I am not a stranger to the survival RPG genre. From Don’t Starve and Subnautica, most will follow the same core ideals of explore, craft, and survive. Each one, for the most part, will contain a procedurally generated map that creates itself differently every time you begin a new game. What if this genre, however, was set on a much grander scale, in a semi-multiplayer universe containing millions of planets and star systems, each with their own species of plants, atmospheres, and climates? This, ladies and gentlemen, is No Man’s Sky.
One thing you will think when you research videos for No Man’s Sky is what exactly do you do? The developers have recently sat down with different game media outlets and demoed No Man’s Sky and showed off some of what you can do. In these videos, important pieces of gameplay are: gathering resources, crafting new gear for yourself, your weaponry, and your ship, avoiding the multitudes of sentinel-like robots that attack you if you violate seemingly unspoken rules of the galaxy, and slowly exploring and cataloguing the galaxy as you progress inexorably forward to the center of the galaxy. And yes, all of this is in a multiplayer universe… but good luck finding another player as the galaxy is so vast and each individual starting point so far from another, seeing other players is said to be a rarity.
For example, one of the demos shows the player has arrived on an icy cold planet, with freezing cold temperatures that slowly eat away at your space suit’s shields until you are exposed to the elements, where you will gradually lose health until death. You must then hunt for materials in order to buy a certain upgrade to your suit that will either give you more power to your shields or get another upgrade that will allow your suit to essentially ignore the cold environment around you. Or you can buy ammo for one of your weapons that allows you to burrow into the earth into a cave to prevent exposure, allowing you to regenerate shields and health. The game also contains countless alien artifacts that give you more tech, as well as allow you to unlock and translate languages that will allow your encounters with other sentient races to go more smoothly. If exploration doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can continually upgrade your ship with better cargo holds and weapons in order to take on numerous trade caravans and pirate your way through the stars.
What is so striking about the game aside from the gorgeous graphics and environments on display in the demos, is the amount of content and vast complexity. It seems, however, that in order to get to the center of this vast galaxy, one needs to take a lot of time and devotion to this one game. It seems quite beautiful place, however, to sink hours and hours of your time into as you upgrade yourself and your ship to explore parts unknown. Only upon release, however, will we see whether the gameplay will hold out or become a repetitive slog. A recommendation would be to support the game with semi-steady DLC like Don’t Starve through patches and paid DLC. Don’t Starve recently added oceanic and sea exploration to their game. Doesn’t change the formula, but the new environments and content seems to keep the game fresh and in updated form. No Man’s Sky will be out June 21, 2016 for PS4 and PC.