No Man’s Sky, the most hyped and mysterious of 2016 has finally arrived but the real question is does it on the adventure that was promised or leave us drifting in the cold of space?
No Man’s Sky has 18 quintillion worlds for us to visit. This is all made possible by procedural generation. Essentially, the developers created a universe with thousands of unique parts of plants, animals and environments that the game then uses to build planets around us as we go. This makes it so that no two places will ever be the same.
A big feature of No Man’s Sky is its ability to break stuff down around you and reconstruct into devices to fit your needs. You can gather raw elements to build upgrades for a suit and ship or sometimes just craft rare fuels to launch yourself into the deeper reaches of space.
Checking across sandy beaches and blowing things up are fun but there is an overall mission that we have to keep in mind. I won’t reveal why but the main objective of the game is to reach the center of the galaxy. What this means and what will be found there is left largely unknown until the very end so I will leave this detail out for the sake of spoilers.
The hero we play as is first and foremost a scientist and like any man of science, he has a hunger for knowledge when. When you landed in a new place, you can scan the life-forms there, name the creatures you find and see if you can discover any ancient ruins. While they are extremely rare, some planets have traces of long-gone intelligence species. You even can go inside structures to award you sometimes with extra lore and schematics for improving your gear.
Friend of different races
You can also make some intergalactic friends in the game. Communicating directly with other races is a bit confusing at the start. While you can walk up to them and even engage in conversation, all that appears on screen is random gibberish. Thankfully, money is the universe language. You can still buy from and sell to them. The more you interact with a specific species, the more they’ll like you. This then can give u access to better items and sometimes lead to special side quests.
When you see space pirates showing up, fighting them off can earn you a lot of reputation with nearby friendlies. I will warn you the combat can be slightly disorienting if you are not used to 3D flights. After all, just remember to keep moving, aim carefully and you’ll turn them into flaming scrap in no time.
No Man’s Sky is easily the biggest game ever made but it seems to be missing a real sense of life. Most of the places I travel to are nothing but empty rocks and seemed to only serve as a place to gather more resources before flying to a more interesting part of the solar system. One planet may have giant underwater caves while another may have long-legged carnivores but they are basically different toys made with the same Legos.
There simply isn’t enough variation between planets. Walking over a hill to see the moon take up your entire horizon or getting lost in a crystal field cave is a thrilling experience but seeing these sites repeated throughout the games gets bored.
In many ways, this project turned out exactly how we expected and yet it also seems like it fell slightly short of what it could have been.
If you are the type of person who craves exploration in a huge universe that you might get lost in it and that you actually find yourself enjoying that, No Man’s Sky is definitely for you. However, in my opinion, I wish we saw more diverse lifeforms and much more gameplay content from the game as planets start to all feel the same after about 10 hours of playing.
Developers: Hello Games
Publisher: Hello Games
Platforms: Windows, PS 4
Release Date: 9 August 2016 (PS4), 12 August 2016 (Windows)
Genre: Action-adventure, survival
Players: Single-player, multiplayer
Review by Andrew Tong.