No Man’s Sky, boy did this game come out of nowhere and impress the hell out of… well everyone pretty much. Sony decided to show video from this new game during their press conference and it really caught my attention. The game looked BEAUTIFUL. I was amazed with the way the player controlled space ship was able to simply pull back, climb slowly away from the ground and leave the planet’s atmosphere, transition seamlessly into space, travel to another nearby planet, and again effortlessly descend into its atmosphere. There was no loading between planets, no abrupt transitions, just a seamless gaming experience.
So this all begs the question, What it No Man’s Sky?
No Man’s Sky is the creation of a small indie studio called Hello Games based out London (well a town NEAR London). Unlike the majority of the big budget blockbuster titles presented on stage, No Man’s Sky was created by a team of only 10 people. How can this be for a game that seems so large in scope? Well the secret to No Man’s Sky’s game is that the environments are all procedurally generated. Therfor every environment you explore is unique to your experience. Hello Games speaks of infinite possibilities in an infinite universe.
So what do you do in the game; how do you win?
Well, this is actually not clear at this point. According to Hello Games, the game is about exploration and survival in an infinite universe. You could choose to simply explore the world, discovering new planets, wildlife and vegetation. You could also visit these same planets to collect resources for sale and become a wealthy merchant. You can stumble across a trade convoy and decide to protect their flight path. You could stumble across this same convoy and decide to decimate it just for fun. Just as the game’s environment is infinite in scope, so too are your game play options and experiences.
At this point, it’s hard to really define No Man’s Sky.
The developers have intentionally avoided limiting its scope. It doesn’t appear that there is a defining story for the players to follow. There doesn’t seem to be hard-fast goals for the player to achieve. There doesn’t even appear to be a main character story line. Will this complete lack of structure be the unraveling of an impressive new title or will gamers flock to its absolute freedom and infinite possibilities? Only time will tell.