Written by: Nick Porter
The vastness of space has always captivated the imagination of many for thousands of years. When one looks into the night sky, questions of the possibility of different life forms, civilizations, and galaxies run rampant. Media has greatly influenced that imagination, from Star Trek to Forbidden Planet in movie cinema to Colony Wars and Space Invaders in video games, space has always been the “final frontier.” When No Man’s Sky was initially announced, the thought of exploring space was too intriguing not to pass up. Actually playing No Man’s Sky, I got just that.
No Man’s Sky is from British game developer Hello Games. You play the role of an unnamed and ungendered person. The main plot of the game…well, is there one? The point of the game is to explore the many galaxies and get to the center of the universe. How many you say? Hello Games managed to put over 18 quintillion, yes quintillion, planets into this game.
More specifically 18,446,744,073,709,551,616. To put that into perspective, you would need over 5 million years to visit each and every planet. There’s never been a game in recent memory that boasted this many planets to visit and explore.
When you initially begin No Man’s Sky, there’s no beginning video sequence, no backstory, no introduction to the game. You are placed on a random planet and forced to basically survive. The game doesn’t give any kind of tutorial or instruction. It’s literally survive or die. And that is the main theme throughout the game. During your voyage through space, you can mine a variety of minerals such as iron or plutonium, meet and learn about alien races, and map different species of plants and animals. You can also name these discovered species as well as the planets and galaxies, thereby cementing that specific name in the No Man’s Sky servers (P.S. if you come across a galaxy named “House of St. Laurent” it’s yours truly).
The game isn’t without faults. There have been many times that the game simply froze up on me. Not sure if that’s just latency or an issue with the game itself. I would have like the monoliths to be greatly different while visiting each alien races rather than similarly alike. One of the major hopes I’d love to see in the games is actually seeing other gamers while traversing the galaxies. Reminiscent of Demon and Dark Souls series. Rumors that some kind of multiplayer aspect have run rampant across the internet, let’s hope that some part of the rumor holds true.
Now some people would say that there’s not enough action in No Man’s Sky to warrant its purchase. And that’s a fair assessment. This game will not be for everyone. However, if you’re looking for something that is unlike what’s out, I’d highly recommend this game. No Man’s Sky is one of those few games that let you loose on the entire cosmos and discover its many mysteries. That feeling of discovery and piecing together ancient civilization’s history is something I have never found in a video game. I highly commend Sean Murray and everyone at Hello Games in introducing wonderment and imagination back into space games. Let us hope that, that kind of ingenuity will be injected into all genres of video games.