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EDGE #367 - Elden Ring


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8 hours ago, Let us measure said:

Thanks to Edge for making a big deal of Dungeon Encounters (4th best game of the year?!). I'd not even heard of it, but their praise and the game's barebones aesthetic had me downloading this afternoon. Excited to try it out tonight!

 

Any idea about what it is that makes it so great? From watching the trailer it looks as exciting as watching paint dry.

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1 hour ago, Qazimod said:

I haven’t played it but from posts in the thread it sounds like dungeon crawling in a “pure” form, stripping away everything except the gameplay systems. I’ll admit, I’m beginning to warm to the idea…

 

 

Sometimes this weird feature of attaching whatever random image it can find on the first page of the thread when linking to other topics, works out perfectly.

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It also happens to be made by Hiroyuki Ito, going by last month’s ‘Still Playing’ column at the start of Edge’s reviews section. He was creator of the Active Time Battle system and directed FF6, 9 and 12, so, you know. That’s quite the pedigree. Dungeon Encounters I guess is a master of his craft distilling the genre right down to its essence. I’m intrigued.

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Still not here either, and sadly no way I can get it from the shops while self-isolating :(

 

I'm not going to pretend this has been anything like the worst part of having my ten day self isolation perfectly timed to cover three bank holidays, three days of annual leave, two weekends and zero (0) days of work, but it's a bit of a disappointing capstone to what is already a pretty miserable holiday ^_^

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11 hours ago, Calashnikov said:

It also happens to be made by Hiroyuki Ito, going by last month’s ‘Still Playing’ column at the start of Edge’s reviews section. He was creator of the Active Time Battle system and directed FF6, 9 and 12, so, you know. That’s quite the pedigree. Dungeon Encounters I guess is a master of his craft distilling the genre right down to its essence. I’m intrigued.

 

You've basically summed it up. Along with @Klatrymadon in the thread for it. Deliberately stripped down to the absolute bare minimum, it's hardcore dungeon charting distilled into a pure essence. And so far, addictive as all hell. 

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The EDGE awards in full:

 

Spoiler

Main Awards

 

– PlayStation Game of the Year: Deathloop
– Xbox Game of the Year: Forza Horizon 5
– Nintendo Game of the Year: Monster Hunter Rise
– PC Game of the Year: Wildermyth
– VR Game of the Year: Resident Evil 4 VR
– Best Visual Design: Psychonauts 2
– Best Audio Design: Jett: The Far Shore
– Best Storytelling: Unpacking
– Best Debut: Wildermyth
– Best Performance: Erika Mori as Alex Chen in Life is Strange: True Colors
– Publisher of the Year: Devolver Digital
– Studio of the Year: Arkane Lyon

 

Alternative Awards

 

– Reddest Flag: Unpacking
– Most Popular Protagonist: Biomutant
– Funniest Overreaction: It Takes Two
– The ‘You Died’ Award: Overboard!
– Most Pitiful Obstruction: Metroid Dread
– Cheekiest Lift: Fortnite
– Darkest Chuckle: Twelve Minutes
– Most Popular Tube Trip: Last Stop
– Gnarliest Slopes: The Artful Escape
– Most Unearned Tears: Before Your Eyes
– Hackiest Hack: Operation: Tango
– Most Effective Contraceptive: Resident Evil Village

 

Best games of 2021:

 

10. Psychonauts 2
9. Returnal
8. Bonfire Peaks
7. Hitman 3
6. Monster Hunter Rise
5. Forza Horizon 5
4. Dungeon Encounters
3. Wildermyth
2. Chicory: A Colorful Tale
1. Deathloop

 

Which makes more sense the other way round I think...

 

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On 30/12/2021 at 13:04, jonamok said:

Returnal got a bit of an Edge shafting. Not mentioned in the Best Audio Design category, unlike Sable, you what mate? Then only 9th in the year’s top 10, beaten by derivative sequels like FH5, and tedious wankery like Deathloop. The ongoing love-fest for that is totally mindboggling.

 

Still Returnal wasn’t shafted as hard as Dread, which wasn’t in the top 10, and barely made the best Nintendo game list, only because, apparently, of the positive inclusion of the EMMIs.

 

Edge gonna Edge.

 

I think it's the game of the year too and miles better than Deathloop in literally every way, but I'm happy to see it in so many lists that I don't really mind the order at this point. I'm just happy its quality is recognized by so many.

I was watching SkillUp's GotY video the other day 

and I think he's spot on about Returnal. It will age like fine wine and gather even more acclaim when the inevitable DLC and PC version come out and more people will get their hands on a PS5.

Many people are saying it's the PS5's Bloodborne and I can see why, but perhaps Demon's Souls is a more apt comparison. This seems to be Housemarque's breakthrough moment, as evidenced by winning the Breakthrough Award at the Golden Joystick Awards. Its reputation will only grow as time goes on, and I hope they'll eventually reach From Software levels of succes after being niche for so long.

 

I absolutely agree about the Audio Design award though. As much as I love Edge, that was a total snub. Not only did Returnal have the best audio of any 2021 game, I struggle to find a game with better audio design period.

The 3D audio is incredible, the mix quality is phenonemenal and the sound effects for everything from weapons to enemies is top-notch. Bobby Krlic' soundtrack was the kind of atmospheric, haunting sci-fi music Metroid Dread was so sorely lacking.

And the way it used a certain song in such a creative way, culminating in the incredible build-up to the Hyperion boss fight was probably the coolest moment of any game this year.

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Thought the design felt a bit tired and stale, reading the mag today. Overall it's samey throughout, typography far too restrained, layouts too tightly gridded, features not distinctive enough. The Elden Ring spreads felt really muted and weak, the pixel stretch effect on Time Extend is well past its sell by date, that vertical coloured block device that's used throughout the entire mag is meaningless and dated. The layout just doesn't motivate me to read it that much. Time for a reboot with a more modern and appropriate design.

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On 30/12/2021 at 12:04, jonamok said:

Returnal got a bit of an Edge shafting. Not mentioned in the Best Audio Design category, unlike Sable, you what mate? Then only 9th in the year’s top 10, beaten by derivative sequels like FH5

Also comfortably beaten by a derivative sequel in the Eurogamer and Eurogamer readers poll of the years top games. :) 

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Found it at Gatwick WH Smith on Boxing Day.  I agree that it can do with a revamp, but just hoping that it survives really.  They probably don’t have the same level of resources they once did.  

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2 hours ago, Uncle Nasty said:

Thought the design felt a bit tired and stale, reading the mag today. Overall it's samey throughout, typography far too restrained, layouts too tightly gridded, features not distinctive enough. The Elden Ring spreads felt really muted and weak, the pixel stretch effect on Time Extend is well past its sell by date, that vertical coloured block device that's used throughout the entire mag is meaningless and dated. The layout just doesn't motivate me to read it that much. Time for a reboot with a more modern and appropriate design.

 

How much out of 10 though?

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11 hours ago, Uncle Nasty said:

Thought the design felt a bit tired and stale, reading the mag today. Overall it's samey throughout, typography far too restrained, layouts too tightly gridded, features not distinctive enough. The Elden Ring spreads felt really muted and weak, the pixel stretch effect on Time Extend is well past its sell by date, that vertical coloured block device that's used throughout the entire mag is meaningless and dated. The layout just doesn't motivate me to read it that much. Time for a reboot with a more modern and appropriate design.


While I can’t say such thoughts haven’t crossed my mind over the past two years since I returned to the Edge fold, the quality of the writing, the topics they chose to cover and the never-knowingly-under-discussed reviews are what keep me subscribing and are, I find, ultimately more important than layout and style. 
 

That’s not to say those things are unimportant - but bearing in mind since Nathan left there’s been one very short-term editor and one caretaker, I’m not exactly blaming them for trying to chart a ‘steady as she goes’ course (particularly in the current climate where business as usual is anything but guaranteed).

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So in their half price sub sale I picked up the physical mag (and Retrogamer) - after using Readly up to know.

 

This was a brilliant first edition to get through the letterbox (Deathloop not withstanding). A great mag.

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I did the very same thing. I'll not be continuing the Edge sub though, it's just so clinical and not very 'fun'. I miss Gamesmaster magazine. Also the font is tiny in loads of places!

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On 02/01/2022 at 09:14, LaveDisco said:

So in their half price sub sale I picked up the physical mag (and Retrogamer) - after using Readly up to know.

 

This was a brilliant first edition to get through the letterbox (Deathloop not withstanding). A great mag.

 

What's this half price sub sale? Picked up the last issue of Edge (thinking it was this issue, as wanted to read about Elden Ring) and missed having a gaming mag after being out of the country for so long. Also feels like I need to support them while they are still around. 

 

I've had a look at Readly as well for the trial - can you get back issues as well through that? 

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1 minute ago, Parksey said:

I've had a look at Readly as well for the trial - can you get back issues as well through that? 

 

Back issues are available back to (I assume) whenever a magazine was added to the Readily library. Having just checked the app there are back issues of Edge back to Feb 2015.

 

I've been using Readly for many years and it's pretty great, especially if you have a larger sized ipad or tablet. Pretty much every magazine I used to buy regularly is on there as well as a few others I have started reading since but which I'd probably not want to have punted £6 or whatever a month on. The downside is that I do feel regular twinges of guilt when I remember that I am paying a miniscule amount for the magazines I really like though so I occasionally buy a hard copy of some mags in order to put a little more back.

 

I realised many years ago, when I used to be a big buyer of magazines, that I would very rarely read much more than an article or two per month before filing them away to read 'later' and that later date would, of course, never come so a Readly sub makes a lot of sense.

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31 minutes ago, Parksey said:

 

What's this half price sub sale? Picked up the last issue of Edge (thinking it was this issue, as wanted to read about Elden Ring) and missed having a gaming mag after being out of the country for so long. Also feels like I need to support them while they are still around. 

 

I've had a look at Readly as well for the trial - can you get back issues as well through that? 

 

Finished now - it was the black friday sale thingy. I got a years subscription, and a C64 mini. Bonkers deal.

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I feel like it’s really noticeable how the magazine industry has changed, paying £6.20 for a copy of edge that is thinner and cheaper feeling than I remember it being. The quality of the print materials is still good, but it doesn’t feel as good. Ad the news and stuff just feels totally pointless.

 

Great Elden Ring piece though.

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