Published by Hello Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment
Reviewed on PlayStation 4 (also available on PC)
No Man’s Sky is a gathering exploration survival game that’s set in a galaxy far far away (pun intended). The game uses a new procedural generation engine that creator Sean Murray says will populate over 18 quintillion planets for your exploration adventures. Meaning you should never come across two planets that are the same; this also applies to creatures you run into. The game’s premise is amazing with so many planets to explore and so much freedom, making it a true open world game.
The game starts you on a procedurally generated planet next to a broken down ship. Your first task at hand to repair it. Unlike most of my friends that started out on a nice planet with a bit more freedom to wander around unhindered, I was treated to an acid rain planet where I’m constantly hiding in caves or running back to the ship to recharge my Exosuit shields. You’re given a multi-tool that’s a bit like a laser gun that breaks apart plants, rocks, mineral deposits used to either repair or build new tech for your ship, suit, or multi-tool. After repairing your ship, you can either set out on your goal to reach the center of the galaxy or continue to explore other planets to view the flora and fauna of each world.
The graphics feel fresh, vibrant, and full of colors. You can spend hours just looking to the stars or walking the vast planet size planets, exploring caves where crystals will shine and glisten in the darkness. The team at Hello Games really outdid themselves and nailed this aspect.
The gameplay is set in first person perspective and plays very well with little hiccups. When you start out the game doesn’t quite tell you how to do certain things like melee attacks, ship rolls, using your flashlight, or even switching out your weapons from mining laser to your bolt blaster. I figured these things out pretty much just by pressing buttons to see what does what. Mining and crafting are going to be the main part of this game and will take up most, if not all, of your time. Especially since you’re forced to farm material as you need to always keep your suit charged up to survive as your health levels will slowly drop. Upgrades are used to help out as you buy and find them across your travels. The biggest part of the game will be obtaining fuel as you need to constantly use your hyper drive to warp to the next system and eventually reach the center of the galaxy.
Music in No Man’s Sky is indubitably the best part of the game. As you wander in search of materials, explore caves, and fly through space, the music will change to fit the flow. Battle music is top notch and I found myself starting trouble just to get more of it. However, the story is where the ball was dropped as there is nothing for you, unless you consider your main goal of reaching the center the game’s plot. There is also a kind of quest line for following Atlas which is the closest thing there is to a quest in the game.
In my travels to many planets and after many hours, I’m still left with the goal to reach the center. I find myself on an endless farming path as I consume all my fuel and have to regather materials to do this over and over again with the center of the universe still nowhere in sight. I have come to realize this game is for people who like to explore out of bounds and go as far as you can just to see what’s out there.