We have spent enough time with No Man’s Sky to give our first impressions. While the core mechanics are universal planet-to-planet; a game of this scale requires time to review properly. I am over 15 hours in and excited to tell you how I went from regretting my purchase, to being excited at how much this galaxy has in store for me.
Day One: Walking Simulator
I did not like this game at all the first day I played it. My ship was broken. It took forever to walk anywhere and do anything. I didn’t have a solid grasp on what was going on around me. And Even when I learned to craft and how to transfer items, there were so many steps to do anything I was trying to figure whether or not it was worth my time.I kept getting frustrated that the “guide” instructing me to prepare my hyper space jump aparatus was a multi step process. Find this, find this, find this, AND THEN craft that. Now, find more things and craft that. NOW you can make this thing, to help you jump in to hyperspace and travel to a new solar system. What? Is this the whole game? *Ejects disc and plays Overwatch.*
Thankfully, I ignored all of those complaints and kept pushing to a point where my ship was ready to fly, my gear was stronger than ever, and my mining beam was more powerful. The game didn’t suck. I just didn’t understand it.
There are a handful of “pickup-and-play” games on the market, but No Man’s Sky is not one of them. You will no doubt quickly adapt yourself to the control and camera interfacing, because they’re standard with any FPS game you’ve ever played. It will, however, take you quite a lot more time to figure out what your purpose is. Which is simply to scavenge, trade, upgrade and travel. You’ll throw some combat in there every now and again, but for the most part, the first 4 are the main things occupying your time.
Day Two: Holy crap…
Traveling throughout the first few planets, I noticed the similar elements or isotopes on each one of them. Carbon, plutonium, platinum, iron, and more will be harvested from the vegetation or boulders around me. Those will in tern be used to power up the ships maneuverability or defense/offense needs, or to power up life support, mine beam, shielding, whatever.
A lot of what I did in the beginning was to simply stay alive or in the air. With a limited amount of slots on my Exosuit and Ship, space management is key. Elements will stack to around 250 per slot, and it’s best to fully max those if your ship needs to be recharged or your life support is about to give out, you have a surplus to take care of it. When you get to space stations and start trading, you can really get into the differences for each galaxy, as some places are rare on certain items and pay more for them in trade. Which is great if you mine a crap load of gold from one galaxy, and travel to another that doesn’t have much/any.
Once you get the swing of trading, mining, and keeping yourself charged, the rest of the game is about exploration. I was surprised to find out that you learn a language, one or two words at a time by talking to creatures or finding monoliths and knowledge stones. Which yes, is a little tedious, but also fascinating. I am maybe 30 words in to a few different languages, and am in good standing with each one (I have yet to attack a space station, because I know I’ll die). There is something about traveling all over a planet in search of all of these monoliths that makes the game even more engaging. And now that my ship is repaired and I’ve got the hang of keeping it charged easily, it’s no longer a tedious chore to travel all over.
The final thoughts I’ll leave you with, are that this is a game that you must spend time with to appreciate. I didn’t understand the game at first. What it was. How to do anything in it. But the longer I sat in exploration, the further I wanted to go. I’ve already heard stories of people taking 30/40 hours to get to the center of the galaxy. But I’ve spent a few hours just exploring the all of different species, shelters, and knowledge gems that each unique planet has to offer. If those people made it to the galaxy in 30 hours, I can’t even imagine how much of the game they missed.
So far, I’m on the outer ring of this universe, and most of what I have seen is desolate and radioactive. But word has it that the closer you get to the center, the more life exists throughout, and I for one can’t wait to jump back in my ship and explore some more.
No Man’s Sky crept up on me in a way no other game has. I am thankful I didn’t give up in the beginning because of all I would’ve missed out on.
Our 2nd day has gone a lot better than our first. How is travel treatin’ ya?
Devon McCarty may just destroy the entire galaxy. But you’ll have that. Have questions for Devon? You can hit him up on the Watch. Chat. Play! Facebook page , chat to Devon @DesignatedDevon, but don’t for one second think I don’t want you to drop some sweet love in the comment section below. And note that Analog Addiction doesn’t always reflect the views/humor of the Watch. Chat. Play! staff. No matter how funny they think they are.