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Edge July 2021

The authority on videogame art, design and play, Edge is the must-have companion for game industry professionals, aspiring game-makers and super-committed hobbyists. Its mission is to celebrate the best in interactive entertainment today and identify the most important developments of tomorrow, providing the most trusted, in-depth editorial in the business via unparalleled access to the developers and technologies that make videogames the world’s most dynamic form of entertainment.

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United Kingdom
Future Publishing Ltd
13 Issues

in this issue

4 min
trigger happy

At one point in Christopher Nolan’s 2020 film Tenet, lead actor John David Washington’s character complains at being left out of the loop to arms dealer Priya Singh. “I’m the protagonist!” he objects. “You’re a protagonist,” Singh replies dismissively. This is a truth that videogames usually try to hide from us: each player wants to feel that they are the world-altering hero of the story, even though many thousands of other people playing the same game are the world-altering hero of exactly the same story. If someone tells you they saved Termina and restored the moon in Majora’s Mask, it makes no sense to respond: “No, I did!” The word ‘protagonist’ first appeared in English in John Dryden’s preface to the first printed edition of his play An Evening’s Love, or…

8 min

Developer/publisher Extremely OK Games Format PC, PS4, Stadia, Switch, Xbox One Release 2018 You may well wonder why Madeline wants to climb Celeste Mountain. It’s clear from the moment we meet her that she is no mountaineer; she’s hardly even the outdoorsy type. She arrives at the base of Celeste because she feels conflicted, without quite knowing why or what about. Madeline is snappy and irritable, suffers from panic attacks, and needs to get out of her own head. Her chosen task feels almost masochistic, more like self-punishment for her sense of inadequacy than a healthy challenge. Which raises another question: if Madeline seeks out Celeste because she feels conflicted, what does that say about why we seek out Celeste? Celeste is a game about coping with anxiety and depression, but also…

9 min

Developer Housemarque Publisher SIE Format PS5 Release Out now We die, and our next run begins before our body’s hit the floor. Returnal is, in many senses, the first truly next-gen game on PS5: its production values are off the scale, its use of the DualSense is remarkable, and in its best moments it is like nothing we’ve seen or played. But PS5’s SSD might just be Returnal’s star, making an already compulsive game even harder to put down by throwing you back into the action in seconds. Ultrafast storage isn’t just a hardware feature, it’s a design tool in its own right. Returnal is at its best when played at similarly high speed. There are times when the screen is filled with deadly enemy ordnance, you’re low on health and out of restoratives, and…

6 min
famicom detective club: the missing heir/the girl who stands behind

Developer Nintendo, Mages Publisher Nintendo Format Switch Release Out now Given the current craze for relitigating murders of yesteryear, the decision to dust off cold cases from the Nintendo archives makes perfect sense. Admittedly, these are not the salacious didtheydoits of Serial or Making A Murderer, but the cut-and-dried events of two Famicom visual novels previously untranslated in the west. Released in 1988 and 1989, the duology contributed to a wave of digital detectives (begun by Yuji Hori’s The Portopia Serial Murder Case in 1983) and pushed Nintendo down an uncharacteristically murky path. A world of stabbings, suicides and – gasp – smoking is far removed from the Mushroom Kingdom; it’s telling that Famicom Detective Club was the work of Nintendo R&D1, the home of the haunting Metroid and the chaotic evil of Wario.…

4 min

Developer/publisher Covenant Format PC Origin Poland Release 2022 For anyone who hasn’t brushed up on their Slavic history, a gord is a fortified settlement – the small town you’ll build up and defend in the debut game from Polish studio Covenant. As we talk to director Stan Just, who worked at CD Projekt as a producer on The Witcher 3 before founding his own studio, this isn’t the only unfamiliar term we encounter. Just describes the title as an “adventure strategy”, his attempt to sum up Gord’s very particular blend of genres. Within the bounds of your village, the game takes the form of a small-scale city builder. “Intimate” is the word Just uses – an entire gord can fit onto a single screen without troubling the mouse wheel, its population capped…

6 min
road 96

Developer/publisher DigixArt Format PC, Switch Origin France Release 2021 We’re in the sidecar of a motorbike, helping out a pair of ski-masked bank robbers by throwing their proceeds at the windscreen of a police car in pursuit. We’re lifting a set of car keys and the credit card of a petrol-station owner who earlier threatened to call the authorities on our teenage runaway. We’re playing a riff on ’70s arcade game Tank on a makeshift laptop, offering feedback to the child prodigy in our passenger seat, who tweaks the game on the fly in line with each of our design suggestions. These are the kinds of anecdotes you can expect to bring home from a road trip across the fictional country of Petria – and better yet, not every traveller will…