award. And the rest? Well… sorry, they’re simply not good. Had no joy playing them (except that handheld facebook cr’apps which I wouldn’t touch with a stick unless it has a dog shit on the end of it). Too much annoying things compared to lack of quality gameplay driven by just a bit interesting mechanics.

    • drewski says:

      Every single game that won it’s category was incredibly well received by both the critical gaming press and the mass public (although, admitedly, that includes by the numbers crap like BlOps.

      So fair enough if you don’t like that but you should probably be aware that at this stage you’re rather like the old guy with the cane waving angrily at all the young people watching these newfangled moving pictures malarky. Not wrong. Just very, very out of touch.

    • gorgol says:

      @ drewski:

      well I guess everyone who didn’t like Crap Effect, or Jump on the Interactive Movie Bandwagon Age 2, or CoD:Blops, is also out of touch? Bullshit, we are just PC gamers, with good taste.

      The games mentioned above are the equivalent of fast food, sure lots of people buy it, sure its accessible, sure they use every cheap trick in the book to make it edible and not taste like the crap that it is, but it sure as hell isn’t good. And someone who prefers real, good food, made with real ingredients, over fast food is not out of touch, they are very much in touch.

    • Lilliput King says:

      Had to be said.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      Except in the food industry the critics don’t give McDonald’s five stars. Hmm…

    • Kaira- says:


      That sounds a lot like “opinions = facts”. I’d suggest you to try this.
      link to pbskids.org

    • ulix says:

      Now Sid, please tell me which games you’d given the awards to.

      While I understand some of the consternation here, saying that Super Mario Galaxy 2 is a bad game is just plain stupid. It was the purest “Gamer-game” or “Gamey-game” of the last couple of years. Pure, perfect, fun, imaginative gameplay.

      Apart from that it was the best 3D Platformer of all time (or since Super Mario 64?), had incredible graphics (for a Wii game) and art direction, and an amazin Soundtrack.

      Cut The Rope also definitely earned the award (personally I would have given it to Trainyard).

      And in terms of art design, at least in the “not-artsy” “ultra graphics” category of art design, there just is nothing better visually than God of War. Was the case last console generation, still is the case now.

    • gorgol says:

      Rofl @ Kaira.

      Firstly, your comment is pointless: attempting to dismiss my comment on the basis of it consisting of opinions is ludicrous. The comment section is precisely for the purpose of stating opinions.

      Secondly, some more facts: its a fact that those are my opinions. And its a fact that a lot of people share them judging by the comments in this thread.

    • drewski says:

      @ gorgol – yes, if you don’t like other games which are near universally acclaimed and immensely popular, you are also out of touch.

      Basically people whining here are saying “What a joke – these immensely successful games that almost all critics loved are utterly unreasonable choices as the best of gaming in this time period.”

      You may not personally like these games. That’s fine. But you are, in that case, not representative of the cutting edge of current, mass market gaming. (Which is also fine, but in that case, you’re not the point of these awards.)

    • gorgol says:

      LOL @ drewski, pretending that your opinion and that of the BAFTA awards (rofl) objectively defines the “cutting edge of mass market gaming” is ludicrous!

      The awards are nothing but yet another opinion, albeit one with the dubious honour of having RPS (a highly respected by the PC gaming community blog) written about it to make fun of… But the thing that truly invalidates the opinion of these awards is that they pretend to objectively tell people what the best games are, (when they are actually a very biased opinion with a heavy commercial agenda).

      Anyway, I’m done discussing this, especially with you as you are clearly just a BAFTA awards fanboi. Bai.

  16. Moraven says:

    Also, RDR was nominated for Best Game.

    • The_B says:

      Actually, it was only in the ‘GAME Award of 2010’ category – the difference being that was the only one nominated by and voted for by the public alongside GAME the shop, as opposed to ‘Best Game’ which was – like every other award other than the GAME one – had to be entered by the publishers themselves for a fee and was voted by a panel of BAFTA judges.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      yo dawg, so I heard you like game awards …

  17. Grape Flavor says:

    BLOPS was nominated for “Artistic Achievement”? Civ V, the only bad game Firaxis has ever made, won best strategy? And apparently Rockstar neglected to even register Red Dead Redemption for eligibility (why is that needed anyway)?

    Yeah I’m feeling some credibility problems here. Oh well, at least they tried, and gave vidjagames some recognition.

    • The_B says:

      The fee is mainly for BAFTA’s own running costs, and to stop publishers submitting loads of games rather than picking the ‘truly outstanding’ ones, apparently. There’s a good video over on Eurogamer TV investigating the credibility.

    • DJ Phantoon says:

      So generally, indies can’t win this, because they can’t generally afford to enter?

    • dadioflex says:

      Okay, this might just be me but there’s a picture of Ben Kingsley and Molyneux on the BAFTA site.

      link to bafta.org

      I’m pretty sure that’s what the Chuckle Brothers would look like if you sheared them. Just throwing that out there for Walker to investigate – have these pairs ever been seen together? Hmmm? Hmmm?

    • drewski says:

      The BAFTAs are awarded by a charitable organisation – they have to cover their costs.

      I don’t know how indie friendly their setup is but this is the nature of all mainstream entertainment industry awards.

    • gorgol says:

      @ drewski:

      i.e. completely worthless.

    • The_B says:

      I dunno, Limbo got a few nominations this year so I assume it’s fairly indie friendly – I think the entry fee is about £150, so I suppose it depends if that seems a lot to you whether it prices them out or not.

    • drewski says:

      @ gorgol – in as much as any awards process which produces results you personally disagree with are, sure.

  18. sbs says:

    Weirdo public indeed.

  19. Item! says:

    Why the differentiation twixt “Best Game” and “Best Gameplay”?

    Surely by definition, the latter is the former?

    • dadioflex says:

      That’s a hypothetical question isn’t it?

      You already know the answer don’t you?

    • drewski says:

      I could argue that gameplay is awarded for pure mechanics, whereas game is awarded for best overall experience (encompassing sound, story, graphics, value for money, emotional weight, whatever).

      Whether or not that’s the precise definitions used here I have no idea.

  20. Thants says:

    “But who won what, you demand to know…”

    What I demand to know is why that man’s face is melting.

  21. MinisterofDOOM says:

    Pretty disappointing to see Heavy Rain get the story award. It makes me wonder if they actually played the game. It’s a very sub-par mystery story, which only manages to keep itself mysterious by deliberately and unabashedly LYING to the player in multiple instances. It also makes ample use of the good old Scooby Doo false trail. And there are some goofy character development bits that are just left hanging as though they never happened, which FURTHER impedes the feeling of solving a mystery. Good stories–not even award-winning stories, just plain old good ones–don’t need to cheat the player to create suspense or mystery.
    Regardless of how interesting it was on a meta-level, the story’s details were poorly assembled, poorly executed, and poorly designed. Not exactly award-winning stuff by my standards.

    • dadioflex says:

      Good stories don’t need to cheat the reader?

      Oh, we have substantially differing opinions on what makes a good story, my friend. I want a story to leave me worn out chained to the bed with my wallet missing hoping the palpable glow from my crotch will be a memory by tomorrow.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      press X to Jason!

  22. jti says:

    When will there be good news? I’m growing tired of gaming when I read this stuff, everything has gone to sh…

  23. Valvarexart says:

    Actually, this was better than expected. BLOPS didn’t get any awards, Halo didn’t get any…

  24. dadioflex says:

    Can’t we have both?

    And I agree with you.

  25. drewski says:

    Results largely as I would have expected. Not sure what the big ZOMG deal is from the readership.

  26. Gap Gen says:

    Nice to see You Have to Burn the Rope getting some recognition.

  27. misterk says:

    The One Voted For By The Weirdo Public should be called The game that sold the most award.

  28. Stevostin says:

    No Fallout New Vegas there either. What a joke !

  29. Colthor says:

    Diggerland featured on RPS, ticket sales up 194%.

    It’s a much better theme-park idea than imaginary mice!

  30. Gaytard Fondue says:

    Not quite as awesome as the German equivalent where only games without violence can be nominated.

  31. Olivaw says:

    The lack of Red Dead Redemption does make me sad.

    But then Red Dead didn’t get anything from that Writer’s Association or whatever because they didn’t provide a gigantic ten thousand page script.

    Regardless, it surely deserves the award for story more than Heavy Rain does.

  32. Turrican says:

    Two points from me – Red Dead Redemption: no great loss. Its pretty but the main character’s stupidity and the repetitive missions put me right off it. Personal opinion, I can handle others liking it.

    Secondly, F12010? Really? Should have renamed it Most Broken, Fake and Abandoned Game of the Year 2010…

    At least the Golden Joysticks are voted for by the public, which is both a boon and a curse.

    • drewski says:

      On F1 2010 – again, that may be your personal experience, but it was very well received in general.

      A lot of people seem to have great difficult divorcing what they happen to think from what the generally accepted reality is.

  33. cjlr says:

    Most gratuitous use of the word ‘fuck’ in a serious computer game:
    Mass Effect 2.

    I was gonna think up more satire, but, that’s all I got. I can’t top that. So true.

  34. Robin says:

    The BAFTA games awards have improved a lot over the years, but this year really brings home the fact that only the very biggest publishers bother to put their safest, most commercial games forward for consideration.

    It’s like the Oscars if only popcorn dreck like Transformers and Iron Man were submitted by the studios.

    • drewski says:

      Not really. It’d be like Hollywood if only extremely low budget indie films and very high budget blockbusters were actually produced, with very little in the middle ground.

      The good films are produced by Hollywood because there’s a market for them. Gaming – especially console gaming – is having great difficult defining and getting profitability out of the film equivalent of American Beauty or Black Swan or whatever you want to name as an example of a high quality, non blockbuster release.

      You can’t compare the two at this point in their lifespans.

  35. Resin says:

    I don’t really follow the oscars either. When it comes to these type of big industry awards the only thing interesting about them is John’s jokes. Now the indie awards, those I would actually follow. I’ll take a game equivlent to the Sundance festival over an Oscar ceremony any day of the week.
    Mass Effect 2 = King’s Speech ? – didn’t paticularly care for either so I couldn’t tell you.

  36. BobsLawnService says:

    But wait, aren’t awards shows just an excuse for industry types to sit in a room together, smack each other on the back and then retire to party venues to snort cocaine from the bums of expensive prostitutes? They really don’t matter in the greater scheme of things.

    • TariqOne says:

      “And have fun on the night the stars salute themselves!” -MST3K