First Play: No Man's Sky



Good morning everyone! Welcome to a review of No Man's Sky, the most anticipated game for years, according to some. @Ugster1 to give some early thoughts.

Now, as I'm not some swanky tech journo I didn't get any early access, so this is very much a 'first impressions' review, based on some play from last night and a little this morning. I've taken a few screenshots which I'll add in here and there, but let's get to it.

The basic idea of the game is that you are a lone traveller on the edge of space - you start the game with a spaceship that needs repair - and have to travel towards the centre of the universe, hopping from planet to planet, acquiring resources, trading, upgrading your kit, meeting other life forms, and so on. But that doesn't really do the game justice...

You don't have to go anywhere you don't want to. You can, if you wish, stay on the initial planet and explore all the nooks and crannies, the flora and fauna, the monoliths and monuments. 'But I'm a completist', you say...'I want to visit every planet'. OK. But there are a few. Quite a few. Well, there are...there's no easy way to say this...

18 quintillion. 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 has been noted in a couple of places as the exact figure, but it's not like it matters too much! Discovering one planet every second would still take 585 billion years, so you may need to skip a meal or two.

What this means is that every player starts on a different planet, and the chances of any two players meeting are small (although more of that later on...).

So, what was it like to play for a couple of hours? The early focus is on gathering resources, which you do by firing a mining gun at different landscape features - plants, rocks, etc. This then allows you to fix the spaceship and start the planet hopping - there's an element of tutorial to the early stages which you may as well get out of the way.

It may well be the case that later in the game the exploration becomes pre-eminent, but at the moment I'm finding resource management key - you need resources just to survive, to keep your spacesuit and spacecraft functional, and this has got a little frustrating, particularly with a limited number of inventory slots.

I'm hoping that as you progress through and have more slots to play with (by upgrading your weapons, spacesuit and ship) this will become less of an issue. Familiarity with the different materials will also help. At least the trading system is fairly straightforward - you can trade directly with any (computer generated) individuals you meet, or via a trading console found in many buildings.

A nice way to make money is by exploration - as you wander round a planet you can discover the local wildlife, and even name it - so yes, there is now a star system called ByTheMinute!