Some things you have to see up close to really appreciate. Suffice it to say that Microsoft didn’t do the best job of facilitating this at its recent Xbox Series X (opens in new tab), ahem, gameplay showcase – indeed, it’s since admitted as much (opens in new tab). If you’re looking to show off what you’re next generation console is all about, leading with in-game footage from your firstparty titles would make a clearer statement.
Still, for those paying attention, there were plenty of next-gen revelations on show. The most intriguing of all was The Ascent, one of the few titles that we saw in honest-to-god motion, and the debut game of a indie team called Neon Giant. At first glance, it looks like a known quantity, and indeed it did to us when we saw it some time ago: a top-down, twin-stick shooter sporting a cyberpunk aesthetic and a Diablo-esque gear game.
And then we peered closer. First, at Neon Giant’s team of just eleven people, people with a combined experience of over 70 years working in the game industry on some of the best shooters of the last decade. We’re talking System Shock 2, Far Cry 3, Gears Of War: Judgment, 2016’s Doom, Bulletstorm and no fewer than five of the most recent Wolfenstein games – and that’s just scratching the surface. They’ve also spent years helping develop Unreal Engine over at Epic Games. These guys know what they’re doing.
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Then, we were given an extended look at the game itself. In Edge 346, we discuss at length with Neon Giant the details of how Xbox Series X has helped them push The Ascent to its technical limit. It’s not only a tale of just how powerful this new console is in what it can put on a screen in front of you, but of how many of the most significant benefits of the next generation lie beneath the surface. Neon Giant has been part of many a console generation before this, after all, and they’ve got plenty of insight as to what makes this next one special.
In fact, The Ascent’s arcology inspired us to make sure you all got a proper look at it. And so, for issue 346, we’ve prepared an unprecedented cover treatment: a vertical gatefold that allows you to drink in every inch of detail on this incredible next-gen construction. Fittingly enough, it’s something you really have to see for yourself.
Barring postal delays – thanks again, Covid-19 – subscribers should already have had the opportunity to do just that. Edge 346 goes on general sale for everybody Thursday 21 May. While normality continues to take its sweet time to resume, you won’t find this on shop shelves, but you can grab your print copy as usual via MyFavouriteMagazines, and have it delivered safely to your doorstep.
Here’s a glimpse of what else awaits inside:
With Covid-19 still determined to put the brakes on everything the world over, we catch up with developers across the industry to discuss how they’re forging ahead with their games, dealing with life under the pandemic – and reassuring the neighbours that the weird gunshots and growls coming from their flats are, in fact, quite normal in this line of work.
Riot Games’ first FPS has got its hooks in us – and, seemingly, the competitive shooter scene as a whole. It’s an unexpectedly deft blend of the tactical play of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and the charisma of Overwatch: we talked to Riot about embracing wall-hacks, avoiding GOATS and how they made hitting that five-kill ace feel so fantastic.
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