BAFTA noms: Inside, Firewatch, Dishonored 2, Overwatch

Although the Britain of tomorrow will be merely the county of Kent surrounded by 100-foot high razor wire, I am confident that the BAFTAs will endure forever. Long-established and highly coveted by the black tie crowd, they’re one of those award shows which tend to reward the already successful, which can make them rather safe and predictable. Still, bar a deluge for PS4 system-seller Uncharted 4, this year’s crop of nominations isn’t quite as staid as it might have been.

The darkly delicious platform adventure Inside [official site] is the PC title that scores the most winks. I can get behind that (though John very much would not), but it’s good to see the likes of ABZU, Stardew Valley, EVE Online and Hitman nominated, alongside the more predictable likes of Dishonored 2, Firewatch and Overwatch. Mind you, I think pretty much every game that pierced public consciousness last year has some kind of nod here.

Here’s the full list of noms:

Artistic Achievement
Abzû – Giant Squid/ 505 Games
Dishonored 2 – Arkane Studios/ Bethesda Softworks
Inside – Playdead/ Playdead
The Last Guardian – Sie Japan Studio, Gendesign/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
Uncharted 4 – Naughty Dog Llc/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
Unravel – Coldwood Interactive/ Electronic Arts

Audio Achievement
Battlefield 1 – Dice/ Electronic Arts
Doom – Id Software/ Bethesda Softworks
Inside – Martin Stig Andersen – Playdead/ Playdead
The Last Guardian – Sie Japan Studio, Gendesign/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
Rez Infinite Tetsuya Mizuguchi, Takako Ishida, Noboru Mutoh – Enhance Games, Monstars Inc., Resonair/ Enhance Games
Uncharted 4 – Naughty Dog Llc/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europs

Best Game
Firewatch – Campo Santo Productions/ Camp Santo Productions, Panic Inc.
Inside – Playdead/ Playdead
Overwatch – Blizzard Entertainment/ Blizzard Entertainment
Stardew Valley – Eric Barone – Concernedape/ Chucklefish
Titanfall 2 – Respawn Entertainment/ Electronic Arts
Uncharted 4 – Naughty Dog Llc/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

British Game
Batman: Arkham VR – Rocksteady Studios/ Wb Games
Forza Horizon 3 – Playground Games/ Microsoft Studios
No Man’s Sky – Hello Games/ Hello Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
Overcooked – Ghost Town Games/ Team17 Digital Ltd
Planet Coaster – Frontier Developments/ Frontier Developments
Virginia – Variable State/ 505 Games

Debut Game
Firewatch – Campo Santo Productions/ Campo Santo Productions, Panic Inc.
Overcooked – Ghost Town Games/ Team17 Digital Inc.
Oxenfree – Night School Studio/ Night School Studio
That Dragon, Cancer – Numinous Games/ Numinous Games
The Witness – Thekla, Inc./ Thekla, Inc.
Virginia – Variable State/ 505 Games

Evolving Game
Destiny: Rise of Iron – Bungie/ Activision
Elite Dangerous: Horizons – Frontier Developments/ Frontier Developments
Eve Online – Ccp Games/ Ccp Games
Final Fantasy Xiv: Online – Square Enix/ Square Enix
Hitman – Io Interactive/ Square Enix
Rocket League Dave Hagewood, Jeremy Dunham, Corey David – Psyonix/ Psyonix

Family
Lego Star Wars: the Force Awakens Mike Taylor, Jamie Eden, James Norton – Tt Games/ Wb Games
Overcooked – Ghost Town Games/ Team17 Digital Ltd
The Playroom VR – Sie Japan Studio, Team Asobi!/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
Pokémon Go – Niantic Inc./ Niantic Inc.
Ratchet & Clank – Insomniac Games/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
Toca Hair Salon 3 – Toca Boca/ Toca Boca

Game Design
Battlefield 1 – Dice/ Electronic Arts
Dishonored 2 – Arkane Studios/ Bethesda Softworks
Inside – Playdead/ Playdead
Overwatch – Blizzard Entertainment/ Blizzard Entertainment
Titanfall 2 – Respawn Entertainment/ Electronic Arts
The Witness – Thekla,inc./ Thekla, Inc.

Game Innovation
Batman: Arkham Vr – Rocksteady Studios/ Wb Games
Firewatch – Campo Santo Productions/ Campo Santo Productions, Panic Inc.,
Pokémon Go – Niantic Inc./ Niantic Inc.
That Dragon, Cancer – Numinous Games/ Numinous Games
Unseen Diplomacy – Triangular Pixels/ Triangular Pixels
The Witness – Thekla, Inc./ Thekla, Inc.

Mobile
The Banner Saga 2 – Stoic/ Versus Evil
Dawn of Titans – Natural Motion/ Zynga
Deus Ex Go – Square Enix Montreal/ Square Enix
Pokémon Go – Niantic Inc./ Niantic Inc.
Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon – Game Freak/ the Pokémon Company International
Reigns – Nerial/ Devolver Digital

Multiplayer
Battlefield 1 – Dice/ Electronic Arts
Forza Horizon 3 – Playground Games/ Microsoft Studios
Overcooked – Ghost Town Games/ Team17 Digital Ltd
Overwatch – Blizzard Entertainment/ Blizzard Entertainment
Titanfall 2 – Respawn Entertainment/ Electronic Arts
Tom Clancy’s the Division – Ubisoft Massive/ Ubisoft

Music
Abzû – Austin Wintory – Giant Squid/ 505 Games
Doom – Mick Gordon, Chris Hite, Chad Mossholder – Id Software/ Bethesda Softworks
Inside – Martin Stig Andersen, Søs Gunver Ryberg – Playdead/ Playdead
The Last Guardian – Takeshi Furukawa – Sie Japan Studio, Gendesign/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
Uncharted 4 – Henry Jackman, Jonathan Mayer, Scott Hanau – Naughty Dog Llc/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
Virginia – Lyndon Holland – Variable State/ 505 Games

Narrative
Dishonored 2 – Arkane Studios/ Bethesda Softworks
Firewatch – Campo Santo Productions/ Campo Santo Productions, Panic Inc.
Inside Arnt Jensen – Playdead/ Playdead
Mafia III – Hangar 13/ 2k
Oxenfree – Night School Studio/ Night School Studio
Uncharted 4 – Neil Druckmann, Josh Scherr – Naughty Dog Llc/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe

Original Property
Firewatch – Campo Santo Productions/ Campo Santo Productions, Panic Inc.
Inside – Playdead/ Playdead
The Last Guardian – Sie Japan Studio, Gendesign/ Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe
Overwatch – Blizzard Entertainment/ Blizzard Entertainment
Unravel – Coldwood Interactive/ Electronic Arts
The Witness – Thekla, Inc./ Thekla, Inc.

Performer
Alex Hernandez as Lincoln Clay in Mafia III
Cissy Jones as Delilah in Firewatch
Emily Rose as Elena Fisher in Uncharted 4
Navid Negahban as ‘hajj Agha’ in 1979 Revolution: Black Friday
Nolan North as Nathan Drake in Uncharted 4
Troy Baker as Sam Drake in Uncharted 4


BAFTA Ones to Watch Award in Association With Dare to Be Digital

Among the Stones – Lukasz Gomula, Alberto Taiuti, James Wood, Roberto Macken, Kevin Mckenna, Rory Sweeney – Bluedoor Games
Pentagrab – Andrew Fullarton, Thomas Slade, Nick Kondylis, Cari Watterton, Dale Smith – Ludico
Rebound – Kieran Gallagher, Isaac Pringle, Mark Tempini, Andrew Graham, Alexander Macdiarmid, Vlady Veselinov, Craig Russell, Alex Donaldson – Hexterion

Amd Esports Audience Award (public voted)
Clash Royale – Supercell/ Supercell
Counter Strike: Global Offensive – Hidden Path Entertainment/ Valve
Dota 2 – Valve/ Valve
League of Legends – Riot Games/ Riot Games
Overwatch – Blizzard Entertainment/ Blizzard Entertainment
Street Fighter V – Capcom, Dimps/ Capcom

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I reckon we’ll see Inside, Firewatch and Uncharted clean up here, with juries likely to particularly get hung on deciding between the latter two. If it were me and me alone deciding, in the beautiful perfect alt-reality where I am emperor of mankind, this is what I’d do (with the important proviso that the noms would have been quite different under my tyrannical but 100% objectively fair rule):

Artistic Achievement: Abzu
Audio Achievement: Inside
Best Game: Inside
British Game: No Man’s Sky (N.B. I did a bit of writing for it so clearly you cannot trust me there)
Debut Game: Firewatch
Evolving Game: Hitman
Family: Pokemon Go
Game Design: Overwatch
Game Innovation: Pokemon Go
Mobile: Reigns
Multiplayer: Overwatch
Music: Abzu
Narrative: Inside
Original Property: Inside
Performer: Cissy Jones/Firewatch

And that’s why my opinion is so highly respected wholly ignored in this industry.

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15 Comments

  1. welverin says:

    Well Alec, since you didn’t pick Uncharted 4 for anything, you are clearly wrong.

    • Xocrates says:

      To be fair, for the categories where Uncharted 4 is nominated the competition is strong enough that I wouldn’t be surprised for it to go home empty handed.

      Unlikely though.

  2. iainl says:

    THANK YOU. Been seeing The Witness under debut on their twitter feed, without understanding it’s Thekla that are new, not a mysterious nom for Blow himself.

  3. Landiss says:

    Audio Achievement – Doom. Really? That game tried really hard to spoil its great gameplay with terrible audio issues. Monsters 50 meters away often sounded like they are on top of the player while closer ones were inaudible. There were also some clipping issues, walls that didn’t cut off sounds properly and very small dynamic range (everything was very loud all the time, except voice-over…). And I’m not talking about some bugs around release time. I played the game in January. It was quite good, but audio was terrible for an AAA game.

    • Premium User Badge

      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I am assuming it is for the dynamic music in the game which a lot of people liked. I thought it was at least mildly impressive despite not liking metal.

  4. Sardonic says:

    If EVE doesn’t get the Evolving game award, there is no justice in the world. I started playing in 2003 and it’s come so very, very far since then.

    • dorobo says:

      Maybe back in the day. Couple of years they just reskin and revamp. Evolving is left behind that DOOR.

  5. Premium User Badge

    Seyda Neen says:

    How did Dishonored 2 end up in the narrative category? Happy to see Oxenfree pop up a couple times, though.

  6. Mumbles says:

    Pfft. Pokemon Go and game innovation? NOPE!

  7. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    If Pokemon Go beats out Sun and Moon we riot.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Ninja Dodo says:

    If Last Guardian doesn’t win artistic achievement the BAFTAs are over. Surprised it didn’t get at least a nom for Best Game and Narrative as well. If they had an Interactive Character category like the DICE awards it would be a shoe-in.

    • Turkey says:

      Kind of insane how quickly that game fell off the radar after its release.

      • Premium User Badge

        Ninja Dodo says:

        It’s because people have no taste or patience.

        Also according to some who have played it more than once Trico is more or less responsive depending on how you treat him, so basically if the AI didn’t work for you it means you are probably mean/indifferent to virtual animals…

        Here’s a good argument for the game, courtesy of Game Maker’s Toolkit:

  9. dorobo says:

    INSIDE has set a new standard.

  10. Darth Gangrel says:

    The best narrative award lists “Inside Arnt Jensen” (who is a developer for Playdead), but I’m very glad that Alec revealed his choices, so I got to be Inside Alec Meer.