No Man’s Sky is one of this year’s most anticipated games by Hello Games. What we know so far is that not only is No Man’s Sky absolutely gorgeous but it contains a universe so implausibly vast that take hundreds of hours to get through.
By the most recent calculations, there are roughly 18 quintillion planets in the universe of No Man’s Sky. If you don’t know how much a quintillion is it’s 18 zeros. The game’s world is a shared universe with players connected online but due to the vast scale it’s unlikely that you’ll ever meet another player.
Well, let’s get into what you need to know about No Man’s Sky.
It’s a Game of Survival
All the planets in the No Man’s Sky universe are different, with many planets being hazardous by default. In some planets the elements are against you, either it’s too hot, too cold; some are even radioactive or toxic. When you enter a planet you have your thermal protection shields, but if you don’t find cover they will deplete until it reaches your health begins to deteriorate as well.
It’s not just the elements a player has to worry about but much like Grand Theft Auto a player will have a criminal rating that can ascend from one to five stars. Plundering too many of a planet’s minerals will alert security drones, sentinels and even freighters. I don’t think painting your ship a different colour will get you out of trouble this time.
Lastly, due to the vastness of No Man’s Sky it’s most likely that you’ll get lost. Much like the carpark of life make sure you know where you left your ship or you’ll die searching for it.
It’s a Game of Exploration
Due to the natural hazards of each planet, players will benefit by observing their surroundings carefully. Finding caves and other areas to shield them from extreme temperatures, for example, is crucial. Binoculars allow you to look in the distance and mark key objects on your radar, similar to the tagging system in Metal Gear Solid V.
Waypoints and beacons, if found, will give you a wider view of your surroundings that will alert you to any minerals, metals, and other elements that are in your vicinity. You can also scan new creatures Metroid Prime-style, and if you’re the first to discover a new creature, you can name it.
The majority of your surroundings are destructible, and often it’s strategically advantageous to blast holes in the planet. Opening up the floor will sometimes reveal caves and vast catacombs beneath you (more shelter). Shooting plutonium crystals, meanwhile, will break free some of the element to take with you, but also triggers a wanted level.
It’s a Game of Upgrades and Scavenging
At the heart of the game’s RPG system is the atomic resources index, which essentially mixes real elements from our periodic table with fictional ones. Discovering these elements, and sometimes mixing them together, allows you to create consumables for trading or technologies that will help you on your mission to the universe core.
- There are three main physical entities that you can upgrade: your weapon, your suit, and your ship.
- Your suit can be upgraded to pocket more resources while you’re out scavenging.
- Weapons are customisable, meaning they can adapt to a role that best suits each player’s taste.
Ships can be upgraded with technologies for boost drives, mini-jump drives, and so on, which are powered by resources that are acquired by mining asteroids.
It’s a Game of Civilization
No Man’s Sky has an unknown plethora of unknown races and factions, each with their own technology, personality, and language. Members in each planet will converse with you in their own language, which you’ll be unable to interpret until you find a monolith. These giant tablets function like the Rosetta Stone. Discovering them will further increase your language skills, meaning that more of each race’s speech text will be translated into English. At some point, you will be able to make calculated guesses about what each faction representative is saying to you, and later your conversations will be fluent.
When conversing, choosing the right option can make races happy. Frequent interactions can raise your reputation within each faction. Friendly factions can open up trading options, and even offer items such as upgraded weapons. The races who you befriend will help you. Players have a standing with each of the races, who have their own relationships and rivalries with each other.
It’s a Game of Spacefaring
Flying out from a planet’s atmosphere will take you into space, with multiple constellations of stars for you to explore. As you fly towards planets, you’re given calculations on how long it’ll take to enter the atmosphere.
Trade routes between planets are visible, and travelling along these lines allows you to intercept freighters carrying goods. If you choose, your ship can shoot at the freighters to break free cargo to collect, but this triggers a wanted level.
Space stations are littered with No Man’s Sky and these stations act as save points and trade areas. Some also have small windows, which allow you to observe planets floating by.
No Man’s Sky ships out on June 21st on PC and the PlayStation 4.