It's the game that keeps on giving: Call of Duty 4, which actually came out in November 2007, still won three awards at last night's British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) game ceremony. Super Mario Galaxy scooped the biggest award, of course, taking home game of the year. The BBC calls that a "surprise," which just means the BBC doesn't pay a lick of attention to critical consensus. Nothing wrong with that â€” critical consensus is worth diddly-squat as often as not â€” but Super Mario Galaxy bagging game of the year's really about as surprising as April showers.
The real surprise was Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto IV, nominated for seven awards (counting one public) and winner of none.
Here's the full alphabetically sorted list of categories and nominees, with winners in bold.
ACTION & ADVENTURECall of Duty 4: Modern WarfareDead SpaceFable II
Grand Theft Auto IVPrince of PersiaTomb Raider Underworld
ARTISTIC ACHIEVEMENTAssassin's CreedCall of Duty 4: Modern WarfareDead SpaceGears of War 2LittleBigPlanet
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
BAFTA FELLOWSHIPNolan Bushnell, creator of Pong and founder of Atari
BAFTA ONES TO WATCH AWARD Boro-Toro
BEST GAMECall of Duty 4: Modern WarfareFable IIFallout 3Grand Theft Auto IVRock BandSuper Mario Galaxy
Buzz! Quiz TVGuitar Hero: World TourLittleBigPlanetSingstar Vol. 2Wii Fit
GAME AWARD OF 2008 (PUBLIC)Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Fallout 3Gears of War 2Grand Theft Auto IVGuitar Hero World TourLeft 4 DeadLittleBigPlanetProfessor Layton and the Curious VillageWii FitWorld of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King
GAMEPLAYCall of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Grand Theft Auto IVLeft 4 DeadMario Kart WiiRock BandSuper Mario Galaxy
HANDHELDGeometry Wars: GalaxiesGod of War: Chains of OlympusThe Legend of Zelda: Phantom HourglassPataponProfessor Layton and the Curious Village
MULTIPLAYERBuzz! Quiz TVCall of Duty 4: Modern WarfareGears of War 2Left 4 Dead
Mario Kart WiiRock Band
ORIGINAL SCOREAssassin's CreedDead Space
Fable IIFallout 3LittleBigPlanetMetal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
SPORTSFIFA 09Football Manager 2009Motorstorm Pacific RiftPureRace Driver: GRID
STORY AND CHARACTER Assassin's CreedCall of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
Fable IIFallout 3Grand Theft Auto IVMass Effect
STRATEGYAdvance Wars: Dark ConflictCommand and Conquer: Red Alert 3NinjaTownSid Meier's Civilization Revolution
SOCOM: US Navy Seals Tactical StrikeViva Pinata: Pocket Paradise
TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENTAssassin's CreedFable IIFallout 3Grand Theft Auto IVLittleBigPlanetSpore
USE OF AUDIOCall of Duty 4: Modern WarfareDead Space
Gears of War 2Grand Theft Auto IVLittleBigPlanetSuper Mario Galaxy
I like the way Christopher Faherty commenting on this Times Online piece puts it: "Any of the candidates deserved to win." Indeed. The last 12 months, give or take, have been some of the best in gaming history, even while the list of Bafta winners and runner-ups accounts for but a fraction of a fraction of last year's greats.
Matt Peckham would've voted Fable II his game of the year. You can keep tabs on him at twitter.com/game_on.