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Saturday, 27 August 2016

No Man's Sky

No Man's Sky

Well the hype is over, the excitement has accumulated into the out pouring of rage and disappointment on some sites and I'm not surprised after Hello Games kinda screwed up right off the bat. Yes, they of won the award for "The Game Award for Most Anticipated Game" however this in my opinion just does not make a game great. I hear people saying, "It looked great on all the video's, and the pictures". Also Sony got there noses in everyone's puddin and pissed on PC owners chips by allowing everyone that has a PlayStation 4 to play the game a few days earlier then the rest of us, but in the end it just meant they were the ones that got the disappointment first. Quoting the Wiki now...

The game play of No Man's Sky is built on four pillars — exploration, survival, combat, and trading. Players are free to perform within the entirety of a procedurally generated deterministic open universe, which includes over 18 Quintilian (1.8×1019) planets, many with their own sets of flora and fauna. By exploring, players gain information about the planets that they can submit to the Atlas, a universal database that can be shared with other players of the game. Players get compensated in in-game currency every time new information is uploaded to The Atlas. Players also gain materials and blueprints to upgrade their character's equipment and purchase a variety of starships, allowing them to travel deeper into the centre of the galaxy, survive on planets with hostile environments, interact in friendly or hostile manners with computer-controlled space-faring factions, or trade with other ships. Some activities, such as killing too many lifeforms or draining too many resources from planets, will draw the attention of patrolling robotic Sentinels that will attempt to kill the player character.

So lets start with the four pillars. Firstly you explore, and by looking at the 18 Quintilian planets you're gonna be doing it a while. You warp from system to system looking for new flora and fauna. You get to scan it with your visor thingy and then you get the option to name it. Sounds good right, well it was, for like the first ten or twenty planets that is. After which you start to notice subtle resemblances in land masses coloring or the ground animals and even plant life. Caves are filled with all the same materials which raged from Plutonium, Gold, Emril, Iron and a couple of others. The land mass generated by the game is identical all over the planet. If a planet is a cold Hoth like planet then its like it all over, cold. Hot planets are hot all over, wet planets are wet all over and so on and so on. Realistically planets have poles, south and north, which in general are colder. The equators are warmer often wetter areas with more wildlife and plant life. You get an immediate scene that everything is going to be that same all over the vast universe. Animal life from planet to planet will appear quite the same with very resemblances to the cat/dog thing you found in the system before, but instead of four legs it only got three.

Survival is not a huge factor, all you need to do is keep your shields up and health full which is easy to accomplish since most buildings you discover on the planets have health and shield stations, and you can regenerate using most materials you find and dig up using your multi tool. You don't eat, you don't drink, you don't grow old, which could be beneficial as the length of time it will take to find everything may require you to live forever. The only hard part about survival is that when you land upon a lovely world you think looks lush and green from a distance, kinda turns out to be a nuclear waste land and spawns a few crab like creature that like the odd bit of meat. The sentinels, which are on every single planet you go on rage from being passive, to enraged. Sometimes picking up rare materials gives you an instant three star, square, symbol thingy where a robot dog spawns right in front of you with a beam weapon, and it has two buddies that hover around pelting you with a little laser fire. There easy to deal with, but the fun part is if you leave  a hover sentinel alone and allow it to follow you it must get annoyed and calls for back up. you get five star wanted and it spawns two legged, what I can only describe as a copy of something from Star Wars.

Bot Walker

This and fighting some pirates in space that turn up more often then not and try to steal your shit and blow you up is just about all the combat you will be doing. If you have upgraded your weapons and shields nothing appears to be a major threat and everything becomes slightly too easy. I've never encounter more then one large walker at a time and I have tried a lot to get this to happen from slaying puppies to shooting birds out the sky, and killing drones that show up. There is just no real threat that actually feels threatening. 

Lastly, trading is very simple. You mine, dig or shoot crystal formations to gain materials.You get an inventory full and either sell them at a space station. ( you cab find one in every star system) Or you can find a terminal at a star port, or trading post on a planet. Most materials stack to 250 in your suit inventory, and 500 in ship inventory. However certain items like the rare item sack Venom which are spiky pink balls that squirt you with venom. These only stack as a single unit and collecting one will give you an instant three star wanted level with a dog drone and two hover sentinels to deal with. They sell for a pretty penny, so staying on a planet for a while you can amass a fortune and buy a bigger ship with more slots on it. More on that later. In fairness the selling of goods ranges in percentage markup from system to system and you can make good money or not so much money depending on location. I did find that prices were very different from system to system so picking your materials on each planet was ideal as you don't want to be loosing money where you could in fact be making a killing. 

A Monolith 

Another thing to do in the game is collect words. There is three races in the No Mans Sky Universe. The Vy'Keen, The Gek and the Korvax. Each very different from the next and looking at the basics the Vy'Keen are a worrier race, where the Gek are more traders and the Korvax more scientists.
You find scattered all over each planet in every system Monoliths. From these you can typically learn around two to three words. Interacting with the main part of the Monolith you given a multiple choice Q&A which you need to solve. You awarded when completed and sometimes punished when you get it wrong or do something naughty. Rewards vary from health increase, more word, a multi tool upgrade and tech upgrades. The other way to learn words is to interact with aliens and pay twenty Carbon and he will teach you some fine local language. You can search with your eyes over a planet to fins these monoliths but if you want to save time crafting a key pass to use which will give the location of them on the planet. There are many, many words to learn, but its easy as everyone follows a path for each word and they are taught at the same time and in an order. So no randomization at all in this part of the game.

Well that's pretty much the game in a nut shell, more or less. The hype, the release, the let down. I can't say how disappointed I am. At launch I was excited even after the disappointment of a set back in a release date by almost a month. Then the early release for Sony players. The immediate first five hours of game play of having to repair your ship to get off the planet was fun. The first words you discover and the first alien race you come across was all very exciting, but you quickly learn that there are no large towns or cities on planets, there is only three alien races in the entire galaxy and everything you do becomes repetitive and boring after a good 50 hours game play. I find myself warping from system to system doing the same thing. You can't buy star ships from a ship yard you need to make an offer to a trader. You dock on a massive space station and there is one person on there if your lucky. Technology upgrades are harder to fine then words, you find the same tech over and over again on every planet. I found myself board and very let down as I ran out of things to do. The game is so massive, so huge, my mind hurts just thinking about just how big it really is, yet it's filled with all the same stuff. There is literally nothing to do. Planets are boring, I get frustrated over the sheer lack of creativity in the game. If you think about it they haven't had to do a lot. They wrote the program to generate the wildlife and plant life. and then the program to generate the star systems and planets. However complex that may have been, being a Proceduraly generated game I'd thought they would have put a lot more in the game. One of the biggest let downs was that there is no multiplayer. you can't see other players, there is no playing together, fighting one another or just having some good old fashioned tomfoolery.

Shit, its GODZILLA

The future of the game looks to be short live at best, people will pick the game up for there own opinion I'm sure of it but disappointment will be awaiting them at the end. The game is set for more content releases in the future, but DLC on a procedural generated game will be hard to do. Murray had hinted at the possibility of modding tools. This in the past on games like Space Engineers have made games go from shocking to fantastic over night. I am a massive fan of modders. People have great ideas that other people just don't have and they can make some truly fantastic things. This however is just an option the NMS team are looking at and until they do something drastic No Man's Sky looks set to be lost in its vast empty Universe.

My Gaming Review Gives this an honest, 6/10

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