Last month, Hello Games released their long-awaited space exploration game, No Man’s Sky. Following awe-inspiring teasers and stunning visuals at E3 and other gaming showcases, the world was thoroughly excited for this game. If you’ve been under a rock for the past couple of years and have not heard of No Man’s Sky, the game’s website describes it as “… a game about exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy…” and the gameplay trailer looked a little bit like this back in 2014…
However, since its release to Playstation and PC back in August, it’s received quite a lot of hate and damning comments from pissed off gamers. Personally, I can see why this might have happened. I’ll say this now: this isn’t a game for everyone.
If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t like open world-like RPGs, it’s not for you. If you like open world RPGs but you’re more likely to follow the main quest than roam about the map, it’s not for you. If, like me, you’re the sort of person who wanders around Skyrim getting distracted by trees, waterfalls, the appearance of a wild deer and are quite content with simply roaming the map for hours on end, this game is likely for you. I also recently read a Kotaku article on ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) games, and the way it describes No Man’s Sky makes it a near perfect candidate for ASMR. You can read that article here and let me know what you think.
My experiences described here are only relevant to the Playstation 4 version of the game, not the PC version. I have heard that the PC version has experienced a few more issues, so you may struggle with these too if you’re a PC player.
You start out on a planet, and this planet will most likely be completely undiscovered and completely different to any other planet any other player will start on. This was one of the game’s initial main appeals; the entire universe is built on an ever-expanding algorithm, which means that no two players should ever have the same experience when moving through the game, making each journey a unique and individual experience. There are allegedly over 18 quintillion different planets available to discover in the No Man’s Sky universe, most with with their own evolved plants and animals. You can scan plants and animals you encounter and upload your discoveries to the No Man’s Sky servers; other people will be able to see your names if they ever come across your planet so you have to be a bit creative with the names. The aim of the game is to get to the centre of the universe by building hyperdrives within each star system you encounter and moving on to the next. I still don’t know what happens when you reach the goal, but I’ve seen rumours that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
I personally find the game to be quite beautiful and have spent a long time just wandering the landscapes. One planet I came across had very pretty colours and another had a lot of cacti that looked like they were having a little party, so I named the planet “Cactus Party” of course.
I found this aspect of the game like wandering through Skyrim and marvelling at a particularly stunning landscape view you happen across. I took a few vista videos of some of my planets which you can see below.