The British Academy of Film and Television Arts revealed the nominations for its 11th annual Games Awards early Wednesday morning. Unsurprisingly, Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us and Rockstar’s GTA V picked up the most nominations, with The Last of Us receiving ten nods and GTA V nine. Both are nominated for Best Game, Game Design, Performer, and Story.
Tearaway, the new PS Vita title from the studio that brought us Little Big Planet, follows closely behind with eight nominations, while triple-A title Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and indie development Papers, Please each collected four nominations. Papers, Please, which has also been named as a finalist at the Independent Games Festival, is one of a number of indie game selections this year: The Room Two, Badland, Gone Home, The Stanley Parable, Year Walk, Device 6 and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons all join the growing trend of independent games receiving mainstream recognition (although why Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, rated “T” for Teen, is nominated under the Family category is beyond me…).
In a surprising shut-out, no 3DS titles were nominated in the Mobile/Handheld category, despite the slew of critically-acclaimed releases this year (Fire Emblem: Awakening, Pokémon X/Y, Animal Crossing: New Leaf – which was nominated in the Family group – A Link Between Worlds and Luigi’s Mansion 2). Super Mario 3D World, the latest Mario title produced by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, quite deservedly brought Nintendo a nomination in both Best Game and Family.
Perhaps most importantly, this year’s nominations include a significant number of games with a female presence: the female protagonists of Tomb Raider and Remember Me are the only playable characters, while The Last of Us, Beyond: Two Souls (made by the same studio responsible for Heavy Rain, which also featured a female role), and Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (Studio Ghibli’s beautiful entry into the video game arena) all feature female protagonists and deuteragonists sharing the screen with male counterparts. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag introduced the series’ first playable female character and BioShock: Infinite’s Elizabeth, though an A.I. companion, has been widely praised for her narrative arc and development. Reflecting this increase in representation, the Performer category was an even split between actresses and actors, compared to the male sweep of the category in 2012 and the single actress nominated in 2013. The critical approval given to these games’ achievements hopefully bodes well for the increased appearance of women characters in the future.
Here’s the link to the full list of nominations. The show will be hosted by Dara O’Brien on March 12.
Best Game Gameplay Trailers:
What do you think of the nominations? Any surprises or snubs? Let us know in the comments!