If you’ve been waiting for a better version of Spore (don’t get me started on that game… I had such high hopes), or just want to explore an endless feeling universe, then No Man’s Sky might be the game for you.
What is No Man’s Sky?
No Man’s Sky is a first-person procedurally generated universe exploration game from a small team of developers at Hello Games. The “goal” of the game is to get to the center of the universe. It has more than a billion planets to explore with what amounts to random terrain, bases, resources, and animals. One of its claims to fame is that it doesn’t have any loading screens. You can go from flying between planets to landing on one without any kind of delay/interference.
My Thoughts on No Man’s Sky
My wife and I have been playing the PC version of No Man’s Sky for around 30 hours combined now. I would guess that she has played more than half of that time. She seems to continue to enjoy searching planets for different life forms, plants and words for alien languages. I enjoy mining in space, expanding our inventory slots, and increasing our wealth. Together, we make an effective team, as usual.
There are limitations in the game that are annoying, especially at first, but when you first start, the spectacle of the procedurally generated planet you are on will likely keep you from noticing just how annoying inventory management is.
In general, the game is getting a fair bit of bad press due to some bugs as well as some major limitations. I can see the points that people are putting up as negatives about the game. The hype that we’ve received for the last two or more years, has been immense. No game was ever going to live up to that.
On the other hand, it does play a little like an early access game. There are major things missing to make this worth the full $60+ price of admission.
The A.I. of the intelligent aliens in the game is very limited. They stand in place, unmoving and are no more interesting than the computer terminals you can use to buy and sell things on the galactic market.
The game doesn’t allow you to pilot your ship too close to the ground, and on planets with floating islands, this becomes very weird as you are pushed up above them or sometimes get stuck on them when ascending.
At one point when we started the game, our ship was on a space station and we were on a planet, under the surface actually. I panicked, used some grenades and blasted my way back above the ground. We then walked for an hour searching for a spot that would allow us to call the ship to us. Eventually, we gave up and used our in-game currency to buy a new ship.
There have been few other glitches in the game, which is great, but more content and variety in content is definitely needed to make this a longer term gaming experience.
I will also echo what some others have written and say that No Man’s Sky is a game best played slowly. If you are in a rush to “finish” the game, you’ll miss the point. Claiming planets, setting up trade routes, mining asteroids, fighting off pirates, and carving out your own piece of No Man’s Sky is a highly enjoyable experience. I just wish it had waypoints and base building… maybe in the future.
In the end, I think we will probably put in around sixty hours into this game by the time we are through with it, and I can’t think of many other pieces of entertainment that can be had for around one dollar per hour.