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“You are properly lost” in No Man’s Sky

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No Man’s Sky sounds like a massive game, to anyone who has been following news on it. It’s just you, a spaceship and an entire universe to explore that happens to have around 18 quintillion planets to set foot on. I’m naming the first one I find “Planet Bob”. As a species, humanity is entirely obsessed with being the first to discover or achieve anything in life. Just look at the comments of a popular YouTube video, which will most likely be crawling with “first” blurbs from people who are after a lighter version of this sensation.

But in No Man’s Sky, you’ll have plenty of those firsts to engage in. If you survive long enough that is. “If I am here and I land on this planet, no one else has ever been here before, in all likelihood,” Hello Games managing director Sean Murray said to Polygon.

I can’t go to YouTube and find a video of it; I can’t look up GameFAQs; there’s nothing to help me. And if I record a video of it, that’s unique. And that’s a cool thing. But it does mean you are properly lost.

It’s that kind of exploration that is at the heart of No Man’s Sky. That feeling that you’ve reached the point of no return and you’ve got to rely on your own ingenuity to survive. Something which is dependent on interacting with the systems around you. “The more I explore, the more I know about certain races, the more I interact with them, the more of their language [I’ll] learn,” Murray explained of the races that you can mingle with.

And that leads to things like the ability to trade with them for ships, weapons, tech upgrades, things like that.

To make things easier, there’s a quad squad of pillars to choose from that will help you not die a horrible death in the cold and dark vacuum of space: Exploration, Survival, Combat and Trading. They aren’t exactly skill trees, but more like paths within which to carve out your own niche in the galaxy. “Players can go fully down one of those rabbit holes, one of those roots,” Murray explained.

So they can be entirely an explorer, if they really want to be. They can be a survivalist; they can hang out on just one planet and try and see how long they can survive.

I am so ruling my quadrant with the iron fist of a lunatic explorer who has gone mad with power. No Man’s Sky has plenty of ideas to throw at players, but it’ll be interesting to see if they stick around for dozens upon dozens of hours that make being lost in space worthwhile when the final game arrives on June 21.

Last Updated: April 4, 2016

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