From the moment I saw the first trailer for No Man’s Sky back at E3 2014 I knew it was a game I had to play. Originally announced for the Playstation 4, I was then also anticipating this being on of the main reasons to buy the console (outside of brand loyalty, along with a couple other exclusives like Uncharted 4). Later, it was said that the game would simultaneously release for PC, so I was torn. I obviously have more power with my gaming PC over the PS4, but then there was the thought that it was technically a PC port, which can sometimes mean shit performance or controls. I was leaning towards getting it for PC anyway, until they said that there was going to be a 3 day delay on release. That sealed it for me, I wanted to play as soon as possible.
I looked into pre-order bonuses as well. It seems that a pre-order from Steam would net you a new ship. A pre-order from the Playstation store came with a bundle of icons (boring). Pre-ordering a physical copy from Gamestop however, came with a new ship, an upgraded multi-tool, and 10,000 credits. Ding ding ding, we have a winner!
I pre-ordered last week. I picked up the game after work yesterday. I didn’t get into the game the night before like digital customers, but that’s okay, I wasn’t too far behind. The game starts out simply enough. You are given the tiniest of backstories and are thrust onto a random planet where your ship has crashlanded. Your life support systems are low. The ship is damaged. You gotta fix shit or die trying.
My first impression was “wow, this game is pretty.” Followed immediately by “this shit is not intuitive at all!” Seriously, the tutorial or lack thereof is a hindrance. This is coming from a hardcore gamer who has made a career out of skipping tutorials cause “I can figure that shit out myself.” Eventually everything starts to make sense, but there is very little guidance. Normally I wouldn’t complain, because tutorials are boring and annoying and you usually already know what you’re doing before the system tells you what to do next. In this case, just a little more help with basic controls and functions would go a long way. After about 30 minutes I had most systems figured out and had fixed up my starship to head out into the galaxy.
When you leave that first planet, where to go and what to do next is a daunting task. There is the general goal of “reaching the center of the galaxy,” but outside of that you can pretty much do whatever you want. I’ve visited space stations, met aliens, sold goods, bought goods, killed drones, been killed by NPC pirate types, and discovered systems, planets, and creatures. It’s been a blast so far and I’ve barely scratched the surface. One look at the galactic map will confirm this. The game is HUGE.
I’m unsure about the multiplayer component. I’ve seen the game listed as single player, but I remember talk of there being other players roaming the galaxy, just that it would be nigh impossible to find your friends due to the vast expanses of space (18 quintillion planets). Still, it’s unclear if I’ve crossed paths with other players or if every shit I’ve seen has been an NPC. It does feel like a living breathing world though, with flora and fauna everywhere, sentry bots attacking you for grabbing resources on their turf, ancient monoliths to discover, and ships that will attack you if you piss them off. It really does feel like there’s always something new waiting around the corner, and it’s very satisfying to simply lift off from the ground, fly straight into space and land on the next nearby planet.
The upgrade systems are well done. You’ll find new tech everywhere, and then you just need the materials to build it. You can apply upgrades to your Exosuit, your Starship, and your Multi-tool. The multi-tool is used for both fighting and mining, and will come in handy for long periods of time. I saw the game mentioned the other day by a person who primarily plays MMOs and he had said that he isn’t interested in this game because it’s not “MMO-enough.” I’d argue that the inventory management aspect, along with the “Massive” part of MMO makes this MMO-enough in my book. Sure, you’re not talking to others, but who cares? There’s so much to do, you can’t afford to be on someone else’s schedule. Plus, I like the whole one man army aspect. But I digress.
Overall I’m impressed by the game so far. It’s unclear how long I will be enamored by it, but time will tell. I’ve already streamed once, and will do so again for those of you wanting to see it in action. I’ll also have a screenshot dump post up soon. That’s all for now.