No Man’s Sky: My Impressions

Final Verdict: Recommended 👍
In Game Time: 246.9 hours

No Man’s Sky’s release was plagued with controversy. Promises were made and not delivered. Due to this controversy, I stayed away from this game for a good, long while before giving fair judgement. I’m very glad that I eventually chose to and am only sorry that I didn’t get into it sooner.

In No Man’s Sky, you start on a remote planet with a set of damaged systems in your ship that you’ll need to repair to leave atmosphere and begin your journey. These repairs will be presented to you as quests that will guide you in the repair of your ship. Once your ship is repaired, you can venture off-world and the galaxy opens up to you.

So what do you get from there? No Man’s Sky has elements of base building, exploration, and space flight combat, all rolled up with strong Firefly vibes. Base building can be done on the surface of planets or underwater. (Base building in the sky is possible with the help of exploits, but as with any exploits it’s presumable that patches might fix the exploit or break your build.) You can upgrade your suit and ship, or even buy and barter for new ships from wandering traders found all over the place. “All over the place” means just that: everywhere. There are 264 possible planets in the game, all procedurally generated. Each of those planets has its own possible flora and fauna, atmospheric conditions, terrain, and color scheme. The game is big, to say the least.

There are multiple paths to proceed through the game and “win,” though the game progresses even beyond that point. There is a story that you can follow at your leisure or you can simply pack up your supplies, board your ship, and head to the center of the galaxy. Either way will “roll credits” and you have the satisfaction of having “won.” After this point, you’ll be able to start life in a whole new galaxy and start the process over. This galaxy is independent of the first galaxy and the game implies that once you move on, you won’t be able to come back. Don’t believe that, though. You can travel back to any previous bases you’ve built or stations you’ve visited.

Building a base is a fun exercise as well. You can customize areas with prebuilt pieces you can put together to make quick bases similar to Subnautica, or you can use parts such as walls and floors to build a more intricate custom area of your own design. However you choose to proceed, you can invite your friends to visit and from there you can set out in groups of four players to explore the stars or complete quests.

In addition to getting some multiplayer help in completing your individual quests, there are repeatable quests at each system’s space station and at the multiplayer hub that will open up at a certain point of the story. These quests range from basic fetch quests to randomized dungeons in the form of derelict space freighters. But if you don’t want to do the quests, you can simply fly away to an uncharted system and build a base. There’s even a creative mode if that’s more your speed, but you won’t be able to have your friends in standard mode join your creative mode base, presumably for balance reasons since bases can generate resources and that does make things too easy.

No Man’s Sky was poorly received when it was released, but its subsequent free updates and new content have more than made up for initial bumps. Give it a try. You can often find discounts during sales of 50%, and sometimes more. Pick it up and give it a try. And, you know, if you ever find yourself in the Eumseo VII system in Hilbert, look me up.


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