No Man’s Sky is a game about exploration and survival in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy.
Ever since No Man’s Sky was announced in 2013, the hype train has been getting faster and faster as the launch got closer and closer, and I know for me that with every trailer and video that was released I have been looking forward to getting my hands on this game and seeing it and playing for myself.
The true vastness and scale of the game is one of the things that interested me the most. Could a game really be of the size they were saying? What would essentially be a never ending story? If you wanted to check out each solar system, galaxy and planet there was, there would be no chance any single person would be able to do it in there lifetime.
When you start the game off, you ship has crashed on a random planet (one the game decides for you at random) and you have to find the materials on the planet you’re on to be able to fix it up and fly off to another planet and explore some more.
There is a small tutorial that takes you through what you need to find and how to survive on the planet, these are the very basics just to get you sorted and on your way. With each planet being different in terms of atmosphere and how the planet is made up. From the 4 galaxies that I have been too, I have only come across 1 maybe 2 planets that have a stable atmosphere and don’t burn, or freeze your gentleman sausage or lady garden off after a couple of minutes of trying to explore. I found that No Man’s Sky was very quick to pick up the controls for, they feel good in the hand when using a PS4 controller, however my complaint here is that you are unable to adjust the controls, so if they don’t feel comfortable to you, then unfortunately you are stuck with what you got.
Exploration pretty much every planet is vast, and when I say vast I mean there are counters that say that if you were to walk to your destination on the planet it would take you around 20 to 30 minutes to get there on foot. My first thought was ‘screw that’ and I jumped in my ship and away I went. The only problem with this method is that each take off uses 25% of your launch thrusters, meaning on a full charge you have 4 take offs and then need to re charge and there is so much to see and do on each planet that you need to keep yourself stocked up on supplies to be able to refill, which isn’t a major issue as there are plenty of different elements around for you to mine and collect.
Inventory space has also been an issue for me, you will find that when you are collecting different things that you’re inventory does stack up quickly and you will soon find the annoying robot voice telling you that you have no space left in your inventory. The only problem I came across was when I was on a harsh planet, if it was for example a snowy world, I found that there were a lot of snow storms that would drop the on surface temperature to -138.08…. Chilly! This would normally mean that you would either have to camp out in a station if you came across one, or a cave system as these would keep your temperature up, you stood no chance of being out in the storms as your thermal protection would deplete within a minute. I have found though that this is absolutely brilliant, planets shouldn’t be a walk in the park, you should have some which don’t cause too much issue, but the majority as I have found have had some kind of extreme survival element to it, which you have needed to be careful of and keep an eye on the situation.
There was one issue which I came across, these extreme conditions did hinder exploration of the planet, for me it was all well and good just jumping out of my ship and after landing right next to the station, monolith etc I was looking for and claiming those discoveries, but what about the rest of the planet? There could have been hundreds if not thousands of things to see, and I only scratched the surface of those planets, all because I couldn’t stay outside very long. I did give it my all and tried, but when you run out of cave systems and you can’t use up the precious resource you have on blowing holes into the world, it get’s tricky and you will find yourself stuck. This will also make it a lot harder to 100% the planet and find all the wildlife and fauna etc that it has to offer.
I have had a bit of a laugh when it has come to the landing sequence with the ships. Landing is done automatically for you when you press square…. As you can see from the following picture, it does land you in any old spot at times. I even blasted the tress from under it and it still stayed in the air…. Jet pack to the rescue 😀
I mentioned above about the lack of space you may find yourself having within your inventory. Well, it’s not all doom and gloom as there are drop pods which you can find on planets, and these will grant up an upgrade and give you an extra slot, although they do cost, gaining funds throughout the game isn’t hard. There are traders throughout the planets and on space stations, so any excess goods that you find or are given you can easily trade them in to get some money. A lot of the important stuff that you are going to need such as a warp drive you can either by one from a trader, but at some point on a planet you will find or be given a blueprint to be able to fill up your warp drive. Without your warp drive you will be unable to go along to the next or random galaxy. As you improve and get better ships with a better warp drive, you will be able to travel further, where as at the start of the game with the bog standard warp drive, you can only move along to the next galaxy in your solar system.
Wildlife on planets as you would expect is very random, some will be nice, others you will find out to be very very hostile, so much so that they will chase you back to your ship and wait outside for you to emerge, where you have to either fly off and be a pussy, or grow a pair and face them, which unless there is a big hoarde of them, then you should be fine. One thing that I would suggest is that if you have 100%’d a planet, I would not suddenly leave because of it. The 100% simply means you have discovered all way points and wildlife… But there is so much more to each planet with Monoliths, Factories to explore and get loot from, as well as meeting up with Aliens and learning all about the lore and language.
This is one of my favourite parts of the game, and I have been learning so much about one race and learning there language that I have still barely scratched the surface, as when I have a conversation, there are still loads of words missing that I haven’t learnt. What would be good is if there could have been a log book in the game so that conversations and responses could be kept and looked back on at different times. There are so many conversations to be had, that I contradicted myself some times and got a slap for my trouble too, but if I could have looked back on the responses I had given, I could have maybe remembered something and chosen a different answer.
The graphics for the game are absolutely wonderful, there is so much colour and depth that is in the game, every planet is an absolute wonderment to see. The game play is also absolutely fantastic, I’ve found the game to be so smooth when playing, not noticed any drops in frame rate and I love the fact that there are no loading screens and everything just loads as it goes on. It seems incredible that a game this size doesn’t require any loading screens. What an age we live in!
This game has been a long time coming and for me it has been worth the wait. It’s depth, detail and exciting changes from planet to planet are brilliant. For a game the size it is, I’m hoping my review has done it justice. All I can say to PS4 owners is that for me, if you love your Sci Fi then this is a brilliant game to place.