No Man’s Sky, the new procedurally generated space simulator from Hello Games, is a vast ocean teaming with life and new discoveries. As you wade deeper you uncover new and extraordinary things. Bizarre looking creatures and plant life that look like it may destroy you if you come to close populate each new area you traverse. Yet with each new step you take into that vast ocean, you realise that it never goes above your shoulders. Even though you can dip your head in, you can’t keep it down for very long, and you’ll soon find yourself doggy paddling from interesting thing to interesting thing until something peaks your attention enough to submerge once again.
This is not to say that No Man’s Sky isn’t a beautiful game that boggles the mind. When you first understand that every single one of those 18 quintillion shiny dots on your screen is a place that has multiple planets, and that each of those is a unique ecosystem, your gamer mind immediately goes into overload just thinking about all the possibilities that lay before you. It really is a site to behold, and anyone who has ever enjoyed science fiction games will really appreciate the art of piecing together the lore as you travel the stars. There is an addictive quality that comes with collecting elements and upgrading equipment as well, and with some tweaking it could become even better.
Unfortunately, that’s what this games needs a lot of, “tweaking”. Every time a new mechanic in the game is uncovered, it seems to be missing just that one last step needed to bring it to the level it can be. Mining is fun, but other than selling away items for units there really is no trading system, especially with other players.
In fact, there is no interaction at all with your fellow space travelers, which Hello Games did warn us about before the game’s release. Though with the universe being so grand and there being so little to drive you, interaction with other players becomes almost a necessity just to add variety to the game. As enjoyable as No Man’s Sky is, it is unbearably repetitive and becomes so extremely quickly. What you do on that first mission is basically what you will be doing until some new game modes get patched through.
As a whole, No Man’s Sky is a unique experience that truly feels endless. That may also be it’s biggest down fall. With a game that is endless it is difficult to feel like you are actually accomplishing anything at all. There are no real missions, and the only thing that pushes you forward is your curiosity. Discovering new planets, flora and fauna becomes your main mission objective, but since the entire point of the game is that you could go on discovering these forever the charm quickly wears off.
No Man’s Sky really is incredible and this is by no means a deterrent to push you away from buying it. However, in today’s twenty-four-hour news cycle and internet culture of misinformation, it can be difficult to gage a game just going off of what we consume via social media outlets. Though with prices set at $60, it is hard to not suffer from buyer’s remorse more frequently than the average consumer.
So is No Man’s Sky worth your time and money? Unfortunately, there is no right answer. No Man’s Sky is vast yet somewhat empty, almost like the universe we exist in here. However, maybe that was the intention. To give us a game that perfectly mimics the universe we find so familiar. To remind us of just how small we actually are in the galaxy we reside in, and if the goals that we accomplish in this life even have an effect on the universe as a whole.