No Man’s Sky
In this episode:
- No Man’s Sky is out! And we’ve played a bunch! We were both excited for the game, but avoided a lot of hype and details being released because we wanted to experience the game for ourselves. That said, we have mixed feelings about the game.
- The first 10-15 hours of the game are brilliant. The first time you see a new element of the game, it is breathtaking and truly a unique gaming experience. It takes about 15 hours of playtime to start to see the limits of the procedural generation, which takes some of the wonder away.
- The game is basically a survival and gathering game more than exploration. You gather resources, craft upgrades for either yourself or your spaceship, travel to a new planet/solar system, and repeat the process. Inventory management is a big part of the game, which was a letdown for us, but that didn’t take away from the wonder we felt at discovering new aspects of the universe.
- Our favorite things? Glad you asked! Aliens! Ruins! Leaving a planet and seeing space gradually appear is amazing, and coming in from orbit and seeing the entire planet take up more and more of your view is equally astonishing.
- It’s basically a single player game, and we love that. Multiplayer would be awesome in some regards, but the idea of being alone in this vast, uncharted universe is too appealing to want to share it. The online community for the game is growing, but we are glad that it’s an experience, more than a game at this point.
- Ps4 vs PC (controller vs keyboard and mouse). The PC controls seem to be more intuitive than gamepad because of the virtual mouse you have to control with an analog stick on PS4, but the tradeoff is being able to lounge on your couch and explore a new universe. So it’s kind of a tie.
- Unlimited exploration actually takes the pressure off for completionism. You can’t complete the Galaxy, unlike most open world games. Your first landing on a new planet is always super cool. The unknown is fun, and that’s the best part about the game. They got the feeling of discovery down. The problems come in that there are always colonies and structures scattered on the planets, which even makes the idea of “discovery” feel iffy. We would prefer totally barren planets that we could be 100% alone on.
- Also, you can’t name your ship. Seriously. Patch this in. Patch. This. In. Do you hear us, developers? Patch. This. In. Now. KTHX.
- In the end, it’s a strangely compelling game that neither of us actually can say if it’s fun. But it’s an experience that we’re happy to have had, and we intend to keep on playing it. Sometimes, games can be about the experience and not about winning. And that’s kind of what No Man’s Sky is about. Or could be, given a few polish patches.
- So who’s it for? Well, it’s an indie game that was marketed like a Triple-A title, and somehow, that makes it fall between the two markets and be slightly disappointing. It’s kind of slow if it’s the only thing you’re doing, so it goes great with audiobooks and podcasts or riding the exercise bike over the winter. If you’re a space junkie, grab this game now. If you like crafting and survival games, pick it up. And if you’re just curious and want to see what the game has to offer? Wait until it’s $30. It would have been a stellar game at $30, but at Triple-A $60, there are just too many nits to be picked. When it’s either cheaper or patched up, that’s when the game will really hit its stride and find its audience.
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