No Man Sky
Genre: Survival / Exploration / Open World
Developer: Hello Games
Gamemode: Singleplayer / Multiplayer / Coop
I thought hell will freeze over before I will ever touch this game, because I hate people that tell stories about their game to sell it and do not realize that people will not sit around patient for years till they developed finally the promised content. But it came different. I was talked into playing it with my friends till I finally gave in and did let them buy the game for me. That is just my personal start to this game, but it might matter to some people that have a similar reason why they did not buy the game yet. And because this review is for the main part for them I mention this approach to the game.
No Man Sky was announced in 2016 as a Space exploration game with space battles, trading and survival aspects and procedural generated worlds. Back then the indie studio Hello Games stated that the game would have far more content, than it originally had. Several features that had been promised were simply not in the game when it got released. Especially the multiplayer ability was a disappointment and Hello Games explained later on that they failed to control the exaggerated expectations of the media and players. Fact is (because I watched their announcements and interviews back then I know what happened) that they did spread some half-truth about the game and pretended some would already work in this game, that didn't. But it was also visible that they were young and not very self-reliant and probably did not know how to react to most expectations. A perfect example was the multiplayer function, which didn't exist, and when it came into the game it had a highly unlikelihood that anyone would ever meet anyone else ingame. Also you could not really play together. So the multiplay stayed useless back then.
Since the game was initially released to early access the developers made several major content updates and worked on adding the announced but missing features from their launch in 2016. So meanwhile it is an action adventure survival game with first and third person perspective that allows the player to join friends or play alone, collect, build, repair and travel between planets and solar systems. The ambitious project got finally realized and slowly but steady Hello Games got their lost reputation back. So here you go, this is my review to the improved version of No Man Sky.
You start out with your main story, ending up crashed on a planet not knowing what happened to you. This amnesia doesn't vanish and you'll try to figure out how you came to this planet and what happened. Building the first devices to track signals and repair your ship brings you in contact with another creature that seems to know you. Following the tracks to him you'll try to help him out of his own lost and stuck situation. While you can proceed with the main story line you will also build your base with surface vehicles and storage room that will be lacking, because you need to buy a lot of upgrades for your ship and exosuit with a jet-pack as well as for your mining multi tool. In order to get those upgrades you'll explore more planets and collect resources you can sell or use. While doing this you'll also visit space stations, start learning alien languages and collect knowledge about the universe and the planets. You'll find knowledge stones on planets that teach you words in different languages, meet aliens that can also teach you, discover animals and find resources that you can scan to sort out which useful materials they'll give to you. Little self replicating guard robots called Sentinals might attack you while taking resources, because they patrol on some planets.
The graphic is nice and the story makes you curious so that you go on with it. I had a motion sickness problem in this game, because some textures did not load in properly. Joining some friend will cause that you won't see every building he did, there are still some issues like that in this game. To meet up with your friends you can use an anomaly that you'll get by the story. The building system is as to be expected rather futuristic and sometimes you won't know why support is missing or what to do about it. Terra forming is possible but not in any way accurate and you'll probably just don't do it to not mess up your surrounding. Resources can be easily collected with the multitool that needs to be upgraded to collect all of it. You can go exploring caves or take shelter in alien bases. You are able to engage combat with alien fractions or just avoid confrontation with space pirates and other hostile encounters. If you die you will respawn nearby your last location and can get your inventory back if you can reach your death location. If you die in space you'll loose your ships inventory but can also try to pick it back up if no space pirates claimed it before. There is no female avatar in this game, which is a bit sad. The game has a lots of different looking planets and biomes with different and also dangerous weather and bright colors, plenty of funny or strange looking creatures to discover and it is definitely more fun to play this game with friends. It even runs on Linux.
We recommend: If you like space exploring games, buy it, it is meanwhile a good game and can be really fun!