What We’re Playing: January 2021

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Somehow, for some reason, January is down already. Edge writers have come together to recommend the games that occupied them most during this blink-of-an-eye start to the year. From Yamatai to space, they’re presented below. Backlogs at the ready!

Demon’s Souls

As a remake of the punishing 2009 game, Demon’s Souls cements its legacy as being the foundation that Dark Souls was built on, as well helping realise how truly capable the PS5 as a console is. No game I’ve bought for the PS5 has truly felt next-generation except Demon’s Souls, with its beautiful visuals, superbly quick loading times and sometimes-innovative use of the DualSense’s haptic feedback. Yet, for me, it’s the quick loading times is what matters most for because, on average, I die every 5-10 minutes. I probably rage quit once every half hour after I lose thousands upon thousands of Souls (the game’s currency) after I carelessly race to recollect them from my dead body and die once again.

That said, I’m still loving every moment I play in the game. It challenges me and causes me to think in innovative ways. I’m currently having to address how I approach different situations, and every shortcut discovered always feels like a major achievement. While it’ll never reach the heights of either Bloodborne or my personal favourite from Hidetake Miyazaki, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, I actually have found myself enjoy Demon Souls more than I ever enjoyed any of the Dark Souls games. Here’s hoping I finally get past the Flamelurker boss fight at some point, though…

– Sam Pegg

Tomb Raider (2013)

Arguably one of the most famous female protagonists in gaming is Lara Croft. The Tomb Raider franchise has been around for decades, and in 2013 Square Enix decided to reboot the franchise once more. It’s been something I’ve played over and over again – I never get tired of seeing Lara take her first steps on her hero’s journey, growing from university graduate to the adventurer archaeologist we all know and love.

After being thoroughly disillusioned by the third of this reboot series, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I decided to spend some time replaying this instalment. Being an archaeology student myself, I can live out the fantasy of being a badass with a bow all over again, appreciating the architecture and smaller details I missed in earlier playthroughs where completion was the main goal. Even when there are no more main missions to complete, there are still challenges I have to find which are hidden from the map; or even just walking around, enjoying the ambience of Yamatai and Camilla Luddington’s brilliant reincarnation of Croft.

– Louise Chase

Void Bastards

I have found myself oddly transfixed by Void Bastards. Questionable title aside, it is a cartoon-style roguelike where you scavenge ships for supplies to help a somewhat malicious AI. The best bit is the art style; despite the fact you are entirely stuck inside broadly similar spaceships the game is oddly pretty, with the weapons and enemies purposefully being 2D like in older id Software games. The environments are particularly well-designed and attractive.

I have spent the first half of this month busy writing essays, so Void Bastards filled a perfect space, given you can jump onto it and play a level in under 10 minutes. Frustration with the game often breeds more fun, as new characters can have any range of odd attributes. Perhaps the strangest ability I saw was “overly formal”, under which enemies are not labelled with their title but their last name. Some abilities are more useful, some less so – I have had giants, heavy smokers, people with anxiety and burglars. I presume there is more yet to discover. While Void Bastards may not be engaging as time wears on, given its repetitive nature, it is still a fun little romp.

– Conor O’Hanlon

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News Editor 20-21. A second-year English student with a passion for absolutely everything (but especially literature and drama) apart from his degree.

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Second-year archaeology & history student and Culture Editor 2019/20. Loves archery and Assassin's Creed, and still hoping to one day find the doorway to Narnia.

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I'm a third-year History student with a love for film and their posters.

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