Thursday, 13 August 2015

Indie Games News/Previews #5

No Man's Sky by Hello Games (2015) - PC and PS4

Given my apparent natural lethargy and general lack of urgency, the E3 fair isn't something I usually pay a massive amount of attention to. Sure, the more popular news items usually end up finding me anyway, some of which I find interesting, others I do not, but there is one game that's been featured in the last two events that I'm desperate to play, and that, as you might've guessed, is No Man's Sky. It's an indie title by a small British studio based in Guildford (which isn't far from me actually!), but the fact that it's been featured in two annual shows (and counting) should tell you that it's a little more ambitious than most indie releases. In fact, it's so ambitious, many believed it couldn't even be realised.

It is described by its developer as 'a science fiction game set in an infinite procedurally generated galaxy'. This sounds quite fancy to dum-dums like me but it basically means that the game-world can be absolutely enormous. It isn't really infinite but reportedly features 18 quintillion planets - more than enough for even the hardest-core player to explore. You are free to fly around the galaxy in your little spacecraft as you see fit and can visit any planet you want, land on it, and explore it, and they aren't just endless cratered dustballs either. Judging by the images and video clips revealed so far, they are staggeringly diverse and original, and full of interesting sights (and probably sounds too).

I'm not even sure I should attempt to explain them, just take a look for yourself, but suffice to say, it looks like every one will be home to lots of amazing stuff, from primeval worlds with dinosaurs to spooky underwater worlds and all manner of completely alien landscapes. Of course, it's entirely possible with this many worlds that you'll never visit the same one twice, but once someone has visited one and its features are randomly generated, it will remain the same from that point on so you can let friends know about it, and it will also be added to 'The Atlas', the game's intergalactic database, allowing other players from around the world to discover and explore it as well.

You should be able to explore lush forests, icy caverns, deep oceans, or anything else you can think of, any of which may be teeming with life or eerily barren. They all have their own ecosystem and weather too, and you can visit and leave any of them at your leisure, but that's not all. The space between each world is vast so you may go a long time without encountering anyone else, but ships, fleets, and space stations should be encountered often and these can be used to trade equipment and resources which can be gathered during your prior explorations or used to assist further expeditions. Dangers are plentiful as well though, including hostile aliens, predatory creatures, and natural phenomena.

It really does seem like being a full on galactic adventure. There is a basic objective of reaching the centre of the galaxy, but it seems as though you'll have free reign to do whatever you want whenever you want. The sense of discovery is immense already, and it looks to me like it'll be absolutely incredible. Regular readers here will know of my passion for spacey exploration games, particularly Star Control II which has been my very favourite game ever since its release, but if one aspect of it could be bettered, it would definitely be planetary exploration. The limitations of that period make it understandable but No Man's Sky really does look like being what SCII might've been like if it were a modern game.

There may well have been several of these epic space exploration games before that I've not seen or heard about for some reason but I can't imagine there are any quite like this. I've not been this excited by a game for more than 15 years, as you can probably tell by how long I've rambled on about it, and I really can't wait until I finally get the opportunity to play it. I never thought Star Control II could possibly be toppled as my favourite game of all-time but if No Man's Sky ends up being as good as I'm imagining it to be, I might possibly have a new favourite game soon. Please hurry and finish it, Hello Games! And feel free to throw a review copy this way, it will be put to good use... ;)

To find out more about the amazing looking No Man's Sky, check the official website here where you'll find loads more lovely screenshots, several video clips (including the 2014 and 2015 E3 presentations) and all the information about the game that's been released so far...



  1. Very much looking forward to this myself.
    I'm also very near Guildford. Support the local publishers :)

  2. Sweet! :) I really can't wait for this. Actually, maybe I can - I bet my PC won't be able to run it so I'll have to save up for a new one first :|