If this year’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) proved something to us, it’s that video games have gone a long way. With a plethora of games which feature both sprawling open worlds and great graphics, the times when level-based games were the norm seem incredibly far behind. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about Fallout 4, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes or Ghost Recon: Wildlands, as all of them hold one essential central promise – that of a large area for the players to explore for dozens of hours.
But it seems like everything pales in this aspect when faced with No Man’s Sky.
Admittedly, the game developed and published by the somewhat unknown Hello Games does seem more like an interesting concept than a fully enjoyable experience at first glance. But whatever comes out of it, the scope it wants to reach has the possibility of sealing into gaming history.
No Man’s Sky can probably be best described a space travel simulation, though it has little in common with titles such as X, Eve Online or the upcoming Star Citizen. The twist in No Man’s Sky is that you can explore an entire universe full of planets. What that actually means is flying into a planets orbit, entering its atmosphere, and then landing your ship in its unique landscape and fauna.
This type of space exploration was somewhat foreshadowed in games like the original Mass Effect, which let you travel different galaxies through an interface and then land on random planets which you could explore using a special vehicle. But explorable areas were just barren chunks of alien planets which took a couple of minutes to fully cover.
This time around, there is no interface carrying you to the planet. You will observe the whole process out of your ship’s cockpit, after which you’ll choose when to land, get on foot and explore vast and different ecosystem trying to research different fauna, plant life and minerals.
And the number of planets – well, it may seem like one of those figures you’d hear in bad jokes. But developers state that all the different combinations that their engine will calculate makes up for 18 QUINTILLION different planets, possible by the fact that they are procedurally generated before being encountered.. Space is a frightening thing, right?
There’s much to be learned about the game, which doesn’t even have a release date as of yet – the only thing known is that it will be available on both PS4 and PC sometime in the near future. However, it’s hard not to commend the guys at Hello Games at least for the impossible scale they’re looking at providing players with in No Man’s Sky.
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