2016 was a good year for games wasn’t it? So much that made us all burn hours and hard drive space like it was a TARDIS barbecue. However, there was on stickler, one little blemish in there that disappointed and enraged us all in equal measure. No Man’s Sky…
There hasn’t been a betrayal so famous since the last Indy film (Aliens?! Really Spielburg???) And I know more than a few people who have since sworn off pre ordering completely. I was one of those people; I picked up No Man’s Sky last year with hope in my heart and a pre order receipt in my hand. Not only did I pay ahead of time based on 1 single trailer I went all out and pre ordered the special edition. I skipped home happily ready to fly around space and look at planets and shoot stuff with a laser gun, you know all the stuff that everyone really wants from life. What did I get though? Nothing… I mean nothing.
My nameless space wanderer woke up on a planet with a few crystals and caverns with nothing inside them. I just walked about aimlessly looking for ANYTHING interesting and did I find it? NO! so I got in my tiny red ship and went into space looking for something else to occupy my time. The next planet? ALSO NOTHING! Just a giant swamp with some super weird randomly generated creatures that just stood there and stared at me before glitching through the ground and disappearing forever. I persevered though and travelled to an entirely new solar system. Surely a new collection of worlds would give me a purpose? Some interesting scenery? An animal that wouldn’t fall through the ground? Nope. Nothing. Just more planets with empty wastelands and a few trees.
So I gave up. Took the game out of the console and took it back to the shop trading it in for Rainbow Six: Siege. After that I didn’t really think about it again like when you don’t focus on a bad memory so you won’t bring yourself down. It was only a couple of months ago when a friend of mine mentioned taking another try at the game that I got thinking whether I’d really given No Man’s Sky the chance it deserved. So I picked up a copy for cheap and started it up. Now this time I went in knowing that the game was an exploration and survival experience not a sci-fi shooter. So when I loaded into the game world (on a much more lush and interesting planet) I was ready to really look around. See what was going on around me. So I set out on my own and you know what? I spent 2 hours on the first planet. Not even trying to follow my objectives. I was just exploring and see what I could find. I found a few interesting creatures and a cave system so full of resources that my little pockets couldn’t hope to carry them all! By the time I decided to leave I’d managed to find EVERYTHING the planet had to offer and made plenty of money doing so. So I jetted off into space and that’s where I saw some of the major changes to the game thanks to updates.
First of was when I found a fleet of fright ships flying by. I went to see what they were and found that I could now land inside them! So I flew in and found the crew more than willing to sell me the entire freighter for a cool 5 million credits! This would let me carry significantly more resources and have a mobile base in every solar system I traveled to. This makes getting money and gathering resources much more exciting as there’s now a method to your madness! So when I realized that 5 million was a bit of a way off from my current financial situation I went down to the next world and decided to make some sweet sweet cheddar yo! I found a few bases here with strange TV headed aliens who seemed insistent on stabbing me with things this is where I really began to appreciate another little update. Using the planet scanner used to show you where resources were located but only with a vague clue as to what type of resource your going to find, now however you get symbol representing the exact type of mineral you’re going to find!
So after a few more hours I’m well and truly sold on No Man’s Sky. Taking your time and realizing that it’s not intended to be a sci-fi action game really helps to sink you into the experience. You’re there to explore and learn not destroy so treat it that way. As an experiment in world building No Man’s Sky is incredible with 18 quintillion planets to discover with no 2 being exactly alike and most still remaining undiscovered. I honestly think everyone who was upset by their first experience with this game should go out now and give it the second chance it truly deserves. Anyway I just found out that ground vehicles have also been added in a recent update so I’m jumping back into try and get one!