No Man’s Sky, developed by Hello Games, was released August 9 to an eager crowd of fans. The game was one of the most anticipated games of the year, but for some people the game hasn’t quite lived up to their expectations. As someone who wasn’t too invested in the title before release, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Since picking up the game just a week ago, it has become a family favorite.
No Man’s Sky description reads: “a game about exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy.” Early gameplay footage showed exploring planets as well as flying through space. As you venture forth into the unknown, gathering resources and upgrading your gear, you encounter aliens, technology as well as the perils of strange new worlds.
From the very start, No Man’s Sky presents the player with an open world and just enough guidance to keep interest, without spoon-feeding directions. The whole beginning plays out as a tutorial until you get into space and leave the solar system. Nevertheless, the way the developers present it feels incredibly natural.
Instead of overloading the player with basic instructions that leave experienced players antsy to get it over with, the whole experience makes you feel like you are learning the ins and outs of how the game world works. It’s just like how a proper tutorial should look and feel.
The Sense of Wonder
After the first few days of playing and watching family members play, I was still finding new and exciting things that I had never seen before. Everything is rather impressive for a sandbox game, mainly because repeating patterns become easy to solve pretty quickly and turns repetitive before long.
While some of these things became apparent, like certain materials requiring different tiers of production, there were often entirely new concepts and processes that kept me guessing. After a full week and a good 30 hours spent either playing or watching the game, there are still mysteries that I am excited to unravel and explore.
No Man’s Sky does a great job of balancing the need for regularly gathering consumable resources, with the difficulty involved in collecting them.
In other titles, one of the things that frustrated me the most is needing to obtain materials continuously just make it to the next day. This game is no different. However, instead of spending the majority of your time in search of resources, playing the game and making progress goes unhindered.
Lastly, the beauty of the graphics and soundtrack of the game is some of the best I have come across in a long time. Despite being procedurally generated, I came in expecting things to have a bit of a patchwork feel.
Fortunately, I was glad to see that my worries were unwarranted because the creatures and planets both look amazing. Instead of looking patched together, the game manages to capture the feeling of various planets and their respective alien life. The accompanying soundtrack complements everything perfectly to make the game flow well and feel organic.
If you weren’t on the original hype train, No Man’s Sky comes out as a great game to add to your library. The beauty of the game as you explore the new and exciting universe is sure to provide hours of entertainment. If the ominous reviews have you skeptical about the title, but you’re interested in the genre, it’s worth seeing the magic for yourself.
All gameplay and images of No Man’s Sky belong to Hello Games.