God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, Return of the Obra Dinn and Florence lead the nominations at this year’s Bafta 2019 games awards.
God of War has been nominated for ten while Red Dead, Obra Dinn and Florence all pick up six.
These four, plus Astro Bot: Rescue Mission and Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey compete for the big award of best game.
The category is a mix of big budget games and critically acclaimed indie titles.
You’ve probably heard of some famous franchises but Florence, Return of Obra Dinn and Celeste (which has five nominations) will be unknown to some players.
Florence is a puzzle game based on a relationship between a bored woman and a musician, which was created to be a violence-free alternative to aggressive games that dominate the mainstream.
Return of the Obra Dinn is a mystery solving game set on an abandoned trading ship and Celeste is a platform game about mental illness.
Alongside nominations for sound, narrative, game design and more, four God of War actors have been nominated as best performer.
Christopher Judge, Danielle Bisutti, Jeremy Daniels, Sunny Suljic will compete with Red Dead and Assassin’s Creed actors for the performance prize.
In the evolving game category, online shooters Fortnite and Overwatch will compete against each other and Destiny 2, Elite Dangerous: Beyond, Sea of Thieves and Rainbow Six.
Florence, Frostpunk, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Red Dead Redemption and Return of the Obra Dinn are nominated for the best narrative award.
Single-player leads the way
Analysis by Steffan Powell, Radio 1 Newsbeat gaming reporter
These nominations can be read in two ways.
The first is that story-driven experiences are still very much alive, kicking and have a bright future.
Games like God of War, Red Dead Redemption and Celeste lead the nominations.
Despite the dominance of Fortnite and the Battle Royale genre this surely shows that audiences still crave games that take you on a journey – making you laugh, cry and jump along the way.
Fortnite is the only Battle Royal game nominated in the best evolving game category – although with Apex Legends missing the nominations cut-off date, maybe next year will be different.
The second way of interpreting the nominations is that there’s a growing gulf between the members of the industry who decide the nominations, and the players themselves.
Lots of independent games have nominations, but there’s nothing for really popular titles like Call of Duty and Fifa – and Assassins Creed only has the one. Are they out of touch?
The titles nominated in the best game category are genuinely deserving either way and, while it looks like a straight shoot-out between God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 for the title, these awards are renowned for throwing up a surprising result.
See the full list of nomination here.
The winners will be announced on 4 April 2019.
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