return was named Best Game at the 2022 Bafta Games Awards, winning four out of a possible nine awards in a night that saw 18 Baftas spread across a dozen wildly diverse games.
After a great night for Sony in 2021 exclusively for PlayStation return led the winners by also earning awards for Audio Performance, Music and Actor in a Leading Role, thanks to veteran Jane Perry’s outstanding portrayal of terminal protagonist Selene Vassos. No other game received more than two awards.
The 2022 Bafta Games Awards marked the first time in three years that the event was held in front of a live audience. Hostess Elle Osili-Wood was joined by a myriad of industry figures to present the awards – both virtually and in person – including Microsoft’s Phil Spencer, LucasArt’s Tim Schafer, Games Workshop co-founder Sir Ian Livingstone, and President Jim Ryan by Sony Interactive Entertainment.
Forty games made up the nominations and this diversity was reflected in the winners of the ceremony; return Aside from that, only three have nabbed more than one trophy; eight others took home a single iconic gold mask.
death loop and Guardian snubbed
arcane death loop– which received seven nominations and was easily among the best games of 2021 – went home with nothing and joined the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 in the annals of massive Bafta nudges.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxydespite receiving five nominations and having arguably some of the most responsive voice acting in gaming, also walked away empty-handed; ForzaHorizon 5 and psychonauts 2 claimed only one of their many possible gongs.
Another great night for indie gaming
After a fantastic year for indie games, 2021 saw small development studios once again putting in a strong performance at the Bafta Games Awards, starting at the top of the show unpacking won first prize for best story before impressively winning the EE Game of the Year public vote It takes two, death loop and Metroid horror.
Before your eyes Totally deserved his award for Game Beyond Entertainment, while Chicory: A colorful story and Tom also picked up trophies for Best Family Game and Best Debut Game, respectively.
The artful escape– my 2021 Indie Game of the Year – snatched victory from the jaws of defeat by taking the final award from its three nominations and rightly claiming the artistic achievement after missing out on audio achievement and debut game.
However, there were a handful of notable games that lost well-deserved accolades: The Door of Deathdespite being my third favorite indie game of 2021, it missed out on both Best British Game and Best Original Feature; The forgotten city, Genesis Noirand maquette all had a strong claim to the debut game.
the It takes two The guy stole the show from everyone
The two funniest moments of the night came from Hazelight Studios Founder and Creative Director Josef Fares as he took the stage It takes two literally took two prizes. When Fares accepted the Bafta for Best Original Property, he seemed surprised when the audience cheered EA for supporting his vision It takes twoapparently because of EA’s reputation.
Later when he picked up It takes two‘s award for multiplayer, he opened with the words: “That was actually expected. […] But I don’t give a damn, don’t worry!” It’s hard not to admire his bravery.
Nobody’s heaven finally getting the recognition it deserves
Briefly aside, it’s hard not to draw attention to one of the evening’s less appreciated awards. To finally and rightly claim its award for Best Developing Game Nobody’s heavenwhich completes its redeeming arc in the eyes of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts after losing Sea of Thieves in 2021.
While many may still remember its launch, Hello Games embarked on such a mission to fulfill its original promises – and then bid ten times more – which resulted in its fans not only crowdfunding a thank you for the team, but also raised a lot of money so that they were able to donate numerous consoles and games to children’s hospitals across Sydney, Australia. And this was 2019; the new content just keeps coming.
The full winners of the 2021 Bafta Games Awards (as announced):
Best Narrative: unpacking
Best Evolving Game: Nobody’s heaven
Best Original Feature: It takes two
Audio performance: return
Best British Game: ForzaHorizon 5
EE Game of the Year (Public Choice): unpacking
Technical performance: Ratchet & Clank: Rift apart
Best Debut Game: Tom
Best Multiplayer Game: It takes two
Game Beyond Entertainment: Before your eyes
Best Performance in a Supporting Role: Kimberly BrooksHollis Forsythe psychonauts 2)
Best Family Game: Chicory: A colorful story
Artistic achievement: The artful escape
Best Game Design: encryption
Best Animation: Ratchet & Clank: Rift apart
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Jane Perry (Selene Vassos, return)
Best Game: return
Games won by Bafta Awards
Four: return (Audio Performance, Music, Actor in a Leading Role, Best Play).
Two: unpacking (Best Story, EE Game of the Year); It takes two (Best Original Feature, Multiplayer); Ratchet & Clank: Rift apart (Technical Achievement, Best Animation).
A: ForzaHorizon 5 (Best British Game); Tom (debut game); Nobody’s heaven (Best Developing Game); Before your eyes (Game Beyond Entertainment); psychonauts 2 (Actor in a Supporting Role); Chicory: A colorful story (Best Family Game); The artful escape (Artistic Achievement); encryption (Best Game Design).