Cre­ative as­sem­bly


Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a week. Teach a man to turn into a Cheep Cheep, and he’ll find enough en­ter­tain­ment for a life­time. When it comes to videogames, an ex­cit­ing set of tools can com­pletely trans­form an ex­pe­ri­ence – whether it’s the clever frame­work prop­ping up an oth­er­wise lack­lus­tre pack­age, or the mag­i­cal con­cept that im­mor­talises a ti­tle in the an­nals of Edge his­tory.

Thank good­ness for the minds be­hind Mar­vel Vs Cap­com: In­fi­nite (p110), who have saved a mud­dled mish-mash of uni­verses from to­tal scorn with a smart set of sys­tems that can pro­duce fight­ing-game fire­works, given the chance. It’s the same fo­cus on the fun­da­men­tals – and how a player might use them to make some­thing unique – that has el­e­vated con­tent-light brawler Ab­solver (p106) to el­e­gant, in­no­va­tive heights. And although the for­ward-think­ing struc­ture of Star Fox 2 (p118) hasn’t quite jus­ti­fied the wait, the ex­per­i­men­tal

Divin­ity: Orig­i­nal Sin II (p116) has used its de­vel­op­ment time to of­fer to­tal cre­ative free­dom to the player. Blood tur­rets and blessed pud­dles, in­deed.

We’re a lit­tle sad, then, that the solidly put to­gether and un­de­ni­ably charis­matic Destiny 2 (p102) has lost a lit­tle of the MMO shooter’s propen­sity for imag­i­na­tive play. The re­duc­tion in im­pen­e­tra­ble RPG el­e­ments makes for a game much more wel­com­ing to new­com­ers, but the ded­i­cated, more im­pro­vi­sa­tional space magician may find they’ve had their fill sooner than ex­pected. Some games, how­ever, are built to last: rare com­bi­na­tions of me­chan­i­cal flex­i­bil­ity, in­ge­nu­ity and charm that re­ward not just our greedy lizard brains, but our sense of won­der, too. Su­per Mario Odyssey is one such cre­ation. Turn the page and, for the first time any­where in the world, you can find out why.

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