One of this year’s most anticipated titles has finally been released and has been out now for about two weeks. The game, No Man’s Sky and according to Steam the reviews for the game is practically at a dead lock. 49,257 reviews and 52% of those votes leave No Man’s Sky at a less than stellar “Mixed” review. But why? Did we over hype this game like we tend to do with every other game or did Sony and Hello Games just mislead us, it could be both. Regardless, No Man’s Sky is still a very unique game that inspires the gamer to embrace his or hers sense of adventure through time and space.
I haven’t yet put in the time that I wanted to in NMS and with Legion just around the corner I may not be able to fully give it my attention but it’s not going to keep me from trying. Collectively I have put in a little over 20 hours in NMS and so far from what I have done and what I have felt, it’s that the space odyssey game that is shrouded in mystery I have been looking for sense I finished Mass Effect for the third time.
The beginning of the game was a little rough I can admit. Mainly because I wasn’t really sure what I was playing. And when it comes to playing a game with limited direction the feeling of being overwhelmed by a new game can be defeating. Also it didn’t help that the red blob known as Atlas wasn’t much help in guiding me on my new found journey. So safe to say I spent the first hour or so trying to figure out the mechanics of the game. Honestly I’m still learning but the further I delve and the more words I learn throughout the planet the bigger fan I become.
NMS is at its core an immersion game. A game that drops you in the middle of a desolate planet with not much more advice other then “just survive.” It’s a lonely game that at times has made me feel exhausted about seeing the same mountain or hill over and over again. But to know that there might be something new just over the mountain range keeps me trekking along. Scouring the planet for a particular metal or element while your life support meter drops and the flashing of lights from your suit begins. This brings out the fact that this game isn’t just about exploring and discovery but it’s also about survive. When I play NMS or any game for that matter I easily let the want to adventure get the best of me. Luckily in most games it’s not such a bad thing because of the sand box map layout. However in NMS adventuring just a couple meters beyond a valley could really get you turned around, but If my feet can take me there. I’m going. The great thing that I realized on Sunday was that you can actually ping a marker in distance through the binoculars. Whether it be a trade hub, drop pod, or battered down shelter the marker tool helps keep you moving without getting to far from your target of interest. This for me makes the game that more immersive. Not only are they areas to save your game or to upgrade/sell your gear but they become these areas that you actually look forward to. They become areas of great relief after walking for hours on end in hopes to discover more of the games lore. This past Sunday I made it a personal mission to dig a little dipper in the language in the game and because there is no actual map of reference you just need to follow your feet. So I went. In a span of two days I discovered a fair amount of words. But the crown jewel was when I came across a massive stone that showed me more of the language which led me to understand that there is way more to this language then just game filler. I’m on a planet that is mostly inhabited by creatures native to this planet and yet there are stones with lore enlightenment willing to teach me. But because I was low on inventory, because I’m a hoarder, I needed to return back to my ship. It took me at least an hour to get back. Sure the marker said “Arrive in 21.00” but it doesn’t count if and when you get side tracked. On arrive I had this rye smile that I was home or at least somewhere where I knew where things were. Close to home as I’m going to get for now.
Which leads me into, what I think to be a very special part of the game, the alien interaction and their language. It’s not known why or how you arrived on this planet. Are you the last hope for some nearby dying planet that is looking to relocate or are you simply a rocket man burning out his fuse up in this galaxy alone. We don’t know yet. But we aren’t alone that’s for sure. The language is a key part throughout No Man’s Sky. If you want to trade you will need to know a few words so you don’t offend or scare one of the organic life forms. More importantly the language is going to further delve into the lore of NMS and with a game that is going to be further expanded through patches I would recommend that in this universe word farming is pivotal. Also to get a better understanding of what the language lore might bring in the future check out the official PlayStation Blog NMS a Universe Filled with Lore and Language.
All in all I enjoy No Man’s Sky. I look forward to finding new planets and species. Learning more languages and meeting new aliens. Sure it may have been subjected to over hype by us gamers and maybe we expected it to be so unique that maybe we can’t even appreciate it in our time, much like the Nintendo Game Cube. However No Man’s Sky is it’s own game and if you ever dreamed of drifting alone through space in hopes to find adventure and mystery No Man’s Sky is your game. Take it for what it is and not for what the mass media painted it to be. No Man’s Sky is a unique adventure and a breath of fresh air.