Welcome to a new weekly feature in which we cup the week that was and ask it to cough gently. Here you’ll find the PC Gamer team reflecting on the best and worst moments of the past seven days.
Papers, Please and Gone Home take BAFTA Awards, Houser brothers make rare appearance for Rockstar's Fellowship
I'm not going to sugar-coat this for you: last night's BAFTA Game Awards didn't end with the PC hunched under an unbearable weight of face gold. The platform struggled against heavy hitting console match-three games, like The Last of Us, and Grand Theft Auto 5. Even so, there were awards for indie gems Papers, Please and Gone Home, and multi-platform titles like Bioshock Infinite. In addition, the reclusive Rockstar heads showed up in person to accept their BAFTA fellowship. You can find that video, and a full list of winners, inside.
Also, before the big list, be sure to check out the BAFTA Steam sale that's running until later today. There are some particularly great deals in there, like the excellent XCOM: Enemy Within for a ridiculously low £5/$7.50.
If you have an hour-and-a-bit of time spare today, you could do a lot worse than to spend it watching this recently uploaded BAFTA Q&A with Irrational Games' Ken Levine, in which he chats about System Shock 2, BioShock and BioShock Infinite - well, the clue was in the name of the presentation: 'From Shodan, to Big Daddy, to Elizabeth: The Evolution of AI Companions'. It's a fascinating talk, particularly if you're interested in the history of the series and the company, or game stories in general - and something of a tasty main course after the recent bombardment of BioShock Infinite trailers.
Valve boss Gabe Newell stepped up to the stage during last week's BAFTA awards to receive the prestigious Academy Fellowship for his contributions to gaming. Presumably momentarily distracted by accepting a trophy modeled after a smirking face, a bewhiskered Newell fielded some interview questions over the normally airtight subject of Valve's business performance that hinted at the monumental scale of the studio's prosperity.
Alternative headlines include "Dick and Dom SNUBBED in Online - Browser category", "Black Ops II not deemed most innovative game of the year - internet pitchforks rest easy", or just, "Journey wins pretty much all the other bloody awards, to the chagrin of PC-centric news writers". Still, there were some wins for games that PC owners could play. As well as Dishonored's top award, shiny trophies also went to The Walking Dead, XCOM and Far Cry 3.
BAFTA today announced that Gabe Newell is to be awarded an Academy Fellowship at the 2013 British Academy Games Awards this March 5th. The Fellowship is the highest honour in BAFTA's arsenal, their most prestigious tool for letting someone know they're the bee's knees. Previous gaming Fellows include Will Wright, Peter Molyneux and Notch.
BAFTA have released the nomination shortlist for the upcoming 2013 round of their Video Game awards. PS3 exclusive Journey tops the nomination leaderboard - it's up for eight categories. But Telltale's The Walking Dead and Ubisoft's Far Cry 3 aren't far behind, receiving nods in seven and six categories respectively. There's also strong indie recognition. Dear Esther is nominated for five awards, Thomas Was Alone for three, and both Proteus and Super Hexagon both receive a mention.
The ceremony takes place on March 5th, and will streamed live on Twitch.tv. Tune in to find out if we live in a world where CoDBlOps2 can be given an award for "Game Innovation".
Twin-stick shooter/puzzle hybid Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet has made its way to the PC at long last. You control a UFO that uses a variety of weapons and gadgets to survive in a beautifully animated alien world, with a distinctive design by artist Michel Gagne. Like Cave Story or Metroid, it's about gradually pushing back the boundaries of an expansive open map - but unlike those games, there's also a strong emphasis on finding new ways to use your powers, rather than just unlocking new ones.
The 2011 Xbox Live release picked up a BAFTA for Best Debut Game last month, against the likes of L.A. Noire, Bastion, and Rift. It's available now for £11.99 on Steam, but be warned that it uses Games for Windows Live. If it's any consolation, the PC version comes with the Shadow Hearts co-op DLC included.
As reported on MCV, Notch is getting a BAFTA! The Swedish creator of Minecraft is "blown away and deeply humbled" by the news.
Notch will be picking up his BAFTA Special Award at the London ceremony on March 16. He got it for his constantly evolving block builder, Minecraft. You should probably check it out.
BAFTA Special Awards honour "those who has made a significant contribution to their sector and may not otherwise have received the recognition they deserve." Previous winners include Tony Hart, Blue Peter, KODAK, Michael Palin, The Chuckle Brothers and The BBC. Those are all awesome things, but are they as awesome as Minecraft? Doubt it.
BAFTA have been supporting computer games for years, but they're now making efforts to expand their membership and visibility into America. Which is weird, for an organisation with "British Academy of" in its name.
But their first step is a series of profiles called A Life In Pixels, looking at some of the people most important to the development of videogames. The first, with Will Wright, just took place at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood this Sunday evening. I was there, listening to creator of SimCity, The Sims and Spore talk about the power of obsession, the wisdom of ants, his love of hard science fiction, and just a single hint on what his next game project might be. Read on for a full report.
You've probably read Tom's preview of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and wondered at the possibilities the latest game in the series will offer you. Now you can behold such choice in the above video, in which protagonist Jenson tackles the same objective three times in three very different manners. Take a look at the game's combat (with those incredible blade-arms and a very cool rifle reload animation) and its exploration avenues, and start getting excited. You've only got until August to wait, so get planning on how you'll tackle this segment.