Like yourself, I have been following No Man’s Sky since it was first introduced. Hello Games have been revealing more information about this game in small pieces since 2013.
NMS got a great deal of attention from the media because Sony has provided promotional and marketing support for this project. Furthermore, the game also got great exposure due to the procedurally generated technology that was used to create its huge open universe. We all got excited to see how amazing it to travel through the galaxy and, land on planets and explore them without even a single loading screen, that amazes many gamers who have been eager to play such a game for a long time.
There is a big debate on the Internet whether this game is going to be any good or not. I think that even the developers don’t know yet if the game is going to succeed or not and if gamers like it. I think it’s true to any game, not just No Man’s Sky, but this game has so much hype behind it, that I’m sure it’s going to help it sell more, especially considering that this is an indie game, a game that was made by a relatively very small company.
The hype can be very misleading, giving people the impressions that this game is going to be larger than life. Everything about it is blown up of proportion, and this is why I think that many gamers might be disappointed with the final results when they get their hands on the game. Not because it is not good, but because they had their expectations so high.
I play a lot of multiplayer games, and I really want to spend a great deal of time playing a single player game for a change, and that’s why I am looking forward to playing No Man’s Sly. I admit, I like to play popular games and be a part of a great community that surrounded a game. That being said, nothing stops me from waiting a few weeks after release and see what reviewers say about it and then buy it.
I think that because this type of game hasn’t done before, at least not at this scale, makes it hard for people to understand what this game is all about. It’s also because Hello games are keeping many things behind curtains and Sean Murray being kind of secretive in how he reveals information about the game. It makes you feel that maybe Hello Games are hiding something really great and they just don’t want to tell us about it, to not screw the surprise.
There are tons of gameplay videos on YouTube, so it’s not like that we haven’t see how the game plays. We know it’s a first-person, open world survival game. We know about the exploration, factions, crafting and trading system. We know that this game wasn’t designed to be a multiplayer game, it’s not an MMO and there is almost no chance that people will get to meet other players, although the option for that exists in the game.
What I like about this game is that I would be able to explore many places in that new universe that even the developers have no idea what I’ll find. The universe is there, and it’s waiting to be explored. That by itself is so exciting, but it doesn’t promise a gameplay experience that will last long. Why am I saying that? It’s because if the game is all about exploration, crafting, trading and survival, people might get bored with its after exploring a dozen of stars. You can even spend months on a single planet without exploring it all because many planets are lifesize planets.
To keep the game interesting, it has to have a progression system, goals for players to strive to achieve and some sort of rewards for exploration for bragging rights. People will want to share their findings and get rewarded for their great efforts. Most of the RPG games have these feature and it makes players strive towards those goals. Without these features, the game might get boring pretty fast. There has to be, at least in a modern game, some sort of social interactivity within the game itself. I don’t want to share my findings on Reddit or upload videos to YouTube to showcase my findings, and even if I do so, it won’t be that exciting because every player is going to find something new and unique, so even what I perceived as a great finding, won’t be any exciting for other people.
For example, when people heard that there might be a secret area somewhere on the Moon in Destiny, tens of thousands of players strove to find that place and want to be the first to reach and explore it. Maybe there was a reward for finding it, a weapon or armor piece, that made people go crazy for it. That formula works and makes people log in, team up and continue their search. I really love this aspect in a game, especially in exploration games, and I think it should be in No Man’s Sky. I know that it’s not a cooperative game, but make some legendary items that players can find and have satisfaction when they find rare items.
One of my favorite games of all time was Space Quest series. I really love exploration games, but I really wanted them to be in space. This is another reason why I am so excited to play No Man’s Sky. If it indeed rewards people for exploration, and I believe that it will in some ways, it would be an amazing journey. Survival games to reward exploration because players can progress by finding new resources and crafting new items so that by itself is some sort of a progression system. I believe that NMS has more to it than what Sean Murray has mentioned, but we need to wait and see.
Now for the visuals. The game looks bloody amazing, I really like the art style, so vivid and unique. Every planet is going to be different than other planets, so it will be exciting landing on a new planet because you have no idea what’s waiting for you there. Even once you landed, there are so many places to explore.
One thing that is very important for single-player games is interaction with NPCs. Without NPCs, the universe would have seemed very empty and you feel very lonely. We know that there are NPCs in the game like factions, traders, etc. I just don’t know how frequent you’ll be able to encounter them, but if I remember right, most planets will have a trading station that can be seen when you are flying in the planet’s orbit.
Discovering technologies is also a part of the progression system. You don’t harvest resources for nothing, everything has a purpose. By the way, I really like the user interface where you can see your suit, weapon, ship, and discoveries, everything is very easy to manage and the UI looks very modern and slick. The player will use the technologies to upgrade and improve his armor, protection, stamina, and utilities. No all the materials needed will be on a single planet, so you’ll have to harvest them on other planets. You need those upgrade if you want to survive, because each planet poses various risks and have different weather conditions, so if you want to survive and travel further towards the center of the universe, you need to harvest these resources and upgrade your items to help you survive the hazards of the universe.
There is also a combat system, but from what I’ve seen, there isn’t anything excited about it (you can’t compare it to a game like Star Citizen for example. The main focus is on survivability, exploration and trading, not in combat - at least that what I understand.
These all things are the core gameplay mechanics. If you don’t enjoy playing them in other games, No Man’s Sky might not me the game for you.
I hope that the progression system will be rewarding. Getting to the center of the universe isn’t the reward I am looking for because even Sean Murray told the media that only a few people might get there. Just imagine the scale of the game, the chances to reach the center of the universe is very small, and even if you do, you have no idea what’s waiting for you out there, that’s kept in secret. Many gamers will probably stop playing the game way before the get even close to it. So it doesn’t motivate me, I need more substance, some goals in between to keep me motivated login in every day and play the game. That becomes even more important when you play alone. It’s a big universe, I obviously have preferred exploring it with my friends, so if that is (almost) not possible, made something that will keep me motivated to play the game for a long period of time.
So is No Man’s Sky any good? Only time will tell. If there was an answer for that, you probably would have known it by now. As I mentioned, that’s true to any game out there before it’s released, NMS is not different. It has a huge potential, and Hello Games can always update it and add new cool stuff to it.
Would I buy No Man’s Sky on day-1? I probably will, and if it’s not good, I’ll stop playing it. I want to join the party as early as possible. I don’t even know if it gets a relatively average score if I would listen to the reviews and skip the game, I had to try it myself - My opinion is my personal review of the game, and it might be different than other people’s opinion about it.