No Man’s Sky was, in many ways, the revelation of E3 to gamers around the world. The PS4 exclusive has managed to push its way to the forefront of industry intrigue via tantalizing previews and a spectacular showing at gaming’s biggest event of the year. But what is it about this game that makes it so exciting, really? We’ve seen open world games before. We’ve seen space fighters before. What makes No Man’s Sky stand out?
No Man’s Sky simply refuses to be pigeon-holed into a particular genre, or as a familiar type of game. The game involves ground combat, but it’s not an FPS. It involves exploration of a vast universe, but it’s not strictly a sandbox game. It involves zero-G dogfights in space, but it’s not just a space sim. It involves harvesting resources and buying better ships, but it’s not an RPG. It involves an entire universe shared with the spaceships of fellow gamers, but it’s not an MMO. And this is, perhaps, precisely the point of No Man’s Sky. Developer Hello Games has released virtually no information on the game itself. We know that there’s a protagonist, and that there will be enough story to spur them on their exploratory journey through a limitless universe. The rest? You’ll just have to wait to find out, because Hello Games is in no rush to tell you—surprise and in-game exploration are the charms No Man’s Sky is built on.
So, what do we know about the game? The big hook is that everything in-game is procedurally generated. That means that in-game events, environments, wildlife, even characters are created in real-time and randomly—accordingly, every gaming session will be different, based on certain variables changing or how you may or may not react to an environmental shift. The E3 trailer above shows us how you can discover new planets and new species, seamlessly take off from a planet surface, engage in space combat, then hop to another planet in the distance, along with a few friends. Be an explorer. Be a combat ace. Be a scientist if you so choose. The possibilities are endless, and Hello Games doesn’t intent to hold your hand while you play, preferring instead for the gamer to learn on their own through natural progression of their character through the universe.
Hello Games is undertaking a risky endeavor and they know it, but we can’t wait to see how it turns out. If all goes as planned, No Man’s Sky may be one of the first games to usher in a true next-gen experience and perhaps earn a rank amongst Sony’s flagship titles.
In other gaming news this week, Arkham Knight lets you play as the Scarecrow, Crytek looks to be in financial difficulties, and Zelda goes… multiplayer? Read on!
- If you buy Batman: Arkham Knight for the PS4, there’s a treat coming your way. The Scarecrow Nightmare pack will enable gamers to play as the Scarecrow himself.
- Is Crytek in trouble? The studio behind Ryse: Son of Rome and the Crysis series has reportedly been bleeding employees for the last few months and is behind on payments to its employees. Never a good sign…
- There’s some heavy speculation going on right now that the new Legend of Zelda game for the Wii U will include multiplayer in some form. Intriguing, to say the least.
- Speaking of Zelda, here she is kicking some ass in the latest Hyrule Warriors trailer.
- Leaked Witcher 3 files indicate that the map size of one of the game’s island is a remarkable 64 square kilometers. Sounds like CD Projekt Red will really be pushing next-gen hardware to its limit.
- Watch Conan O’Brien luge his way through E3. Fantastic segment, as usual.
- Finally, have a look at 30 minutes of Metal Gear Solid V gameplay on PS4. Some impressive visuals and gameplay elements on display here.