I’ve written, deleted, re-written, completely edited, deleted, re-written again, deleted again and finally am re-writing my thoughts on No Man’s Sky.
A game that had my attention when it was in development and quickly lost my interest upon its initial release. Having rebounded so incredibly well from it’s release failures that No Man’s Sky is now the example for all other “failure at release” games strive to be (Looking at you Cyberpunk). It still took a lot of happenstance and luck to get me to even try out the game again. I will say I was instantly hooked the second time around.
I was lucky enough to get the game on sale and have friends playing it at the time to really get the full experience of all the fun the game can be. Although if you didn’t have all the same fortunate circumstances I would still highly recommend grabbing the game if you’ve got lots of time to invest.
Initially the game is a struggle. You’re learning a lot about the game and the game mechanics all at once. It would be drastically better if the first mission you complete gets you the HUD so you can find your way back to your ship. Since it doesn’t just be aware that you’ll have to keep track of that yourself, otherwise you’re going to have a crazy tough time.
I would also suggest just straight restarting if your starting world isn’t a hospitable one. Since everything is procedurally generated it’s a complete luck of the draw what your starting planet will be. If everything from the animals to the air is trying to kill you, just restart.
That all being said the game does a great job of walking you through the controls so you’ll have a really good understanding of how to do most things without having to just button mash to figure it out.
Once you get past all the learning missions and you are able to freely start exploring the galaxy the game really gets interesting.
I wasn’t very interested in documenting everything on a planet but that is something you can do. Animals, plants and minerals all can be scanned and uploaded to get you nanites. Scanning every different type of item on the planet apparently will net you a giant bonus amount of nanites, but I’ve never been interested enough to go through all the effort.
As you progress you’ll start building bases, collecting space ships and even controlling your own fleet. Or perhaps you’ll want to start farming plants and animals for your own gain, creating food that’ll give you bonuses to make the rest of your tasks easier. Maybe you’re just interested in following the storyline as quickly as possible just scraping by to the center of the galaxy to unlock the secrets of what’s going on.
There’s so many different approaches to the game that no two people are going to play exactly alike. Even the friends I play with and myself have vastly different styles. With so much going on it does tend to be something slightly overwhelming to keep track of, especially if you’re an infrequent player. Stepping away from the game for a couple of weeks when I got my VR headset made it really difficult and intimidating to jump back into it. I still am honestly unsure what I was doing before and instead just sold off all the material that I had crafted and started out on a new idea instead.
My initial excitement and constant urge to play more has definitely faded considerably. If anything there are times that I only play so that I can get that feeling of completion by reaching the “end” of the game. If you’re someone who doesn’t like devoting a hundred hours into a game then this might not be the game for you. BUT if you’re someone who likes exploring new areas, seeing new things and the slow burn style game then this might just be the game you’re looking for. Plus being able to fly around in space doesn’t hurt either.
With the massive variety of things that you can do and how never ending the universe can be in No Man’s Sky you should be able to find a part of it that’ll entertain you. Keep an eye out for sales on the game because if you manage to get it for what I did it is 100% worth it.
No Man’s Sky has, without question, rebounded from it’s launch failure. With so much to see and do it’s extremely likely you’ll get enough entertainment out of the game to justify the cost, especially if you can find it on sale.