Video Game BAFTA nominations announced – Call of Duty, GTA IV and Rock Band lead predictable line up

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grand-theft-auto-iv-bafta-gaming-nominations.jpgThe Video Game BAFTAs are nothing to do with the proper BAFTA awards that happened over the weekend. It’s different. It is, more importantly, a separate event, so you don’t get the oddly-shaped, bearded, podgy video game makers of the world mingling with the beautiful people of the film universe.

The gaming BAFTA winners will be announced this March and the Academy has just released its full, vast list of all the nominations. They’re all here, right from “Best Game” to the odd world of “Best Audio”.

You and I, the common folk, are allowed to vote in only ONE category – the GAME-sponsored “GAME Award of 2008”. Ten titles are in this category – Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Fallout 3, Gears of War 2, Grand Theft Auto IV, Guitar Hero World Tour, Left 4 Dead, LittleBigPlanet, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, Wii Fit, World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King.

It’s bound to be GTA IV. It sold the most. It has critical mass and popular opinion on its side. That’s a banker. The rest of the category winners will be picked by a panel of industry people – here’s the full breakdown of what’s up for what elsewhere, along with our picks for each.

ACTION & ADVENTURE
It has to be Grand Theft Auto IV. Most fans agree the core game part of it isn’t quite at the same peak as GTA: San Andreas, but the city, characters, dialogue and look of it are all super. It’s still a game to turn on and hang about in for hours, doing nothing but gazing around in awe.

– Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
– Dead Space
– Fable II
– Grand Theft Auto IV
– Prince of Persia
– Tomb Raider: Underworld

ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENT
Probably LitteBigPlanet. It looks cute, it looks a bit different, plus the element of ‘homebrew’ user-generated stuff is bound to tip it. It’s the fashionable choice, even though not many people actually bought it.

– Assassin’s Creed
– Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
– Dead Space
– Gears of War 2
– LittleBigPlanet
– Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

BEST GAME
Going on community respect, hours logged and units sold, it has to be Call of Duty 4. It’s a phenomenon, still being played by hundreds of thousands of people every day. Anything else would make a MOCKERY of the system.

– Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
– Fable II
– Fallout 3
– Grand Theft Auto IV
– Rock Band
– Super Mario Galaxy

CASUAL
I like Singstar. That’s all I’m saying on the matter.

– Boom Blox
– Buzz! Quiz TV
– Guitar Hero: World Tour
– LittleBigPlanet
– SingStar Vol. 2
– Wii Fit

GAMEPLAY
Depends how you define gameplay. Shooting men in a war is hardly an original idea, nor is pressing buttons in time with music or driving a kart. So, thanks to its inventiveness, it’ll have to be Super Mario Galaxy in this one. Even though it hardly scrapes into the all-time great Mario game list.

– Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
– Grand Theft Auto IV
– Left 4 Dead
– Mario Kart Wii
– Rock Band
– Super Mario Galaxy

HANDHELD
God of War. It’s been so long since PSP had a decent game my one’s UMD slot has practically rusted shut. Get out the WD40 and give it a go. It’s superb.

– Geometry Wars: Galaxies
– God of War: Chains of the Olympus
– The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
– Patapon
– Professor Layton and the Curious Village
– Soul Bubbles

MULTIPLAYER
The judges are bound to fall for the “party game” hype and give this to Rock Band, even though the only one that really deserves recognition here is Call of Duty 4.

– Buzz! Quiz TV
– Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
– Gears of War 2
– Left 4 Dead
– Mario Kart Wii
– Rock Band

ORIGINAL SCORE
Music’s pretty subjective. I like the Pet Shop Boys, and am very excited about the arrival of the band’s latest studio album on March 23, for example. You’re probably more into Fall Out Boy. As for game music… I liked Fable II’s music. It was simultaneously twee yet sweeping.

– Assassin’s Creed
– Dead Space
– Fable II
– Fallout 3
– LittleBigPlanet
– Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

SPORTS
Driving should be its own category. But seeing as it isn’t, the winner here should be Race Driver: GRID. The winner’s probably going to be Wii Fit, mind, as the judges – who I’d doubt have played any of these games very much at all – will want to reward Nintendo’s stupid lump of plastic.

– FIFA 09
– Football Manager 2009
– Motorstorm Pacific Rift
– Pure
– Race Driver: GRID
– Wii Fit

STRATEGY
No idea, to be honest. Not played any of them. I’m not going to start lying to you, even though it’s unlikely anyone will still be reading this far down the page and I probably could get away with it. I think the judges will give it to Red Alert 3, as it’s the one I’ve heard the most good things about. Not enough good things to try and blag a copy, mind.

– Advance Wars: Dark Conflict
– Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3
– Ninjatown
– Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution
– SOCOM: US Navy Seals Tactical Strike
– Viva Pinata: Pocket Paradise

STORY AND CHARACTER
One for the common man – GTA IV. The combination of characters, dialogue and plot made it an epic. You can’t argue with that. It was. It still is. It always will be and the BAFTA judges will recognise it accordingly. Although they might give it to Fable II as that was also pretty awesome.

– Assassin’s Creed
– Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
– Fable II
– Fallout 3
– Grand Theft Auto IV
– Mass Effect

TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT
Finally, a category that suits Assassin’s Creed. The game always felt like it was little more than a glorified tech demo, with its vast, open world a great place to explore and admire – but with very little game to back it up.

– Assassin’s Creed
– Fable II
– Fallout 3
– Grand Theft Auto IV
– LittleBigPlanet
– Spore

USE OF AUDIO
Yes, all of the following games used audio. If dialogue and voice acting is what they’re looking at, it’s GTA IV all the way again.

– Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
– Dead Space
– Gears of War 2
– Grand Theft Auto IV
– LittleBigPlanet
– Super Mario Galaxy

BAFTA ONES TO WATCH AWARD
Er, right. Yes. Er, I’ll go for VegeMe, as it has the most interesting name.

– Boro-Toro
– Origamee
– VegeMe

(Via BAFTA)

Gary Cutlack

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