‘No Man’s Sky’ is an ambitious odyssey of boundless potential

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Sony has the utmost confidence in the ambitious open-universe title No Man’s Sky and rightfully so. Hello Games is creating a potential masterpiece and even boasts a universe full of explorable space, sea and terrain. Play how you want, do what you want, explore where you want. Such a wide array of promises, how could it possibly come close to achieving everything it claims to be?

No Man’s Sky director Sean Murray states that every world is procedurally generated using a 64-bit seeding key to create every world that the player will discover. This algorithm will allow for a potential 18 quintillion different planets to explore, according to the developers.

Eighteen quintillion, needless to say, is a big number but a number fitting the promise made by Murray during No Man Sky‘s showcase during Sony’s press conference. Murrary zoomed out of Doulinhota, a planet he had discovered just in the showcase, and continued to widen the view allowing for countless stars to fly passed the camera, each containing its own solar system of planets. So yes, if Murray is to be believed, 18 quintillion is the right number.

So many worlds to explore but are any of them worth the trouble? This might be the biggest question to the success of No Man’s Sky. The game houses a compellingly vast universe but if the majority of the universe is empty, repetitious, the entire experience will fall flat.

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Each planet is said to contain different ecosystems which could be either welcoming or hostile to the player and the exploration at hand. The planets will be flora and fauna focused as there haven’t been any planets showcased with thriving humanoid civilizations. The player will be able to record the resources, animals and plantlife they find and upload them to The Atlas, a universal database. Resources (divided in elements which form a periodic table unique to the game) can be used to upgrade various tools and weapons.

If you want to be your very own Space Dandy and record various lifeforms in the universe, you can play that way. If you want to be a merchant, gather resources and sell them for a high price, it’s your prerogative. Play how you want but this isn’t saying that the game is without a universal goal. Each player is trying to make it to the center of the universe. While the story of the game is unknown, Murray stated that players will naturally be drawn to the center due to the abundance of planets rich in resources.

This isn’t even considering the space exploration and battles which will take place outside a world’s reach. No Man’s Sky is certainly an ambitious title full of content. The game seems to be a mellow trip through space which can be progressed at one’s leisure. No Man’s Sky is a change of pace from the modern scope of games which tell us to go from point A to point B interspersed with mandatory cutscenes.

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