Third-person roguelike shooter Returnal takes home the Best Game award at this year’s BAFTAs, along with some other big wins at the ceremony.
2020 saw Hades pick up Game of the Year nominations and awards from high-profile gaming award ceremonies. In 2021, gaming shows like The Game Awards had roguelikes Return and death loop compete against each other to see which game had the best take on the player premise of living, dying and repeating that process until they finally find a way to break the cycle.
During last night’s 2022 BAFTAs, it looked like the sci-fi shooter Return was the big winner, as the game took home the award for Best Game during the ceremony. A third-person shooter with some psychological horror elements, Return sees players take on the role of Selene Vassos, who ignores the orders of the ASTRA Corporation to follow a strangely familiar signal known as “White Shadow”. The game was received positively and critics praised how Return gameplay was complementary to the story and the world.
In addition to the nomination for Best Game, Return was eligible for awards for audio performance, music, technical achievement, original ownership, artist in a leading role, story, artistic achievement and game design. Of these nominations Return took home four BAFTAs. However, for many, the award for the best game will be seen as the most prestigious of these awards, as it highlights Return as BAFTA’s playable game of 2021. The game also competed against some of the hottest titles of 2021, such as It takes two and death loopthe former also taking home several prizes.
Return also had to deal with a number of smaller titles in addition to the bigger games of 2021. It lost the Narrative award for indie game unpacking, a title that focuses on a player going into an empty room and unpacking boxes, slowly learning more about the story and character they’re playing. Some thought that unpacking was disapproved at the 2021 Game Awards, though fans of the title will be happy to see it recognized at this year’s BAFTAs.
Despite impressive reviews and raising awards, it seems that Return developer Housemarque is far from done with the game. A recent update released in late March brought co-op to Return, which might make the horror elements a little less scary when played with friends. The “Ascension” update also brought with it a new game mode that brings endless challenges, as well as new story elements, weapons and a sixth boss.
Return is now available on PS5.
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