Its a June morning in 2014.
I’m feeling tired because I stayed up until 4am to livestream a Sony E3 press conference being held in Los Angeles. Elle is sitting on the couch, reading the news on her phone.
“That sounds cool,” she says idly.
“What does?” I ask.
“A game where you fly around planets with dinosaurs on them.”
I stare at her blankly, so she goes on to explain…
“I’m reading about the games announced at E3. Apparently there’s a space-dinosaur game that stole the show.”
For the life of me, I can’t think of what game she’s referring to. And I watched the entire conference from start to finish. “What game are you talking about?”
She checks her phone again. “Its called No Man’s Sky.”
I am completely puzzled. I remember watching the trailer for No Man’s Sky during the conference. It was a gameplay demo for an indie game that looked colourful and had a great soundtrack. But beyond that, it didn’t seem remarkable at all.
“Who said it stole the show?”
Elle shrugs. “According to BBC News… everyone.”
And so begins 26 months of online buzz.
No Man’s Sky is an indie game made by less than two dozen people. Since their debut trailer at E3 in 2014, they have been steadily gathering more and more attention. Now that the game is finally here, everyone is asking themselves one question… has it been worth the wait?
The answer is a resounding yes.
Within the first hour, it becomes clear that this is a game with very little hand-holding. You simply exist in this universe… your universe… and you start exploring. What you actually do is up to you. The game merely gives little indications of how to proceed.
Each planet is uniquely generated by your PS4 (or PC) instead of being created by the developers. Not even the devs themselves know for sure what you’ll find when you play the game. This ignites a sense of wonder about the game’s universe akin to the same wonder I feel about the real universe… What’s out there? Can I go see it? And if so… just how far can I go?
This peaceful and non-aggressive objective presents the first space-based game I’ve played in many years that doesn’t involve a space war of some kind. Add to that the gentle ambient soundtrack of synth-electric vibes, and you end up with a surprisingly relaxing game.
No Man’s Sky isn’t the type of game that gets you hyped or excited (at least not in the beginning). Its a tranquil, slow-paced, relaxing experience where you are free to explore and play around to your heart’s content. There’s food for the soul here, and for the brain too.
The fact this game was made by such a small team is incredibly impressive.
Its all part of the charm of this game. A glittering gem made by ‘the little guys.’ Its reassuring that a towering corporation like Sony is willing to throw massive support to a team like this ever since advertising the game on their big E3 stage in front of the entire world.
I could talk more about my experience with No Man’s Sky, but there would be little point. My experience is going to be different from yours or anyone else who plays it. Only you know what you’re going to find.
Your universe awaits. Get out there and discover it 🙂