Exploring No Man’s Sky


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My first introduction to No Man’s Sky was a true testament to action-adventure survival games. Crash landed on a planet with a toxic atmosphere, I was tasked with the objective of gathering resources from the nearby areas and rebuilding my scanner. After the simple tutorial, some deep exploration and a couple different generations of my character, I was scanning and mining everything I possibly could. The completionist within me was sorely defeated after a couple of hours playing while the explorer side was giddy with anticipation of finding unique planets and life forms

 

The Gameplay

The foundation of No Man’s Sky was built on 4 points of interest: Exploration, Survival, Combat, and Trading. Admist over 18 quintillion planets, with so many different variations of flora and fauna (plants and animals) your choice of how you play the game is ultimately in your hands. Battling against conditions on a majority of the planets you visit, you are 13886936_1161182590604712_2901609626195510294_n.jpgconstantly left searching for different minerals while focusing on different objectives to make it to the center of the Universe.

When we first start off you are left with a multi tool and a jetpack tasked to fix up your gear, fight the elements of the surrounding environment and the space ship you stumble onto! How you  go about collecting the resources needed to repair your scanner and then your ship is entirely up to you. After installing your Analysis Visor you will be able to scan the local animals and upload your findings to the Atlas, a universal data base that all players can access. You can upload solar systems, planets, save points on planets and even animals and gain the in-game currency for you finds as well as rename whatever you want (outside of profanity).

Throughout your travels on the planet you may find different drop pods (containing Exo Suit inventory slot upgrades), Monoliths (usually contains different
Knowledge Stones which are used to learn different languages within the games or some event that unlocks words for you to learn, Trading Post and other various areas of interests, all that can be uploaded and visited for special items, upgrades and more. Among the different planets you’ll always find a beacon around that you can use a Bypass Circuit to locate these different areas and save points which do prove somewhat useful on your journey to mining everything and continuing your way to the center of the universe. Often you can find different Weapon, Ship and Exo Suit upgrades within those buildings but the inventory slot upgrades are found within Drop Pods, from finding new

weapons(different bases or within space anomalies were the main areas I noticed) and from bargaining with the space travelers you encounter across your travels. I have heard that you can find broken down ships occasionally but I wasn’t able to confirm this.

Although the Planets do vary with different conditions and other elements, they all usually contain upgrades and will offer different resources to pull from. Although there really isn’t any sort of antagonist for you to worry about, threatening conditions will continue to drain the protection your Exo Suit offers requiring constant observation,
everything you use in the game essentially can only be used so much before you have to 13906900_1157905217599116_6415999509613299671_nreplenish whatever resources were exhausted. The graphics for the most part were beautiful, each galaxy you entered looked stunning and many of the planets looked very good as well minus some blocky textures, jerky animal/ship movements and mishaps here and there.


GAMERS PANTHEON FINAL SCORE: 75%

While the explorer within me was satisfied everything else within me was questionable. Space travel, being knee-deep in plutonium on some distant planet and encountering different species and aliens were fun and different experiences, it lacked anything of substance for a story which ultimately was a big let down. Along our travels through galaxy I am left with disappointment with how few of lifeforms I actually met, granted there is 99% of the Universe that will be left unexplored, you’d think you would see more than 1-2 aliens at different trading post (the pilots that you can buy ships really don ‘t count). The main antagonists were wild animals, space pirates and sentinels that grew upset with how many resources you’ve depleted or if you stole some item of importance, and your “wanted” level can grow if you are unable to defeat or escape them. With a game that was supposed to focus on combat, I am left disappointed once again, with more a self learnt trial and error then a true tutorial, the gun play is still a let down to a degree. The only time combat truly shines is in space, the dog fights mostly 2 or more against you at time, are fun and unforgiving. With seconds to spare you are left shooting it out and reinforcing your ship’s defense before the enemy can overwhelm you. Outside of that it’s a whole realm of travel and exploration, the trade system was a solid idea with how different Solar Systems fluctuated with inventory prices but once you figured out how to farm for the highest amount of units, searching for items of trade become irrelevant. The true captivating part of this game were the space battles, upgrading everything to the maximum and finding the best ship, gun and attachments I could. Finding the center of the universe was a strong drive in itself but mainly I found myself farming as much as I could so I could buy everything I needed to bargain for my next ship of over 7 million units and all the Exo Suit inventory slot upgrades. The planets themselves were different but in a sense everything eventually blended together just with slightly different atmospheres, textures, colors and variations of plants/animals. Which ultimately was a factor in which downgraded my exploration experience. Some of the hours that I played I grew to love this game while some of them I questioned myself if I should continue playing. It was a weird sensation. None the less with some updates or DLC that allow Players to meet up online or even some sort of deadly force outside of sentries and animals I think the game would really shine, maybe a bit more focus on making the planets and galaxies different and this game would be great.

 

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PROS-

  • Offers a vast Universe with almost endless Planets to visit, it has been stated that over 99% of the game will never be reached
  • Offers different weapon, suit and ship upgrades to fine tune your experience
  • Space battles were beautiful

 

CONS-

  • Lack of story, even with a game based on exploration sometimes it was hard to know what to do next
  • Even though there are millions of Planets, nothing really sets one-off more than the other. After a while everything seems similar in a sense.
  • Combat was clumsy and besides alerting sentinels or animals nothing was exceptional besides battling space pirates
  • Inventory was a nightmare, from the interface to managing with the amount of space you have. Farming for units is almost necessary to get to a point to where you can search for different resources without hassle.

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