To Quintillion and Beyond! No Man’s Sky Review

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After hitting so many roadblocks along the way, Hello Games’ very ambitious project is finally released to consoles. So what do we think? Did the game make a successful landing? Or did it fail at take-off?  Here is UnGeek’s review for No Man’s Sky for the Playstation 4.

 

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To the uninitiated, No Man’s Sky is a space exploration game, quite possibly the largest open-world game ever designed. It is said that there are over 18 quintillion (18,000,000,000,000,000,000 – I had to look it up) planets to explore. It’s like living out an episode of Star Trek, with the exception that you are on your own… Only you, your limitless potential, and oh yeah, your spaceship!

 

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If you want a rich backstory to this game, you might be disappointed that there is not much fluff to begin with. There is no saving the universe from a cosmic threat, nor assembling the best crew to do something bad or good (or a little bit of both). You really are actually creating your own lore, and maybe that’s a good thing! But for starters you are really out there exploring what you can with only one goal in mind – to get to the center of the universe! That is, if you really want to do it…

 

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Why did I say that? Well, in a nutshell, the game flows like this; your journey begins on an alien planet with you and your ship. Your first goal is to upgrade your craft so that you can explore further into the vast reaches of space to reach to the center…

 

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And so off you go! But wait, what do we have here? This looks like an interesting planet. Maybe I’ll just land here for a bit, see what this rock has to offer… Oh what’s that? Shiny! I think I’ll explore a bit more…

Little did I know, that simple mechanic really made that game for me! Using your scanner to identify and record the flora and fauna of the land, these simple discoveries, aside from the fact that it feels very rewarding, you actually contribute in filling out the vast collective knowledge of the universe… Along with other players who got the game!

 

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During my 16 hour-run into the game so far, I haven’t noticed any planet to be identical. I am widely amused that they are all unique! Whether it’s a planet full of weird creatures that you can interact to (by any means possible), or areas that are completely full of sand with towering structures and underground caverns with advanced technology and hidden blueprints, there is always something new to explore.

 

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What’s good to know is that every new system, animal, location, plants or what have you that you “encounter,” you can upload it to the game’s main server, giving a concept of “collaborative discovery” to the game. And you need all the help you can get in fleshing out all the details, since the game is really impossible to complete on your own. Again think quintillion.

 

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Though there is practically no in-game achievement/trophy for this kind of space exploration, perhaps the best in-game incentive that you can get is that when you share your findings is that the game gives you money, which you can use to further upgrade your ship, mining tool and spacesuit – the three main areas which you can improve upon.

 

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Not much into travelling across space, searching far and wide? Well it’ll be good for you to know that there is also space combat in here! During the course of my game I have encountered space police that are patrolling the planet. In other ones I got to deal with very hostile aliens (maybe because of my own doing?) during my ehem… Mining and animal watching.

 

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What you decide to do with these threats is up to you and your upgraded stuff, which luckily you can min-max on if you want. It’s really your choice. You can go gung-ho ala Contra, but expect some heavy backup when you get too hot, ala Grand Theft Auto.

 

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And that’s mainly the game! But in truth I am really just scratching the surface here. Whether you go exploring and fighting, one can’t deny that this game is really an awesome piece of work! I am really awed by the simple notion of exploring and finding out what lies ahead, the sense of discovery and mystery at each new planet is really the main driving force in this game… And I can’t wait to dive-in some more!

The game is already out for the Playstation 4, with the PC version to follow August 12.

Pros:

  • Game is visually pleasing.
  • A lot to do, and a lot more to explore.
  • Did I mention there is a lot of stuff to do in this game?
  • There is always a sense of mystery and fear of the unknown when discovering new stuff.

Cons:

  • Menu/Interface seems a bit scattered, might take awhile to get used to.
  • Needs the VR peripheral to fully immerse into the game.

Star Rating-8

Verdict 8/10

Lastly, where you at, Playstation VR? Can you drop by my door soon?

Author: Brian Papa

Geek gamer extraordinaire who constantly continues to champion the cardboard cause one uninitiated muggle a time! Meeples love me. Dice hate me.

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