Discussing No Man’s Sky: Impressions So Far

Check out the accompanying video above for a more in-depth discussion!

With No Man’s Sky having been out for a couple weeks now, what do you think of it? I’ve been playing it on the PS4 since it came out, for maybe a couple hours each day, and have come up with some opinions of my own. In an amazing–and seemingly infinite–universe, how does it hold up?

Slight disclaimer… I should mention that I really enjoy this game. It has a lot to offer and even more potential for becoming a great game–with the right additions, of course. But what do I like so farWhat needs improvements? 

Right off the bat, I think the first thing I noticed about the universe of No Man’s Sky is the vibrant colors and the soundtrack. The colors are very contrasting, bright, and saturated; combine that with the often-appropriate soundtrack and you have a universe that makes me feel like I am wandering around, exploring an old 60’s or 70’s sci-fi movie or TV show,  like Star Trek or Twilight Zone or something to that effect.


Pretty cool landscapes.

Building on that feel is the existence of other alien species you can encounter. Throughout the game you come into contact with three distinct aliens species: the Vy’keen, which are a warrior race that tend to prefer honor and strength; the Gek, which are a frog-like species that are mostly made up of traders and salesmen; and the Korvax, who are robot people that tend to be scientists and researchers. Besides these species, though, you can also come across a wide assortment of creatures on your treks on any number of planets or moons available to you.


Isn’t he cute?!

While the aliens are cool, I have to say that one of the most epic things I have seen in the game was simply to warp into a new system and all of a sudden there is an entire fleet of massive ships sitting right in front of me. Or, even better, I love it when I watch a fleet of these large ships warping into the system themselves. It really makes me, in my tiny ship, feel rather insignificant. It also makes me feel as though I am sitting in a viper ready to fight some cylons for Admiral Adama in Battlestar Galactica. Fraking toasters. 

On the subject of space ships, one thing you can’t overlook is space pirates! If you have ever spent time playing video games, watching anime, or any assortment of sci-fi TV or movies, odds are you have seen or heard of space pirates. My first encounter with space pirates came when I broke through the atmosphere of a planet I had been mining on for hours, collecting gold, aluminum and other such materials, when I get a message saying something to the effect of “Hostile probe detected”, followed shortly by “Hostile scan has detected valuable cargo.” Needless to say that scared the hell out of me and I immediately dove for the planet’s surface trying to get away from them. Dog fights in space are difficult and so far I have only managed to defeat a handful of enemy ships. Most of the time I try to escape if I can, though, since I am usually attacked by multiple ships.


Some pirates harassing a larger ship.

All that being said, the game does have several setbacks that keep this from being the ideal game for me. The biggest issue of all–at least for me–is the field of view. For some reason the FOV is really tight, making it feel as though you are zoomed in the entire time you’re playing. It takes some getting used to, and even after playing as much as I have, I still find it throws off my aiming when trying to mine or fight off a sentinel or hungry critter. So if they could do something about the FOV, that would be fantastic.

On the subject of sentinels… Seriously? Why the hell are there robots patrolling every single planet and moon in the universe? These things are everywhere! Some will ignore you entirely, but on other planets you will find yourself being accosted by the damned things every thirty feet. Pay close attention to the status of the planet when first landing to see if the sentinels are “hostile,” “volatile,” “standard,” “passive,” or any other status there is. I am definitely wary of planets where they “hostile” or “volatile.” Of course, the trade-off is that those more hostile planets tend to be where the coolest and most valuable stuff is to mine and loot. So… I guess you have to fight for your wealth?


Fighting off an irritating sentinel.

Aside from the sentinels being jerks and the FOV being too tight, I think the game just need more variety. You’d think with a procedurally generated game like this that there’d be more of a diverse universe to explore out there. But so far, the majority of the planets I have been to are all very similar, with the exception of one being mostly water and another being mostly fields and trees. Even the creatures I’ve encountered tend to look the same after a while, despite being light years away from the last planet with a Garflingus Hagouarenta… or whatever the hell it was.

Architecture needs to follow this as well. Right now all you will find in the way of civilization are the space stations in each system as well as the various outposts and trading posts scattered on each planet. While these are welcome way stations while exploring the galaxy, having each place look relatively identical is a little disappointing. With three different races basically running the galaxy, plus whatever ancient races are involved with the whole Atlas thing, I would think there’d be more variety to the architecture. Not to mention, some actual civilizations. Right now there are no cities or settlements of any kind; only those space stations and outposts. If large cities and maybe even space colonies could be added, I think the fascination factor would increase immensely for a lot of people.

All of this being said, I believe the game to have a lot of potential. Hello Games has done a phenomenal job creating a massive universe for people to cruise around and explore at our leisure. Adding these kinds of features and updates I believe would really help No Man’s Sky become a truly epic masterpiece of a game. Maybe in time we will see some of these things? All we can do is voice our opinions and wait. In the meantime, I will continue to play this game as a great way to kill time or if I just want to wander aimlessly in the universe.


Some environments are pretty epic, though. Like this underwater scene.

Well, those are some of my thoughts regarding the game. What about you? What do you think of No Man’s Sky so far? What would you like added to it?