When the time comes to actually review No Man’s Sky, it will be quite the challenge to filter out all of the outside noise surrounding the game. There have been many opinions spanning the full spectrum of a “love it or hate it” relationship. From my first fifteen or so hours, I am definitely in the “love it” camp, and I feel there is so much more for me to experience.
No Man’s Sky is a space version of Minecraft without the structure-building, to oversimplify it. The game takes place in a procedurally-generated universe with quintillions of planets (yes, that is a real number) and a similar number of creatures and other life forms to encounter. The main gameplay loop revolves around going from planet to planet, gathering and crafting resources, and upgrading your spaceship, suit, and multi-tool so that you can reach the center of the universe (galaxy?). If you don’t care about the center, you can go in the opposite direction. The universe is your sandbox.
No Man’s Sky is definitely meant to be played at a more relaxed pace relative to most games. If you’re looking for immediate gratification, or if you expect lots of hand-crafted experiences, you likely won’t enjoy this game. No Man’s Sky is all about the journey, something it reminds you of multiple times as you rack up accomplishments. The game’s main selling point, at least for me, is the sense of wonder and potential discovery of what could be around the next corner. I have encountered many things on my journey thus far that have surprised me and strengthened that idea that there is always something else out there to find.
If that doesn’t sound interesting, then this may not be a game for you, and that’s okay.
No Man’s Sky’s visuals and sound have a distinct personality, something I will dive a bit deeper into in my final review. Both ugly and beautiful, this game is a pleasure on the senses in a way one would expect from a space exploration game of this scale.
To keep the experience spoiler-free, there are lots of mechanics I haven’t mentioned that you’ll encounter in No Man’s Sky that I will save for the review. Ultimately I would recommend this game to anyone, but you have to make the call if the current $60 value is worth your purchase. If you found yourself lost in the exploration aspects of Minecraft for 100s of hours, then you should consider playing No Man’s Sky.