In the new edition of Edge, on sale now, Jeremy Peel meets with former BioWare boss Aaryn Flynn’s Inflexion Games as the studio sets out to build a new breed of survival game in Nightingale. This Victoriana fantasy world is designed to fulfil the company’s philosophy of making videogames that are not so much about escapism as belonging.
It’s all about “letting players be social and meet,” Flynn says. “Letting the games that we build be a place where you can actually make real, meaningful connections and feel a deeper sense of relationship to each other, because you’re adventuring together.”
The result is a co-op game where up to six adventurers – refugees of the titular city – travel through portals to explore the realms of the Fae, a magical race that guided humanity to a new renaissance. Every realm is procedurally generated, their attributes shaped by ‘realm cards’ which your team plays when opening a new portal. In our extensive cover feature, we find out how Inflexion is combining these ingredients to create, as Flynn puts it, “a sandbox for players to engineer their own stories and ultimately cohabit”.
Elsewhere in features, Simon Parkin visits Tokyo to investigate whether, as game centres close in Akihabara and Ikebukuro, Japan’s arcade scene can survive. Featuring stunning imagery from award-winning photographer Liam Wong, it spotlights the owners trying to keep the community alive, and the opportunistic importers who seized the chance to deliver evicted cabinets to eager overseas buyers.
We also meet with Just Cause director Christofer Sundberg, who tells us about Avalanche’s unique approach to open worlds – and why he gave that up to start over with new studio Liquid Swords. Another Swedish developer, Tarsier, is the subject of our studio profile, as we discover how the team behind Little Nightmares is making its strange dreams a reality.
In The Making Of… we talk to WorldWalker games to find out how it set a new benchmark for adaptive storytelling with the remarkable Wildermyth. And in Time Extend, we rewind ten years for a trip back to Sleeping Dogs’ Hong Kong, one of the most thrillingly dense and alive urban sandboxes yet created.
God Of War Ragnarök heads up a packed Play section, which also features reviews of Somerville, Pentiment, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Sonic Frontiers and Marvel Snap. E379’s Hype section, meanwhile, has a distinctly Japanese flavour: we take a detailed look at Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty, and talk to RGG Studio about bringing Yakuza’s historical spin-off to western audiences for the first time. You can purchase Edge 379 at UK retailers now, or by ordering online here.