NO MAN'S SKY: Early Report

With No Man's Sky's release date just around the corner, I wanted to
give my thoughts on the things I like but starting with some I don't. To be clear, I have never been this excited about a game before, and even though I love the concept, design and seemingly endless universe, I found some minor issues with the mechanics and lore itself. So please, after reading I would love it if you could offer your thoughts on the game and if you think it's right for you!

Firstly, I really dislike no player housing for those who wish to find a planet and completely explore it. Maybe you want to actually walk across an entire planet? If you do, I'd like the ability to leave my mark. Aside from actually naming stuff, it would be fantastic to build something on each planet.. although I do see how that changes the model completely, but it would be fantastic. With a game world this infinite the idea of getting to the center of the universe it impossible, so, I would think we could eventually get tired of exploring and say hey, I'm going to stay on this planet, call it my own planet and go completely wild building on it. God, I hope they figure out a way to patch this into the game because if they do, and we all get to make our own homes or even cities on planets I will be in love!

A completely baron universe, but there are trade ships? What the heck are they trading if there aren't citizens on planets to trade for. And everyone's just floating in space trying to survive? Did I miss something here? We know there are buildings, workshops, bases, etc on planets, and they're inhabited by NPC's, but it's not like there are cities, towns or houses on any planet, suggesting that there really aren't many people living on the planets. It is somewhat hard to believe that in an infinite universe, there wouldn't be a planet far more populated than another, however as it appears, the population ratio between planets doesn't appear to be all that vast. Some planets won't have any factions inhabiting them, while others will, and you'll see them sparingly throughout your journey.

No multiplayer interaction. While I know Hello Games hasn't fully released their information on multiplayer, they have suggested there won't be much interaction between players at all. Now, this doesn't upset me because I enjoy solo experiences and sharing my journey with friends, but I wonder after a lengthy expedition, perhaps you put in 1000 hours, wouldn't you want the ability to say, teleport to a friend? There are examples of magic, as the stones you find to read words also contain magical powers that can heal you, however this is more of a spiritual magic, it would be a cool to include portals or some other way of playing with a friend. Perhaps to do this it could be incredibly difficult where both players have to gather enough resources of a particular magical element, requiring an incredible amount of play time and exploration, making the task more difficult. This kind of idea would completely immerse me further, giving the narrative an incredible twist! Actually interacting with a player on the other side of the universe for the first time and being able to join them to explore together. If you get tired of them, well, have a ceremonial send off, shaking their hands and saluting them, then shooting off into the eternal sky, to discover the universe alone.

Combat, while I have seen glimpses of the combat, it doesn't seem like that's going to be a major component for players and while for me, that's not important, I would like the combat to be fun while I'm in it. I am sure I will be testing the limits of my wanted level to see just what mechanical beasts come after me. But that's just the problem I have. Since there aren't many NPC's on the planets, are we only going to fight space battles, air battles and droids? There hasn't been much mention of ground fighting with other NPC's. Also, when you shoot an animal, the centinals show because for some reason, the animals on these planets are to be protected. I understand that, but if a giant bull with an eagle head comes charging after me I'm going to shoot him in his beak. So I hope there's some sense that's gone in to making the aggressive animals because if that was the case, we would have a legitimate threat and fantastic battles could result.

In No Mans Sky there is a lack of attainable items because the main idea of this game is to go out and explore, taking only what you need maybe reaching the center of the universe. They have confirmed there is something at the center, and they themselves are eager to wait for someone to discover that. Will that happen? There's a possibility but most likely not for a very long time. So what does this mean? Well you only have a single weapon and it's considered a multi-tool. It allows for customization, one minute it's a sniper rifle, then a shotgun, land disruptor for blowing holes into the environment and a mining tool for gathering resources. There will be a plethora of others, however these are the ones I've seen.

You will also only have one ship, and you attain a new one by trading your ship for another. The ships are not customizable in appearance, only the internal parts can be altered and so if you want a more badass ship you've got to trade for it and probably provide other resources as well. A problem that could arise from this is having one ship and spending so much time improving the hyper drive ability or defence to find a ship that's much better and losing what you worked so hard for. I am sure I will see a lot of ships I like and the idea of only being able to have one at a time is kind of the pits if you ever want to see your old ship again.

On the flip side, we know there are nearly an infinite number of ship combinations so there will always be new and better looking ships down the line. The type of faction you trade from will also influence the characteristics of the ship. For instance, some factions are explorers and knowledge seekers, their ships are for more long distance traveling while another faction will be more into combat and pirating.

As well as customizing your multi-tool and ship, you can also customize and optimize your space suit to survive on your journey through the universe. These upgrades cost resources which you'll find along the way, and they can range from better armor for surviving cold and other harsh environments, rocket pack for flying high, underwater suit for better survivability and much more. There really isn't a down side to any of this as these upgrades further enhance your experience with the game and allow you to see more, do more and explore endlessly. As it appears the outside of the universe is where everyone starts, and as you make your way closer to the center, the climate will change and your suit needs to change with it.

The graphics in this game aren't ground breaking, but there's much more to it than just the visuals themselves. When you're standing on a planet you can look up and see the moon or moons and other planets around them. Those planets you see can be visited, and you can even make out the landscape. From space, if you're at a space station you can look out the window and see a planet and everything you see, no matter the distance you're from it, is actually where you see it. If you happened to see an island stranded all alone on a planet you can fly from space and literally end up exactly at that island. This kind of distance viewing is unbelievable and to my estimation nothing has been done like this before. Once you're on the planets you'll see particles of dust, and other debris wavering in the air, or snow and rain pouring or sprinkling down. The sun and moon cycles are beautiful and I think it's the lighting effects that really help this game's aesthetics. Each planet has a day and night cycle that differ depending on the solar system they're in and how far or close they are from the sun determines the kind of planet it is. Farther away you'd expect a colder, winter climate, and as you approach the planets nearest the sun perhaps more lush or desert planets. The resources you obtain in these types of planets seem to be exclusive to their climates. For example, in a winter climate, there will be precious resources only found there, the same for warmer climates.

In conclusion it appears that Sean Murray and Hello Games have been very hard at work, and with only 10-12 employees, what they're accomplishing is beyond amazing. They have also made the decision to stay quiet about most of the games features and I think this is a great decision on their part. Everything I've said only composes a small portion of the actual game's mechanics, gameplay and features. You can expect that many secrets will be unveiled once the game releases on August 9th, similar to Minecraft when it released, the devs didn't tell you what to do or give you an opening quest to learn the game... No Man's Sky is taking this exact approach, only amping it up with an almost infinite procedural universe with breathtaking landscape and vistas, planet sized planets orbiting their sun, NPC factions to meet and align yourself with, gear to influence and customize, animals, plants, planets and galaxies to name, space and land combat, pirating or purely exploration.. the choice is ultimately yours!

Thank you,

Legendary Drago