No Man’s Sky Review – Flawed But Revolutionary

no man's sky

Yes, that’s right. No Man’s Sky is a tech demo from a talented indie studio, Hello Games. The studio known for their Joe Danger games used their warp reactor theta to leap into something that most Indie devs would think twice of doing– pouring four years of their lives into creating a massive game.

And what a massive game it is. No Man’s Sky lets you explore the universe in a small starship, land on planets, mine for resources, build better technology using said resources, and even go inside a black hole. You might say, “So what’s the big deal?”. Well, the big deal is that the planets are actually planet sized planets and when you jump between star systems, you actually get an understanding of how gigantic and humongous our universe is.

No game has been able to get this right because no game has attempted something like this before. The tech used by Hello Games may be called a simple formula to create huge procedurally generated worlds according to reductive logic, but no developer has tried this before in such an effective way. This game wows you the moment you exit your first planet and reach space. For gamers who are fascinated by space and love learning everything about it, this game is something you could play forever.

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And by forever I mean, forever, because there are 18 Quintilian star systems in No Man’s Sky’s universe and you can choose to go to each of them. You can’t though because that would be just silly. If the universe confounds due to its scale, this game will too.

I didn’t pay too much attention to No Man’s Sky before it came out so I kinda went fresh into it and what a surprise it turned out to be. However, me praising the game so much doesn’t mean it doesn’t have problems, in fact it does. The reason I called it a tech demo because it is exactly that, a tech demo. An experiment that gives something new to gamers. People expecting depth and a reason to actually explore might be lost here.

In a game such as this, it’s hard to create a solid reason for people to actually keep playing for a long time. Hello Games have tried though. In No Man’s Sky your objective is to get to the center of the Universe or Galaxy filled with numerous star systems. There’s a story line as well which is pretty weak. The game basically gives you three options: Do whatever you want; get to the center using a waypoint; submit yourself to Atlas and let it guide you on your way to the center.

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You start off in a home planet with a star ship that you need to repair. It’s fairly easy to do that and off you go. A star ship has a few major components: a thruster to launch the ship in the air, a pulse drive to travel quickly between planets, and a hyperdrive to warp between star systems. The latter is very important and instrumental in getting you to the center.

Everything requires fuel. Thankfully, almost all planets you decide to land on has resources that you can mine using your multi-tool. Almost everything that can be destroyed including crystal, rocks and flora will be required to build a tech or provide fuel to your ship and systems that keeps you alive on planets with a harmful atmosphere. Your star ship, multi-tool and exosuit can be upgraded which allows you to carry more resources and build more tech.

You can also visit trading posts to buy and sell items. The more credits (units) you have, the easier it is to buy a new ship or resources instead of mining. A 48 slot ship which is the max will set you back by 60 million units, and it will take you at least 3 days to farm and earn that much money, provided you have enough free slots to carry pricy items you find on planets and sell them at the galactic outpost.

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And that’s it, that’s all that you do for the entirety of the game. What happens after you get a 48 slot ship, exosuit and a good multi-tool? The only thing to be done is to build warp cells so you can warp through star systems and oh occasionally go through a black hole which acts as a short cut. Don’t forget the center of the galaxy is 1.7 million light years away. Once you get the warp reactor theta your journey does become a little easier.

Here’s why you shouldn’t buy the game – The music is underwhelming but it doesn’t hinder you when you grind for resources. There’s literally nothing to do in the game other than visiting planets and bettering your star ship, exosuit and multi-tool. It costs $60 and all you will get for that is a highly repetitive game. The space combat is awful. The lifeforms you find on planets are boring.

The planets you discover and be renamed and uploaded which nets you units, so do the the lifeforms you encounter. You can 100% a planet by discovering all the lifeform. This can get quite tedious as you know there are tons of planets to explore, I suggest maxing out your favourite planets. You will find all types of planets in No Man’s Sky.

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Here’s why you should buy the game – No Man’s Sky looks gorgeous and you will be capturing a lot of screenshots on your PS4. There are plenty of awe inspiring moments. A game like this has never been made before and if you are a space buff you are in for a treat. The game is one wild ride through space.

No Man’s Sky has massive potential. Even developers who are looking at this formula for creating massive procedurally generated worlds can create something better, something with a lot more depth. If you always wanted to explore Space and are a huge fan, know that you have to wait 100 years before humans get the capability to do that, but with No Man’s Sky the space is your playground.

Score

7/10