The second of four Pillars trailers for No Man’s Sky, Fight, is out, showing off some combat from the game. If the six days between this trailer and Explore are any indication, then the last two trailers, Trade and Survive, should be released over the next couple weeks.
It’s safe to say that while No Man’s Sky is a game primarily focused on exploration, that doesn’t mean you won’t be killing things along the way. Though if the combat featured in the trailer is any indication, fighting in space isn’t a space-sim, and fighting on the ground isn’t Battlefield.
The sixty second trailer doesn’t go into much detail about the combat, but we can definitely see the space-craft firing lasers that seemingly lock onto enemies automatically, as well as a wide array of various free-firing weapons. There’s a brief glimpse of a mission to rescue cargo freighters with the remaining hostile ships on display.
We’ve known that No Man’s Sky was going to have missions in it for a while, and the assumption I’ve had is that they’re going to be more similar to Skyrim’s radiant story missions than hand-crafted stories. Considering how massive the universe is, I don’t think there’s any other way Hello Games could’ve gone about it. Unless there is a specific storyline that you play through, and where you start in the universe doesn’t really matter in the least.
We know that the goal of the game of the game is to get to the center of the galaxy. It’s still unclear whether there’s a story aspect of that which plays out, or if it’s relayed to you in game in any way. What’s also unknown is what happens when and if you make it there, or if these missions to rescue cargo freighters are just extra fluff, or if you’ll be rewarded with upgrades that make getting to the center easier. It’d be nice if everything tied into reaching that goal, however mundane (or game-changing) the reward might be in the end.
While the space-stuff seems like it has the potential to be pretty fun – if repetitive – ground combat doesn’t do much to impress. Weapons don’t really seem to have much punch to them, at least what few are shown in the trailer. It seems likely that Hello Gates realizes the ground combat won’t be the selling point of the game, so they really only showed off a few seconds of it.
It remains to be seen if combat in No Man’s Sky is at all avoidable, but hopefully much of it will be. Not only because of the combat in the game – notably what happens on the ground – but also because in a game as sandboxy as this one, it would make sense for you as the player to be able to choose a diplomatic route to some of the missions if you so choose.
No Man’s Sky will still likely be worth it for the exploration aspects alone, but I think there’s still the chance that the game parts of it may ultimately be disappointing. Be it because the combat isn’t tactile enough, or the missions are just repetitive. I’m still not completely sold on the game, but the parts of it I like, I like a lot.
August 9th will mark when we find out whether that’s enough.