Two and a half years after the initial announcement, No Man’s Sky will finally be out on June 21st of this year on both PS4 and PC. At that point we’ll be able to see if the game is a galaxy full of wonder or boredom.
In addition to the release date and price tag ($60), an embargo lifted today, and a horde of news sites were able to post previews of time spent with the game last month. If you’d like to peruse them for yourself, here are a few of the good ones: Giant Bomb, Rock Paper Shotgun, The Verge, IGN.
Giant Bomb also has an interview with Sean Murray:
None of this coverage reveals anything too surprising. It cements the fact that the game is almost wholly focused on exploration. But it isn’t all about flying around and looking at vistas. You might die, too, and if what the guys at Hello Games are saying is true, you might die a lot. You might freeze to death. You might be attacked by pirates. You might accidentally step into lava and burn off your feet and then crawl around a harsh alien world until you starve to death. You know, the usual.
Yes, No Man’s Sky is part galactic exploration and part survival game. Space is a cruel mistress, and you might die a lot at the start of No Man’s Sky until you learn the lay of the land(s). But when you’re not dying, you’ll be discovering planets, and alien life, and learning alien languages to speak to that alien life. You’ll be upgrading your ship, and your weapons, and your gear. So, as is the case with most games these days, there are RPG elements and progression layered on top of exploring the 18 quintillion planets. I can only imagine how many years it’ll take for all of them to be charted. Not that all of them will be worth charting. In the Giant Bomb interview, Sean Murray said that about nine out of ten planets will be uninteresting lumps of rock floating around in space.
Not much has been said of the variety of planets, either. Most of the ones they’ve shown have been lush, and relatively Earth-like, but it’ll be nice if there are some harsher environments. Planets where you’ll be required to upgrade your gear before you can land, because you’d otherwise melt. That seems like an easy method of progression. I can already see myself wanting to upgrade my ship so I can land on some burning hell hole. What you won’t be able to explore, because they just won’t be in the game, are gas giant. They’re evidently not interesting enough from a gameplay perspective.
For nearly three years now, we’ve been wondering what exactly No Man’s Sky will entail, and that picture is finally taking shape. Surprisingly, it’s a video game, but whether or not it will offer enough depth and variety to keep all but the astronomy lovers out there playing for more than a couple hours before they get bored, we won’t know until June 21st. But at the very least, it’l likely to be a fascinating example of a procedurally generated universe.
Whether or not that’ll be enough to justify the $60 price tag, who knows.
It’s been fun enough watching Sean Murray repeatedly try to show what this game is in short thirty minute demos.
But it worked. I know I’m interested.