While most of the major game awards for 2014 have already been given out, the British Academy of Film and Television had yet to voice their thoughts on last year’s games. Now that they have, however, many are sure to be talking about the BAFTA choice for best game for a long time to come.
While past BAFTA winners have been fairly easy to predict, few could have seen the 2015 choice for best game coming. That’s because the BAFTA’s awarded Destiny with Best Game, a choice that was reportedly met by awkward silence from the event venue.
While plenty have praised Destiny as one of the top games released in the last year, even more have heavily criticized it. It made our list of top 10 games from 2014, for example, but based purely on its addictive nature and tight mechanics.
What makes the BAFTA choice so strange is that Academy typically awards games that marry strong gameplay with a compelling narrative. And, as most know, Destiny’s story is barely there.
Other notable winners from the BAFTAs include mobile darling Monument Valley for Best British Game, The Last of Us: Left Behind for Best Story, and Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor for Game Design. Moreover, the critically acclaimed Valiant Hearts was honored for its originality, a sentiment echoed in our review of the Ubisoft WII puzzler. And similar praise was shown to Roll7’s OlliOlli, the winner of Best Sports Game, for reinventing the skateboarding game into a 2D side scroller.
By and large it was a fairly eclectic and well deserving bunch, but most will focus on the Destiny nod above anything else. Here’s the full list of winners:
Best Game – Destiny
British Game – Monument Valley
Debut Game – Never Alone
Story – The Last of Us: Left Behind
Performer – Ashley Johnson (The Last of Us: Left Behind)
Artistic Achievement – Lumino City
Audio Achievement – Alien Isolation
Family Game – Minecraft: Console Editions
Game Design – Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
Game Innovation – The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Mobile and Handheld Game – Monument Valley
Multiplayer Game – Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Music – Far Cry 4
Original Property – Valiant Hearts
Persistent Game – League of Legends
Sport Game – OlliOlli
Ones to Watch – Chambara
It seems that as time has worn on, Destiny has become the poster child for love it/hate it new release, except it’s no longer a new release. Gamers are still, to this day, devouring new Destiny content – be it solo Crota’s End raid runs or funny Destiny videos – even while others fail to see the appeal. Clearly, BAFTA saw the appeal in Destiny, or they wouldn’t have labeled it their best game.
Do you think Destiny was the best game of 2014? How do you feel about the BAFTA winners as a whole?