By Danyel Poindexter, Staff Writer
Space is vast and wide. No matter how long or how far we look, we will never officially discover what these vast number of galaxies have to offer. This is the concept presented in the August 2016 game “No Man’s Sky.” “No Man’s Sky” is an action-adventure video game that relies on your survival and adaptation skills. The player discovers various planets settled throughout the galaxy through a single ship that must be upgraded, carefully landed when arriving on a new planet, and heavily armed during space combat with enemies. Developed and published by Hello Games and Sony Interactive Entertainment, this indie/contemporary fascination of a game is said to have no end. This possibility could rely on the fact that Hello Games announced that the game itself holds 18 quintillion planets—an obscenely large number. It is hard to question that statement with no end being found. It also explains why its development took so long. Gareth Bourn designed this game for both Playstation 4 and Windows, allowing a wider audience to take hold of the experience.
“No Man’s Sky” won the award for ‘Most Anticipated Game’ as it allows extreme mobility, thorough and realistic data recovery, and pulls the eye in with a vibrant bohemian color scheme, something quite unique for being sci-fi. The functionality and theme of the game can best be compared to “Abzu,” another adventure based game that is not queued around fighting enemies but discovery, and relies on the beauty of its sceneries and storytelling. However, “No Man’s Sky” does not rely on a single story, because there is none to follow. There are no cutscenes or characters but the objective of the game does require you to get to the center of the universe. Easy, right?
Some quirks about the game is that it will often take some real-time effort to travel from one planet to another, depending on how far that planet lies in the galaxy. No, that does not mean you need to wait two years to get to the next planet; just about 15 minutes. Another quirk is that the universe is not stored on your hard disk or your server, which means that once you leave a planet, it gets removed from memory. When you return, it is generated exactly as it was. However, this does also mean that the game will be playable offline. Though these partial details may be tiring and a little annoying for some players, it does illustrate the true realism of traveling, which might appeal to others.
If you are considering playing “No Man’s Sky,” know that it is not entirely a massive multiplayer online game. The sheer size of the universe means that everyone is going to be massively far apart. It is possible yet rare to find another player. You can also choose to name them if you so decide, and your discoveries will be recorded in your database. Other things to know: your jetpack is your best friend, planets are defined by their position in space, some planets can be toxic, not all creatures are friendly (as should be expected), and don’t worry, you will always have an available ship.
It is good to mention that this game will perhaps tire you if continuous exploration is not something that appeals to you. Also, some of the game lacks what was promised when it was promoted, like separately unique ships that you can obtain after upgrading or the fact that you can battle with factions. And, although promised, the ability to scan ships was never delivered. As no game is perfect, these are specific aspects you want to keep in consideration as you play—factors that took away from the game. A great suggestion is role-playing, because “No Man’s Sky” is definitely an acquired taste. Though clearly creative and adventurous, this game does still rely on your imagination since there lies no direct missions or quests. Thus, role-playing brings a little more impact to your journey. “No Man’s Sky” is truly about what you want to do.