First Impressions: No Man’s Sky

 There are very few games that have developed the kind of hype that No Man’s Sky has successfully done in the 3+ years since we first learned about it during the VGX 2013. From game delays to street leaks, there is no denying that the team at Hello Games has had their hands full, and all that time with the whole world watching in anticipation. Now there is no way that we could see every single part of the gigantic universe that is No Man’s Sky. However, with the PC release imminent and the console iteration having been in the wild for a few days, the crew at The Gamer HUD wanted to give you their first impressions of the game to help guide you in your purchasing decision and a final review set to release in the days to come. 

Cole’s Take:

 I have now spent a little over 18 hours playing No Man’s Sky, and one thing has been vastly apparent to me since I pressed “Start.” The individual that beats this game in 30 hours or less has made it their purpose to get to the “Center of the Universe”, with no time to slow down to enjoy the game in between. In my play time, I have learned new languages, discovered hundreds of different species, upgraded ships and weapons, and the list goes on and on. While I know that I am still several hours away from completing any story line, that is not really what No Man’s Sky is. It’s about the journey, not the destination (Very ‘meta’ of me, I know). While I will wait till the final review to go more in depth on mechanics and moment to moment gameplay, I will leave you with the thought that I have not been this engrossed in a video game in a long time- and there are no signs of stopping. This game is not going to be for everyone- and in the end, it will prove to be divisive, however, if you are looking to get lost in a vast universe with countless things to do, you have found your game.

Joe’s Take:

Love it of Hate it, No Man’s Sky is something to be experienced. I didn’t understand the hype of this game. Leading up to its release, the gameplay videos, and E3 reveals didn’t convey what this game is trying to make you experience: the thrill of discovery. 

There are very subtle details and game design choices that force you to venture out and discover. Everything has a cost. Your spacecraft uses fuel to fly. Your exo-suit requires recharging, and the tool you use to acquire these resources needs energy to function. This simple gameplay feature forces you to explore your surroundings and gather essentials to navigate No Man’s Sky’s universe successfully.

While this is just a small aspect of what makes No Man’s Sky special as the thing that truly fascinates me about this game is its vast potential through updates. The game has created a quite literal universe to build upon, and the directions the game can take from here is endless. 

You’ll also encounter creatures that defy logic and haunt your dreams. So there’s that.

Tina’s Take:

     When I first heard about this game, I was definitely not excited for it. I have a hard time playing first person style games, so I typically will stay away from those and stick with the third person styles. This struggle has caused me to have a bitter taste in my mouth when it comes to first person games. It wasn’t until about a month ago that I finally swallowed my opinions and made the choice to purchase this game when it came out. This has since become my new gaming addiction. Despite the fact that it has a first person view angle, I found that the controls and movements came to me very easily. I appreciate this because every time I have tried to play any other sort of first person game, I always end up running around in a corner like a chicken with her head cut off. The controls were very reminiscent of ‘Minecraft’. If you want an idea of what this game is all about, think of it like ‘Minecraft’ met the movie ‘Interstellar’ and the two decided to drop acid while reading 80’s Sci-Fi novels. That’s what No Man’s Sky is like. If that sounds like something you are interested in one thing to keep in mind is if you are going to get this game make sure you keep in mind that this game strongly encourages exploration. In fact, that’s what this game is pretty much all about. There is a slight story involved, but you have to find it. It’s not going to be thrown at you from the very beginning, which I personally enjoyed. It was almost like a reward for discovering something new. I also appreciated this game for the sheer possibility of discovering what’s around the corner. You start on one random planet in the middle of a random solar system. When you finally leave the planet, and you get out into the open space, it really dawns on you how massive this game is. It took me roughly 4-5 hours to finally leave my first planet and when I did, I finally saw that all that time spent exploring what I thought was a large portion of the world I landed on, was in actuality no more than the size of New York City. The developers at Hello Games made each planet truly life-size. When that dawned on me, I cried a single tear of joy knowing I will probably NEVER fully explore this game. Once this stunning realization wore off, I shot off to the next nearest planet to see what it had in store. If you liked ‘Minecraft’, this is a must add to your collection. If you didn’t, I’d recommend you steer clear.

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