No Man’s Sky – A Review
Your eyes slowly open as you awaken to see a destroyed space ship. In your hands is a small tool as you life support system beeps that is low on fuel. You check the cells to see that base elements like carbon can recharge them so you scan the nearby area. You find some pants that you can harvest carbon from and refill your suit’s life support. You then look to your ship. Now that v one problem is fixed is time for the bigger one. You see certain aspects are broken and require iron, promethium, and other elements to fix. You to another scan of the area to find small deposits all over. This begins your journey on the planet Yelsnadiq 559, or add you come to later call it Toriel.
So after playing a stretch of No Man’s Sky what are my thoughts on it? A resounding meh. First, before the torches come out a little back story. I never jumped on the hype train for No Man’s Sky. I heard what the developers wanted from the game here and there but was never really grabbed. As it drew closer and more people talked about it, including friends, I thought I would pick it up to see what it was about. What I expected was a fun fly around game with good space combat and beautiful planets. Aliens that you could have amazing talks with and others that looked like evolution was in the works with. Did the game live up to that? Mostly. While the game does give the beautiful landscapes it does have a lot of problems.
To clarify I went for the Playstation 4 version of the game. I bought a PS4 a while ago but it’s been collecting dust so I just went with it. Seeing others reactions that was the better plan. The PC port of the game is suffering big time. Locked frame rate, random crashes, and some not even being able to boot it all together is being a very big nail in the games foot. While the PS4 does crash from time to time (I’ve had two crashes myself) it does at least run decently for hours at a time. For now PC players are demanding refunds of the game but I’d like to tell them to wait. If the game still looks good in their eyes Hello Games are working hard on patches for both platforms to get the PC people flying around happily.
So onto the game play aspect for a bit. Your main goal is to get to the center of the universe. All while following the trail of a galactic order as far as I can guess. I have made a few hyperspace jumps in search of new ships and tools but the story seems content to sit in the back seat and be quite. The space flight is probably where you will find the most not in the game. That is unless you like naming everything from the dandelions on upward.
While flying around the small system you’re in (usually comprised of 2-3 planets and a moon or two for each) you can shoot down asteroids for fuel (Thamium9) to keep your boosters and Mining tool running. The world’s and space are insanely big. Going top speed without boosters aiming at the region’s space station could take an hour, pop into hyperspace and you could be there in under two minutes. Same goes with the planets. A point of interest is twelve minutes away on foot? Jump in your ship and be there in three seconds. If you are holding a lot of cargo worth a lot of money be warned. You can be jumped by pirates and have to engage in a dog fight to protect your cargo.
So you sold your goods to the station and need to resupply. Let’s head planet side now. When you land on a new planet the game will let you know if there is any weather hazards like extreme heat or cold, poisonous air, acid rain, or just radiation. Your life support will help keep you alive but shielding is another thing. You can recharge your suites shield with other elements to keep you alive. Sometimes aliens you meet will offer upgrades that you can craft to improve your chances. Sadly the dialogue in the game is scrambled. The aliens each have their own language that you have to uncover through relics strewn about the planets. No teachers here save for giant monoliths that teach you three words. More times than not just keep mining and you won’t have to worry about it. As you run around you can run into sentinels. They are small flying robots that sometimes open fire for random reasons. On some planets they are passive and won’t attack unless you attack first. Other planets they are always hostile, on others the will scan you then open fire so just keep moving. While looking around the planet you can run unto the wildlife which are usually passive as well. While some animals can look cool you can also run into the Unicornus flex you can also find cool species you actually like, and you can rename them all.
So now that you’re exploring let’s cover another topic. When you scan animals and flora they will be added to your journal. You can then change the names of them and upload it. When you do you get some in game money (which is nice as max slotted ships are about 100 million units in the game unless you farm them) and if another player finds them they will see it. In my time playing I have yet to find another discovered planet, moon, animal, or plant. From there we back out to the planet. When you land the planet or moon it is added to your journal but you now have a to do list. You can discover every animal and plant, and find all the special outposts. When you do you can upload it, all renamed or not, and get a bigger bonus.
At time of writing that is most of the features of the game that i can tell you about. I spent a night farming a 48 slot ship so I had max storage space. Some other nights I explored each body and jumped to the next. There are engines you can craft which lead you to more lush planets but I have yet to. In my playtime I found more planets that remind me of Arizona with its desert like look and arches of rocks. Others I found vast oceans coupled with snowy terrain and acid rain. The world can be a little confusing with the environmental hazards. One moon was lush with animal and plant life but was highly radioactive.
To conclude I will say this. If you like a relaxing game where the story is easy going and lets you explore at your leisure then I would recommend No Man’s Sky. The lack of building a house or space station and limited slots does make collecting a but if a pain but can be worked around. If you like a strong story and a sense of what you’re ultimately doing then this game may not be for you. I look at this like Minecraft, it’s not a binge game. You just roam around and just see what you can find. The game is promising more updated features other than bug fixes but it may be a while before the game gets to a good enough scope where players will enjoy it. Let’s not forget that this kind of game came from a development team of 15 people. At $60 USD it is a little more on the pricey side but Hello Games seems proud and excited for it. For those who have bought it on both PC and PS4 hold onto it and see where the game goes. It may turn out better than any of us expect. For those who have not gotten the game, look into it before a blind purchase. As for me, I blind bought it and I enjoy it and am slightly excited to see what can be done with this game in the future. Let me know what you all think below. I am always interested to hear your thoughts on games.
– Darth Chain