So what’s all this talk about No Man’s Sky?
Developed by Hello Games, No Man’s Sky was released on August 9th for the Playstation 4 (with a delayed release to Windows PC’s via Steam.) No Man’s Sky is an exploration survival game, set in a (basically) infinite procedurally generated galaxy, each planet with their own unique habitat set with fauna, flora, minerals, and other resources. Your goal is to reach to the center of the universe, by request of a mysterious force called Atlas, though if you don’t want to sit through playing the story, you are more than welcome to pave your own path and explore the universe as you please.
When I first heard about this game during their announcement in the 2014 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), I was awed and excited. A space exploration game where you could endlessly traverse through countless planets? Where you can play with millions of people and still make discoveries no one else has made, discover planets that are yet undiscovered by the other players? Yes, sign me up!
As the release date came closer, more announcements were made. Naming planets, along with their respective flora and fauna. Space battles. Other sentient life forms, and learning their languages. Oh man, this game was going to be insane!
Finally, the release came. I bought it immediately. I popped out the disk and started the game up on my Playstation.
The first thing I saw was a vast terrain of unusual plants, minerals and creatures. As my camera turned, I saw my space ship, damaged and broken.
My first task was to gather resources to rebuild my ship.
After roaming around the planet searching for materials, I finally rebuilt my ship to working condition. I had to tread wearily, as planets can have hostile life forms. Sentinels act as security guards on each planet, keeping a watchful eye on me as I mined for ore. Sometimes they would attack me if they deemed me hostile. I can attack them for titanium but sometimes it was best to run away before reinforcements were called in.
Eventually, I was led on a journey to rebuild my ship well enough to warp to farther planets, and along the way, I found alien monoliths. I learned words for certain alien races, and even interacted with a few aliens, though I had a hard time understanding what they said, I only knew so many words of their language. And while I don’t know what Atlas is (yet), I’m sent on a mission by Atlas to travel to the center of the universe, with the aid of aliens, technology, and black holes.
Entrance to a black hole.
As you continue exploring the game, you’ll find upgrades for your exosuit, gun (called a Multitool), and ship. You will even come across distress signals where you may find another ship you can rebuild. You can even buy ships from traders and sellers.
Buying and selling with other life forms, such as the Vy’keen.
So how do I like this game? It was everything I expected (and almost everything that Hello Games said it was going to be). Smooth controls, simple interface, insanely gorgeous graphics, and a wonderfully vast map of planets to explore. This game ended up to be much more realistic than I expected. Without a pulse engine and booster, some spots on the map might take you days (in real real-time) to walk or fly to. You have to constantly mine for energy materials to charge your life support system and blasters and fuel your ship. You could get attacked by hostile creatures that want to eat you or even befriend a friendly creature that will help you find rare resources on the planet you are on. Make friends with sentient species, or defend a ship sending out a distress signal within a battle in space. All these little things make this game so much more interactive, it truly draws you in.
I have yet to encounter any other players yet, though it has been confirmed that two players have managed to meet, a mind-boggling feat.
No Man’s Sky scores a cool 4.5/5. It’s a masterpiece, a game with a strong (yet subtle) story, yet versatile enough to where players can choose their own path and carve out their own story. With gorgeous scenery and immersive gameplay, this is easily one of the best games I’ve played to date (and I cannot wait to keep playing).
Let me know what you think! Do you like this game or not? And why?