Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sex: The Kotaku Review

If you’re already a fan of Sex—and there are plenty of you out there—you probably don’t need this review. But if you find yourself on the fence about whether to try this much-heralded, much-argued-over activity, pull up a chair! We’ve got a lot to discuss.

Like many other extended franchise juggernauts, Sex has been around in some form or another for a long time. Originally released as an open-source application and carefully iterated upon over the years, it’s been through its fair share of reimaginings, reboots, and back-to-basics redesigns. Today’s Sex is the most technically advanced version yet, but as we all know, it takes more than eye-popping visuals and high-tech peripherals to make for a truly meaningful experience.

Sex is best understood as a freeform co-op experience where partners work together to achieve one or more user-defined goals. It’s most often played in groups of two, but sometimes more (or less). Broadly speaking, each match-up follows a similar structure–all players are helping one another to achieve a similar goal, and if they work well together, every player can “win.” Take a closer look, though, and you’ll see how creative Sex teams can be, combining inventive techniques with high-level mechanical mastery to achieve unusual but no less satisfying victories.

Aficionados will be pleased to hear that the Sex’s visual presentation is as great as ever–even though it doesn’t seem to have progressed much as of late. Then again, why mess with something that’s already working so well? Today’s Sex features advanced graphical techniques like soft body physics and subsurface scattering; these were incredible when they were first introduced, and they stand the test of time. But with technological innovations coming faster than ever and innovative new VR technology on the horizon, it’ll be important for Sex to step up its technology in the coming years to keep pace.

As true gamers know, it’s gameplay that matters most. The mechanics undergirding Sex are deceptively simple–even if you’ve never played, you probably already understand the fundamentals. There’s some stroking, and sliding, and slapping, and smacking, and, well, you know. All of that. The beauty of Sex is that those basic actions can be combined in all sorts of interesting ways. Sex embraces what game designers call the property of “emergence,” i.e. the designed opportunity for varied combinations of simple components to create a complex end result.

Despite those strong fundamentals, Sex is not without its share of technical issues. Sex can, and often does, fall prey to many of the same kinds of bugs and glitches we’ve seen in other multiplayer games: synchronization errors, dropped connections, poor response times, and the like. Some people seem to wait around forever in the matchmaking lobby, never getting to the actual game.

by Matthew S. Burns, Kotaku | Read more:
Image: Shutterstock