Glenn’s Initial ‘No Man’s Sky’ Impressions

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I only got to play about 4 hours yesterday since we had to record the podcast.

It’s not that’s there’s a “story” but I really don’t want to discuss the first hour or so of the game, because it’s pretty special. Obviously, much of it acts as a tutorial of sorts, but It’s better experienced than merely reading about it. That’s actually the core of this game too, “figuring it out” is what it’s all about, and as part of that, the emotions that are evoked as well.

It’s so incredibly easy to lose yourself in exploration and in trying to find the ingredients to craft things that I need. The minutia of mining and crafting is something that I normally don’t like, but the way it’s handled here is great, and I don’t really even think about it. My stream last night was basically an hour of me searching planets for one key ingredient, or to find enough other stuff to sell to be able to afford purchasing it.

The way the game starts too, is very well done, although, I missed naming my 1st planet somehow lol. I’m so eager to keep learning a new language, and my main goal now is to open additional inventory slots so that I’m not constantly shifting materials around. When I mention “learning a new language”, that involves finding objects that act almost as Rosetta Stones littered across different planets. You’ll need to be able to communicate with the different races that you encounter out in the universe, so when you find these objects, you’ll actually start learning a new language, word-by-word. Even in the 4 hours that I played, learning 16 words reaped huge benefits with blueprints for new tech and in gaining additional items. That feeling though, when my ship was scanned by an aggressor, and they found something in my inventory that they wanted, what a rush!. That 1st combat situation was pretty cool, not as in-depth as X-Wing etc, but incredibly solid, and I love that my ship has verbal warnings that warn me when my shields are critical.

And that’s really the thing that sets the game apart from everything else so far, the attention to the right details. I actually got tense when I was lost in what seemed like an endless underground cave. Playing with headphones on, I could hear my character breathing in his helmet, and when I ran, almost choking while gasping for air when I hit my running limit. Things like that pull you into the experience so much.

We’ll see if it continues to hold my interest, but I’ll never be able to describe that feeling the first time I flew up to a Space Station and hit the button to dock, which took me into an enormous hangar and let me disembark my ship so I could wander around. For a sci-fi nerd, that was simply stunning.

I just can’t give enough credit to the hard work that the small team at Hello Games put forth. You can’t deny the scope, scale, and detail that No Man’s Sky offers gamers. It’s quite breathtaking.

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  • himdeel

    Fantastic!

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  • Joshua Simpkins

    Oh man… The press and users on Metacritic are eating this game alive… I can’t wait to see what the good folks here at PSNation potentially have to say in this game’s defense, or join the lynch mob. LOL

    • J.D. Dabbs

      I really love what I have played. I’m just running into a wall. I can effectively keep jumping toward the center of the Galaxy now without doing much more than mine for warp fuel. That seems a little disappointing. I haven’t seen a need to upgrade further for some time. I’m also hoping this Atlas thing gives me more purpose. I only have V1 Atlas Pass, so there is potential for something bigger. Atlas is just a bit too obscure. It is there, but there is no real obvious reason to figure out what it really is.
      And most of my animals look strikingly similar even across systems. They look like badgers with horns and armadillo shells or giraffes with only 2 legs and occasionally a dinosaur part.
      If they keep working on it, this game could be truly epic! It’s just starting to get repetitive. For all its beauty, it hasn’t much to do but mine, craft and learn languages.

  • J.D. Dabbs

    After 20 hours I have enough upgrades to hold my own against the pirate fighters and planet sentinels. I’m finding no continued need or reason to upgrade. All I have done for the last few hours is fuel my warp drive and try to find Atlas posts and explore planets for knowledge in languages. Almost all the blueprints I find now are “already known” and…let’s face it…almost all the planets are either expansive deserts with caves, island clusters with caves, or forrests with caves. The weather is different from planet to planet, but it would be nice if each planet had different climate zones at least. Even the plants are repeating quite a bit. If you see one zinc-plant, you’ve seen them all on every planet…even if it goes by a new name on each planet.
    I’m hoping (after several system jumps closer to the center) that things start changing up a bit.
    And the water NEEDS FISH and sea monsters and a reason to explore it.
    I love this game. I want to keep loving it. I am just not excited over mining stuff so much anymore.