At the start of the month, we saw the winners of the Gaming BAFTAs taking home their well-deserved trophies and it’s fair to say there were a couple of surprises. Here are some of my thoughts on a few of the results and what I think that means to the future of gaming…

Mobile and Handheld WINNER: Her Story - Sam Barlow

I must admit; I did have my suspicions that this would win its category, but I can’t really explain why. When it comes to the creative writing side, it’s seamlessly put together - with smooth transitioning as the story develops - and it really gets your brain working. So yes, it deserves it’s reward. But that arguably isn’t even the main reason why it won. When you first encounter this game, you get that kind of ‘jaw-dropping’ moment. Not because it has spectacular graphics or vivid colours like most other games on the winner’s table (in fact it’s actually real people shot on a 1994 VHS style recording…), but because it literally puts you in a detective’s chair. This is almost verging on augmented reality - something that is getting ready to take over the lives of gamers.

Her Story didn’t just pick up the Mobile and Handheld award, it scooped another two: Debut Game and Game Innovation. For me, the fact that it’s been recognised for INNOVATION says it all. This is where video games are headed - people want to really immerse themselves in a whole other reality. We’ve already seen how quickly the Virtual Reality bug spread and following Sam Barlow’s success with this game, I think we’re about to see a whole lot more of it.

Best Game WINNER: Fallout 4 - Bethesda

Unsurprisingly, Fallout 4 took the title of Best Game beating some big names such as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain and Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - neither of which took any trophies home. Despite critics stating several minor flaws in the fourth episode of the post-apocalyptic game such as some questionable voice acting and glitches, Fallout 4 has an easily-replayable storyline that gives you different challenges and opportunities every time as well as the fact that it is practically endless.

I bought this game for my father who immediately said he wouldn’t like it or be able to understand the controls or navigation system. But after spending an hour or so guiding him through the tutorial, he was away. And now almost every conversation we have starts with ‘You know that bit in Fallout when…’

Best Sport WINNER: Rocket League - Psyonix

When you think of a sporting game, you’re probably thinking of FIFA or Football Manager. Which is why it was kind of a surprise to me that Rocket League beat both of them to the Best Sport game for 2016. And it didn’t just stop there: Rocket League also beat FIFA 16 in the Best Family game category as well. Not the most famous developers, Psyonix’s game is a combination of remote controlled cars charging around a kind of colourful arena, aiming to push a giant ball into the opponent’s goal. Think hockey/Destruction Derby/volleyball.

The great thing about this game is that it’s perfect for anyone and everyone and isn’t really assigned to any genre in particular. People that hate football probably wouldn’t like FIFA. But they’d probably have a good laugh playing Rocket League.

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