3TR’s : No Man’s Sky Game Review
Unfortunately, No Man’s Sky does not possess and actual narrative that one can follow but more on a simple objective. You find yourself waking up on some unknown planet and your spaceship has crashed. Once you have finished repair, your goal is to travel from galaxy to attempt to reach to the center of the universe for what reason is not given. Now me being a story driven gamer I can open admit that No Man’s Sky’s lack of any real narrative did make it very difficult for me to get invested into the game. However, I can understand the developer wants the player to shape their own unique story over the course of their journey to the center of the universe. The problem for me at least is that there is just not enough to do throughout one’s travel to make the write your own story concept really credible. And if you do manage to actually achieve the primary goal of the game then the payoff is not really worth all the time and effort you put into your actual playthroughs.
The primary gameplay can be described as a survival exploration game divided into two categories those being on the ground and within your space ship. The survival aspect while you’re on the ground will have you spend most of your time using your primary tool to mine for materials that you can collect and have multiple uses including recharging your hazard protection exo-suit, your life support and also multiple flight functions for your space ship including your Launch Thrusters, Pulse Engines, and Hyperdrive. You can also buy and sell the materials you collect at Galactic-Trading Terminals in order to gain more unit credits or purchase rare object that you could not collect through traditional means. The exploration aspect, while you are on the ground, will have you seeking out and scanning both landscapes and alien lifeforms so that you can collect data and once shared on the universal data base you will be rewarded with unit credits. Over the course of your travel you will also encounter serval unique alien factions that will try to communicate with you but at first, it will be very difficult to understand their language. But by exploring the monoliths of each for each unique alien species you will gain knowledge on how to understand their language thereby making your alliance with each alien species stronger, to which they will provide you will material and upgrades for all your equipment to aid you on your journey. However, an issue I had with this function is that no matter where you go all the alien species, for the most part, seem to act completely identical making your interactions with each species feeling more and more reparative with time. Once you collected as much date and resources on one partial planet as you want. You can then jump into your space ship and travels to another planet do to your entire exploration cycle all over again. If you happen to have enough fuel in your hyperdrive, however, you can use your universal map to travel to another galaxy and the more fuel you have in your hyperdrive the farther you can travel. The combat aspect of the No Man’s Sky is unfortunately very lacking both on the ground and in space. While on the ground your primary enemies are variations of different machines called sentinels that can call for bigger and stronger reinforcements if you do not destroy them quickly. However, the mostly always ignore you unless you attack them first and the same goes for any planetary wild life you may encounter. Regardless of how they may appear the wild life will mostly stay away from you and unless you feed in which they will befriend you can even guide you rare items. In space, combat can be ranged from completely nonexistent to repetitive and boring. As most galactic fleets will only attack you if you shoot first and your random encounters with hostile enemies always have you engaging only one enemy at a time.
The upgrade mechanic in No Man’s Sky is can at time feel expansive but is ultimately quite limited. You can increase your Exosuit Inventory by finding the random pod and spending credit unit to buy an extra slot which will allow you carry more materials. If you get tired of you current ship you save up unit credits in order to buy different ships that can carry a much Inventory. You can trade in your current Multi-Tool for a different one that may have more inventory slots or many high levels of mechanical function or a different level of performance. In the end though the gameplay at first glance can somewhat feel quite fast after you have finished the initial first number of hours you will find yourself doing the same thing over and over and over again no matter what planet you visit or how far you choose to travel through the universe making the game only as long as you choose to make it.
Now right from the get go a major positive of No Man’s Sky are the games visuals. The designers did a solid job at coming up with a technique of a creative lot of planets that all look slightly different than each other thou they can feel somewhat similar to each. The look of sights of traveling to multiple galaxies never seemed to get old as I always knew that no matter where I went throughout the universe I would always see something different and beautiful. The music and sound design does a great job at setting up the mood to whatever activity you taking part in where it’s exploring the vast landscapes of the planets you will visit, battling hostile enemies the vacuum of space or even traveling at hyper speed to your next unexplored solar system. On a technical level though the game did run rather smooth for a majority of my 50+ hours playthroughs I did notice a series of frame rate drops that seemed to only happen when the game had a hard time keeping up with my flight speed while I was scanning the landscape of the worlds I was visiting and with planets that are supposed to have some levels of gravity there seem to be some series issues with the laws of physics. And I have heard from serval output that their games did have a tendency to crash from time to time however this is something that never seemed to happen during my particular playthroughs. In an over all design sense, No Man Sky’s is able to capture the experience and wonder of what intergalactic space travel might be but it is heavy flawed and lacks debt making the overall game feel somewhat hollow and just as empty as planets and galaxies in No Man’s Skys are themselves.
RATING SCORE: 6.5/10