For all of you out there who have seen gameplay, read articles or watched the 2014 E3 trailer for No Man’s Sky, you’re probably thinking the exact same thing everybody else is: “Oh my God! When does this game release? Ugh, how long do I have to wait for this? I want to discover planets and unknown life forms and shoot down space pirates right now! Shut up and take my money so I can zip around the universe at light speed!”
For those of us who have seen any form of Star Trek (except Deep Space Nine, of course), we might be at an excitement level above even that. Needless to say, with all the craze over this space exploration title it seems No Man’s Sky is turning into every man’s hype at an alarming speed. But what do we really know about the game? Well, let’s break that down.
First, we know that the game will allow us to travel through an ever-expanding galaxy thanks to a planet-generating algorithm created by developer Hello Games. Now I know what you’re thinking. “That’s good enough for me. Sign me up, I’m sold, end of article!” But just bear with me. We also know that when a player discovers something not seen by others – such as an animal, a substance, or a plant – that player will have the opportunity to claim their finding as their own. Side note: I feel like there are going to be a lot of inappropriate/stupid sounding things in this galaxy. I know if I was the first to find a planet, I would be tempted to name it Planet Buttlicker IV or something ridiculous like that. On top of that, there is space combat, asteroids can be blown up with lasers – always a plus – and if you’re not careful a wild space rhino can kill you. We know there are multiple climates and players can swim underwater to expand their travels.
So, okay, we actually know a decent amount… but what does it all add up to? To me, it doesn’t really mean a whole heck of a lot. With all of this information, there are so many more questions begging to be answered. Can new spaceships be built? Is there a job system and will people be able to specialize in certain professions? What will the currency system be like? What does discovering something really do besides make me feel like Christopher Columbus? With a game this encompassing, there is so much that sounds great on paper, but can be a challenge to implement successfully into actual gameplay, and I really don’t think No Man’s Sky is an exception to that. After all, this is the same crew who created Joe Danger, a game that was well received, but nowhere near as ambitious as a procedurally generated, open universe, space exploration title that is getting the hopes up of everyone who has ever been a child. I mean, the staff working on this game is less than 20! I feel like if I was going to create a universe I might want at least, oh, I don’t know, maybe 1,000 people helping me. But hey, I guess too many cooks can ruin the dish… or the procedurally generated galaxy in this case.
Now, by no means am I saying I think this game will fail. I might cry if it does, but titles this open and imaginative promise a lot to their audience. I just hope that when the game nears release, many of those promises can be kept. At the very least, when the game comes out I want to be able to fly something that resembles a Millennium Falcon and be someone who seems like a smuggler, with a buddy of mine who can be a race of alien that is tall and covered in shaggy hair. Oh, and he has to speak in this amazing dialect that consists mainly of obnoxious howling sounds. That’s not too much to ask for, is it?
Until then, I’ll just assume that NMS is going to be a perfect specimen and fulfil my every gaming wants and desires, getting me more and more hyped with each tidbit of information that surfaces in the months leading up to its debut. At least… that seems to be the popular way to look at games nowadays. -AF