Games Galore

Next generation of video games reviewed

Connor Heaton and Makayla Nicholis

No Man’s Sky 

Genre: sci-fi, exploration, open-world

Platform: PlayStation 4, PC

Summary: “No Man’s Sky” (NMS) is a science-fiction game in which players explore a full-scale universe, discover new forms of life, trade with others and survive the malevolent forces of the galaxy. This technology used to render the unfathomably massive 18 quintillion planets of NMS is known as “procedural generation”— creating something with algebraic equations rather than hand-crafting levels. Every creature, planet, ship and even musical score is all procedurally generated and all unexplored. Exploration in NMS means discovering and naming species, planets and galaxies perhaps nobody in the world has ever seen. While there is plenty to do — combat, space flight, trading and more — the game’s studio, Hello Games, remains tight-lipped on the more mysterious aspects, promising to keep the game a journey of endless surprises and adventures.

Release Date: June 2016

Just Cause 3

Genre: open-world, action

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Summary: Want to fire a rocket launcher off a burning jet? You can. Want to surf on top of a sport’s car? You can. Want to tear a missile through an enemy outpost, plunge into the inferno with a wingsuit and simply enjoy the ensuing chaos from above? You can. Want to build a slingshot out of ropes and hooks to launch cars and pedestrians into the horizon? Of course you can, you psycho. “Just Cause 3” is the third installment in the open-world action game that revolutionized over-the-top mayhem. Players take control of special agent Rico Rodriguez on a mission to dismantle a fictional totalitarian government. Using an array of tools from grappling hooks to wingsuits, Rico will liberate the island of Medici — explosion by fiery explosion. What separates “Just Cause 3” from other action games is its disregard of realism in order to provide players with an insane amount of discordant freedom.

Release Date: Dec. 1, 2015

 Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst

Genre: first person, exploration, parkour

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Summary: “Mirror’s Edge: Catalyst” is both a sequel and reboot to 2008’s cult-classic “Mirror’s Edge” — a parkour game set in first person. “Catalyst” follows Faith, an average girl rebelling against the corrupt 1984-esque government. Cameras monitor everything, and the law is enforced with brutality. Her heart-pounding journey isn’t about shooting up buildings and causing mayhem — her weapons are her wits, her stamina and her upper-body strength. Players have full control of her movement, whether sprinting, leaping or kicking. “Catalyst” is a breathtaking game, highly immersive and intense where “real” parkour skills are necessary to tear across the broken, bulletstrewn city-state she once called home.

Release Date: May 2016

Tom Clancy’s The Division

Genre: third-person shooter, rpg, open-world

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Summary: Centered around the complete breakdown of society, “The Division” begins in New York City and includes an independently operated unit of tactical agents that is released into the decaying city to restore justice to the people. The game is set up with a free environment that will affect the decisions and action options of the player. In an urban jungle setting, the focus for the developers was on creating a world where personal choices lead the storyline of the game. The fully-developed, next generation of the Snowdrop engine will be used to power “The Division,” which could either be revolutionary or spell issues with the running of the game.

Release Date: March 8, 2016

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Genre: third-person shooter, action adventure

Platform: PlayStation 4

Summary: In this fourth and final installment to the “Uncharted” series, Nathan Drake will take the field one more time to assist his long-lost brother in the seeking of a fabled pirate colony. The producers at Naughty Dog claim this to be Drake’s greatest adventure yet, which raises the stakes to new heights as the first three revolutionized the treasure hunter game market. This game will feature the typical glamor of guns, as well as Drake’s infamous danger moves and sarcasm. The graphics are better than ever, and so are the gameplay options — available on this round will be the choice to go multiplayer with old characters from all the previous Nate Drake games, including Sully and Elena.

Release Date: March 18, 2016

Dishonored 2

Genre: action adventure, stealth, rpg

Platform: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Summary: Bethesda always strikes the market with games that go beyond gaming expectations in graphics, storyline, character choices and basically all aspects that make a video game important to players. “Dishonored” was one of those releases that relatively came out of nowhere, and it did not fail to impress. Now, main character Corvo will step aside for his trained pet Emily, daughter of the assassinated empress who is out for revenge. The game will once again be lead by action choices made by the player and emphasized by the magic and steampunk vibe that added such a unique flavor to the series last time.

Release Date: 2016 (delayed)