One of the most glamorous nights in gaming is upon us, as BAFTA gets ready to recognise the talent behind the best releases of 2022. Among the contenders are blockbusters like God Of War Ragnarok and Elden Ring, and smaller titles such as Vampire Survivors, Cult Of The Lamb and Stray. Film awards season may have been and gone, but BAFTA is rolling out the red carpet once again this week. This time, video games are in the spotlight – with everything from the biggest blockbusters to some of 2022’s most celebrated indie darlings in the running. PlayStation action epic God Of War Ragnarok leads the way with 14 nominations, but its closest rival is Stray – an inspiring debut from French studio BlueTwelve that casts players as a cute cat. Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare IIGod Of War RagnarokHorizon Forbidden WestLEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaSifuStray
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Did you know: Stray’s adorably convincing cat protagonist was animated with the help of three real felines who were invited into the studio’s office. The team closely studied Murtaugh, Oscar, and Jun for inspiration and reference points throughout development. Did you know: One of Tunic’s most eye-catching features was an in-game instruction manual that evoked the retro guide books that used to come packed in with just about every video game. The pages – hidden throughout the game’s levels – were rendered in such detail that they even appear to be tainted with the odd smudge or fold. Did you know: Not one for the squeamish, one of A Plague Tale: Requiem’s calling cards is a disease-carrying “tsunami of rats” that regularly obstructs the player on their journey. Asobo Studio tasked its sound engineers with coming up with what 300,000 rats scurrying around might sound like – and the results will likely haunt your dreams. Did you know: Elden Ring may be the favourite here if The Game Awards are anything to go by, where the open world RPG from Japanese developer FromSoftware took home the biggest prize. It received unanimous critical acclaim for its immense scope and challenge, and is widely considered one of the best games of all time. Did you know: If you’re ever lacking for inspiration, know that Vampire Survivors – one of the most popular video games of 2022 – was the work of a solo developer. Luca Galante quit his full-time job to work on it, and it’s now up for five awards at the BAFTAs. Did you know: The brilliantly named Trombone Champ is essentially a fresh take on Guitar Hero – a rhythm game tasking you with playing along to songs. It went viral upon release, as people took tremendous pleasure in sharing ridiculous videos of them toot-ifying famous anthems. Did you know: Six years after its initial release, No Man’s Sky ended up being one of the standout launch titles for PlayStation VR2 last month. Its huge galaxy, stuffed with an endless number of randomly generated planets, is now completely explorable in virtual reality. Disney Dreamlight ValleyKirby And The Forgotten LandLEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker SagaMario + Rabbids Sparks Of HopeNintendo Switch SportsTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge Did you know: The latest from British developer TT Games, LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga was such a mammoth undertaking that it came six years after the previous entry in the series. It encompassed all nine core films in the iconic film franchise, and some of its most famous actors reprised their roles. Citizen SleeperEndling: Extinction Is ForeverGibbon: Beyond The TreesI Was A Teenage ExocolonistNot For BroadcastWe’ll Always Have Paris Did you know: While many still come to games for film-like action and virtual warfare, the people behind them are increasingly considering how the medium could help us go greener. Gibbon: Beyond The Trees puts players into a family of endangered apes during a journey that tackles deforestation, poaching, and climate change. Did you know: Understandably keen to recognise a home-grown success story, Cult Of The Lamb cleaned up at the Australian Game Developer Awards – winning best game, music, art, and gameplay. This unusual indie game casts players as a lamb saved from death, who must then create a loyal cult in the name of the deity that spared them. Did you know: EA Sports will be hoping its long-running football series will be recognised, given FIFA 23 is the final instalment before the company launches a replacement franchise. EA Sports FC will debut later this year after a licensing agreement with football’s governing body came to an end. Did you know: Last year was a big one for God Of War Ragnarok composer Bear McCreary, who also penned the music for Amazon’s Lord Of The Ring series. He had help on the game, though, as popular Irish artist Hozier wrote and performed an original song called Blood Upon The Snow. Did you know: Immortality bills itself as more of an interactive film than a traditional game, and actually premiered at Tribeca Film Festival last summer. Perhaps fittingly, one of the platforms it’s available on is Netflix. Did you know: The kung-fu action game Sifu may have been a totally new release, but it seems to already have franchise potential. A film adaptation was announced in December, to be written by the creator of John Wick. Alain Mesa in Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare IICharlotte McBurney in A Plague Tale: RequiemChristopher Judge in God Of War RagnarokManon Gage in ImmortalitySiobhan Williams in The QuarrySunny Suljic in God Of War Ragnarok Did you know: Prepare for a long list of thank-yous if God Of War Ragnarok’s Christopher Judge replicates his success at December’s The Game Awards, given he set a new record for the longest acceptance speech in the ceremony’s history. The actor, who plays lead character Kratos, went on for seven minutes and 59 seconds. Adam J Harrington in God Of War RagnarokAlison Jaye in Horizon Forbidden WestCharlotta Mohlin in ImmortalityDanielle Bisutti in God Of War RagnarokLaya Deleon Hayes in God Of War RagnarokRyan Hurst in God Of War Ragnarok Did you know: God Of War Ragnarok’s Danielle Bisutti was also BAFTA nominated for her role as Freya in the franchise’s previous instalment, which released in 2018. She lost out to one of her co-stars on that occasion, so will be hoping to rise above them this time round. Did you know: Developer Naughty Dog may be hoping recency bias gives The Last Of Us: Part I a boost, given the success of the recent TV adaptation. This version of the game is a big-budget remake of the 2013 original, which released just in time for the show’s premiere.
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