No Man’s Sky is a massive experiment in procedurally generated game-making. Developer Hello Games used an algorithm to spawn a game world of unprecedented size and scope. It’s packed with alien worlds — 18 quintillion planets, by the developer’s count — for players to explore on foot, and fly between in their personal spaceship.
Other developers, particularly indie game makers with small teams, have used procedurally generated environments to great effect, but never for a project of this scale. Generally, procedural generation seems to be a good option for filling in the gaps between the important parts of game development, or to [...]
September 3, 2018
‘Madden NFL 19’ review
Madden NFL 19 is an excellent football sim. It’s also a disappointment.
Now in its second year running on EA’s Frostbite engine, Madden looks and plays better than ever. Yet the second year of Longshot, the story-driven campaign mode, is so bad it made us replay last year’s to confirm it was as good as we remembered (yes, it’s still wonderful).
Madden’s two major staples fare similarly in this identity crisis. Ultimate Team has received meaningful changes to the progression system and offers more reasons for non-competitive players to jump in. Yet franchise mode, the bread and butter of the Madden [...]
September 3, 2018
’NBA 2K19’ hands-on preview
We only scored two points in the first quarter of our first game in NBA 2K19.
Defenders shut us down left and right. When we caved to pressure and heaved somewhat open shots, our timing was just a bit off. Something had gone awry. Everything felt more difficult than we remembered.
While we improved as we settled in, we came away from our time with a pre-release build of NBA 2K19 feeling the latest iteration of the basketball sim wants to separate the pros from the amateurs (or, as LaVar Ball would say, the Big Ballers from the Small Ballers). That’s a good thing for serious fans of the series, [...]
August 31, 2018
‘Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age’ review
There’s nothing like a meaty JRPG to rekindle a lifelong love of gaming. While some may flock to blockbuster mainstays like Final Fantasy, others prefer the rustic charms of the equally great, yet less bombastic, Dragon Quest franchise.
It’s been six years since the MMORPG vision the series, Dragon Quest X, debuted in Japan (where it has remained). That means North American fans have waited eight years since Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies made its way to Nintendo DS. Any way you slice it, it’s been awhile since die-hards could enjoy their fill of the classic turn-based role-playing and fantasy storytelling the [...]