No Man’s Sky is an upcoming first-person open-world adventure survival game independently developed and published by Hello Games. Perhaps “open-world” is too limiting a term. “Open-universe” is a bit more accurate. The software uses procedural generation to support 18 quintillion explorable planets, each with their own unique flora and fauna. Like 2008’s Spore, players can choose to explore various planets and discover a vast variety of creatures, objects of interest, and even other intelligent non-player characters. You’re only limited by the range of your hyperdrive and the fuel in you ship, so search for usable fuel on planets you explore and keep the adventure going.
For many who grew up watching shows like Star Trek there is a yearning to explore our expansive universe, learn all that is learnable, discover all that is discoverable, and ultimately fuel our own curiosity about our place in the cosmos. Sadly, we were probably born too early to actually accomplish this in real life. For the time being, we must turn to video games to live out these fantasies. The problem with this, however, is that games are often far too limiting to truly feel like a real space adventurer. Whether you play Starbound with all its great breadth but hindering mission system and graphics, Starpoint Gemini with its exceptional starship sophistication but lack of away missions, Spore which tried to do a little of everything and didn’t have enough depth, or (God forbid) any of the official Star Trek games that are typically just dead on arrival, it would appear there is really no game that perfectly captures that spirit of exploration and immersion.
Perhaps the most unique concept planned for No Man’s Sky is “The Atlas.” Again drawing comparisons to Spore and its “Sporepedia,” the Atlas is a galactic database updated for all players – whether playing single or multiplayer – featuring the discoveries of actual gamers. Players are rewarded with in-game currency for uploading their findings to the Atlas and will be forever credited with the discovery. Oh, right, did I mention you get to name the creatures, planets, plants, etc.? Yeah, it’s as incredible as it sounds!
Now you might be thinking it seems players who purchase and play No Man’s Sky right away will have a major advantage over others. Remember: 18 quintillion planets. That’s so huge that the developer estimates more than 99.9% of planets will never be discovered and the likelihood of running into another player in a chance encounter is virtually zero. This game will be vast beyond true human comprehension.
Overall, No Man’s Sky is shaping up to be the version of the Space Age in Spore we never received. With that comparison, though, comes a fear of over-ambition. EA announced similar lofty goals with Spore and failed to fully deliver – let’s hope Hello Games can pull through…especially with No Man’s Sky’s $60 price tag. If they deliver everything they promise, this could easily be one of the most spectacular games ever made.
No Man’s Sky launches June 21, 2016 on PS4 and PC. Check out the official website here:
Will you be exploring the No Man’s Sky galaxy in the future? Let us know in the comments below!
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