No Man’s Sky review
Take it to the stars, trade your way up the system and learn the secrets behind the Euclid Galaxy.
No Man’s Sky has been developed and published by Hello Games and distributed on PlayStation 4 by Sony and published on Steam for PC.
You wake up on a strange planet, with no recollection of where you are or what happened. As you gather your senses and start to see the surrounding area, you slowly realise you’re alone – apart from (maybe) some animals. You see a starship, looks like it’s crash landed – and you realise it is yours, and as you check it out, looking in its inventory, you see that some parts are damaged, but not beyond repair.
You explore in attempt to find some elements you need, and as you destroy and collect, you realise that your life is in danger and you need to fill up your life support system – and at a regular basis. Luckily the system only needs some common, basic elements, so you don’t have too much trouble unless you don’t realise that you can fill it up. I was not aware of this, I thought I had to go all the way back to my ship to get more air in my life support system. What a rush of stress to avoid the ultimate embarrassing experience of dying on the first planet – of the worst thing possible happening: lack of oxygen.
As I progressed through the game.. Well more like wandered on all the planets for hours on end in my second to fifth star system, collecting different items to solder the items that I got blueprints for, ripping apart crashed ships, looking at the animals, I ended up with almost a full slot set in the suit, a weapon more than halfway to being full slot, almost all blueprints (getting duplicates is tedious and annoying). To top it off, I ended up grinding for units and buying a good looking ship (in spite of my tips to not buy) with about half of the possible number slots for items to carry.
I was in my my 7th or so starsystem hen I felt that I was little I could do more than to start following the path of the Atlas, which is the games’ story mode. It is hardly a story. Oh my God, this game really does need a story. You really have to look for it, but I do swallow up all the stories and lore that I am able to.
Gek is the species I know most about as it was the species most prominent in the star systems that I was exploring the most – a good bet is that out of the 250 words I’ve learned is 220+ of those are Gek – that means I also opened my fair share of monoliths which tells a little bit about the species. Apparently, they fought the sentinels as they couldn’t really thrive with the sentinels interfering with their lives, ended up almost extinct, and then the Vykeen showed up, taking the fight to the sentinels. The Gek believed that they would take over the galaxy.
The Vykeen I know much less about, but they seem to be a race of warriors, wanting to take over the universe, or at least the galaxy – and by force. Recent times have developed the species to distinct between friend and foe as well what could be beneficial to the race – or the individual.
The Korvax, made of metal, I know very little about, but they are involved in the ancient times wars with the Gek and the Vykeen as some texts mentions bloody metal bodies. The Korvax seem to know much about the Atlas – some even worship it. The Korvax are able to simulate being another species – if you meet one, be sure to report it via the conversation.
These three species have a base set for their look and personality, but they can look very different – the Gek has a beak, are podgy and love to trade. They can have different clothes on, and have from 2 to 4 eyes, sometimes even on stalks like a snail or a hammer shark. Vykeen can have their eyes at the front of the face, or low on the sides, kinda like a whale while Korvax has three different sets, with one squared head and two different oval head shapes, and all with different outfitted technologies.
These different shapes of species, as well as the planets flora and animal life are all using a formula to make the game varied – it does work, but sometimes it can make some really weird animals. I had a few funny encounters: a small triceratops creature acting like a dog, a jumping mushroom (Mario anyone?) to what could look a lot like the scrabs from the Abe’s series – the last one was terrifying, but this species did not engage in any form of attack.
While the idea behind the game with the formula is awesome, this game would had worked way better for me if it had been written through and through with some more constant and expanding lore. The nature of the formula specifically ruins the option to have a specific story and characters to interact with other than “hi, trade?” which seems to be the only thing happening. There is a pair of friends that seems to be hardcoded in to keep their presence and names across starsystems, a Korvax and a Gek. To meet them, look for space anomaly in your travels.
I adore the ships I’ve had and ended with a good looking ship with about half the possible slots, but leaving out the option to sell the current ship were something that annoyed me. You just have to get the units and buy with no way of reselling the ship. This might just mean that I will not even go for another ship because of the needed work behind it. However it was somewhat easy to get the slots available for the suit and for the gun. I just needed to check the guns placed in some outposts, as well as being offered one from other aliens.
If you haven’t played this game yet, and are truly hyped about it, take a deep breathe. I mean deep. You will be awed for the first hour, maybe three. After that, you might feel trapped inside an ever looping game of collecting, talking, grinding, looting, trading to reach your goal – possible to the extent of feeling tricked. I was hyped for this game. I want to be hyped. I want to love it, and I do – but not on the expected level. That love was in freefall after the first few systems and hit the rock bottom when I realised that the road to Atlas was thin and vapid besides a lot of mystique revealed by text.
Too much time with scouting for the right element (damn you, chrysonite!), is ruining my interest and I have to play for shorter and shorter periods if I make myself keep looking instead of just progressing towards the next starsystem.
To the stars and beyond!
Miss; So many things, but in short: planets not fitting known physics and no story comes to mind. Not to mention all planets has life.
Need; More variations – animals and plants are all based of a few different basic sets.