No Man's Sky and Unpacking scoop up Baftas

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts, better-known as BAFTA, is going to have to work out how to cram a 'V' or 'G' in there at some point—last night saw the annual BAFTA Game Awards, and some eyebrow-raising results. There were 18 awards in total and the biggest winner of all was Housemarque's Returnal, the PlayStation 5 exclusive which returned to Finland with four gongs.

Oh well! I'm sure it'll come to PC sooner or later. Last night saw a big PlayStation theme generally, with Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart also scooping two prizes for looking pretty, but other notable moments included It Takes Two continuing to be an awards magnet: it won Baftas for Best Multiplayer and Best Original Property. The delightful diorama-em-up Toem won Debut Game, while Unpacking won both the Narrative prize and the EE Game of the Year (which is voted for by the public).

Here's the full list of winners.

  • Returnal—Best Game
  • It Takes Two—Best Multiplayer
  • No Man's Sky—Evolving Game
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale—Family
  • Inscryption—Game Design
  • Unpacking—Narrative
  • Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart—Animation
  • Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart—Technical Achievement
  • The Artful Escape—Artistic Achievement
  • Returnal—Audio Achievement
  • Returnal—Music
  • It Takes Two—Original Property
  • Forza Horizon 5—British Game
  • Unpacking—EE Game of the Year
  • Before Your Eyes—Game Beyond Entertainment
  • Toem—Debut Game
  • Jane Perry—Performer in a Leading Role (Selene Vassos in Returnal)
  • Kimberley Brooks—Performer in a Supporting Role (hollis Forsythe in Psychonauts 2)

It's great to see No Man's Sky receive the recognition it deserves: it's been said enough times, but who could have envisaged its spectacular recovery and renewal after that launch. The game was originally released in 2016 to boos and brickbats from all sides, after which developer Hello Games bunkered-down and got to work: eight years on, few would argue against it receiving Best Evolving Game.

Notable by their absence, I'd say, are Deathloop, Resident Evil: Village, and most of all Hitman 3. The conclusion to IO Interactive's trilogy is the ultimate Hitman experience and a fantastic capstone on many years of work. Oh well: Agent 47 can have the PC Gamer consolation Bafta.

You can read around the awards at the Bafta website, should you be so inclined, which includes the full list of nominees and various blurbs about the games involved.

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."