I hope space does really look like this
Ah, No Man’s Sky. First off, I like the title – it gives a hint of what the game is about before you’ve even screen the cover of the game. And when you’re actually playing it, the title connects with the visual – you’re actually exploring space that has not been claimed by anyone.
I like the tag line too
But that’s not what I’m writing about this game. Since it’s release a few weeks ago, I’ve found there seems to be quite a division (not the game, haha) – players love it for it’s amazing environments while others complain about the mechanics. Well, I’m here to give you my view on this game – and my view only.
Speaking of views, there’s no way to adjust the POV on PC – console only
This game was first revealed back at E3 in 2014. It was being picked up by Sony from the indie studio of Hello Games (it’s two founders are Sean Murray of the Burnout series and Grant Duncan) who had developed the Joe Danger series. No Man’s Sky has been dubbed ‘one of the most anticipated games’ (it even won an award for it) and created a fan base before any material was even playable.
Murray (left) and Duncan (right)
No Man’s Sky follows The Traveller – whether they are man or alien is not known, along with their gender – whose spaceship crashes onto an unknown planet, so it’s up to them to find resources in order to move onto the planet and so forth. There’s no real storyline apart from encountering three alien species – Gek, Korvax and Vy’keen – which helps the Traveller release who they really are (I won’t spoil it for anyone, don’t worry!). Apart from that, that’s really the core of the game – visiting one of 18 quintillion unique planets (yes, that is a real number) to collect resources in order to explore another. Refuel, repair, explore, repeat.
The three different alien races
While the number of planets is baffling, it was really the only thing that truly impressed me. While footage shows planets being colourful and full of life, in the first few hours of playing the game, all I saw was drab and deary planets with no lifeforms whatsoever, apart from the occasion alien who I speak (somewhat) to and trade with. Also, the PS4 version looks terrible.
On the left is what I expected my first planet to be like, and on the right is what I got
The game apparently focuses on four pillars – combat, trading, exploration and survival. And I’ll be honest, it only really focuses on exploration and trading while combat is next to nothing when you do (rarely) encounter lifeforms and survival isn’t hard if you can shoot at an aircraft then run away by hiding to another planet.
Your primary weapon – a little miner gun.You won’t need anything else
As I mentioned before, there’s no real storyline, which is a shame – with such an open world, I would have liked to have an ultimate goal. Not repeating processes over and over again so I can get better equipment that I’ll only use for ‘exploration’ and nothing else. Even if it was a cliched storyline like the galaxy is in trouble and only the Traveller can save the day, I think my view would be very different.
From the start menu (and don’t talk to me about menus – they’re so fiddly), it’s obvious that No Man’s Sky takes a lot of inspiration from things like Star Wars, Star Trek, Destiny, The Journey and a little bit of Grand Theft Auto. Now, I’m inspired by a lot of things a lot of the time, but when you’re really much taking elements from films and games, it turns you off from the experience – at least in my case, anyway.
To infinity, and beyond!
I think games such as Minecraft and Terraria have the survival and exploration elements down perfectly and have ultimate goals too. No Man’s Sky seems like a great concept, but once you get stuck in, it’s just a repeating process in a somewhat pretty environment with endless places to explore but no real goal. If there was a storyline, I would no doubt complete it. Multiplayer mode wouldn’t go a miss either.
Don’t get me started about these things either – they have no purpose
Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed! Take care until next week!