Usually, I’d have a video of No Man’s Sky with gameplay to show including a quick intro and final thoughts at the end. Not this time around. This time, due to a technical issue, I haven’t been able to record a video that’s actually helpful to you.
The video I have recorded is just me walking around and while it gives you a sense of the design of the game, 20 minutes of me walking isn’t entertaining. It’s not entertaining because the game isn’t a game that can be watched.
I could throw in a few jokes here and there but the Captain’s Log isn’t a “Let’s Play”, it’s a first impression look at a video game. What impressions do I get from the PC version of No Man’s Sky? It’s not great, to be honest. The game is space Minecraft which isn’t a bad thing. What I mean by that is you explore planets looking for resources to repair and refuel your ship. You then use that ship to explore other planets for resources to refuel and repair your ship.
It has elements from survival games thrown in like the Life Supply which decreases so often it makes me want to just end it all at that point. You use different elements to power your Life Supply. Elements like Plutonium, Carbon, Iron etc. The way you acquire these elements is with your mining gun that doubles as a pistol weapon.
I’ve come across countless weird and silly looking creatures on the first planet. They’re pretty cool though they don’t behave like there’s a food chain, a claim that the developer made before the game came out. The “animals” just derp around while you’re walking and they leave you to your machinations. I could kill them if I want and they’d probably fight back but I was too busy trying to collect Zinc and whatnot to power my ship.
You have a jetpack that has unlimited fuel but is only usable in bursts. Think Jet Trooper from Star Wars Battlefront 2. To me this kind of makes no sense and is very much a nitpick. However, this is my show and I can do whatever the fuck I want. If the jetpack has unlimited fuel usage then why not just let me constantly use it? What’s the point of fuel running out and then fully replenishing after a few seconds? If the fuel gets used up then why not make it a finite resource?
You can just scale the mountains anyway cause you’ve somehow received the Skyrim horse ability to be able to walk up giant peaks with little to no effort.
During my initial play, I managed to collect enough resources to repair my ship and the thrusters so I could finally get off that godforsaken planet. I then punched in the space coordinates to a new planet and it was here that I really started getting into the game.
I love the idea of space exploration. Fuck exploring planets, I want to be able to pilot my ship through space and dock at all the spaceports and sell off my crap. I probably could have when I left the tutorial planet but there was a beacon calling out to me like the serenading of a beautiful siren. So I left for this planet and landed on what was basically a volcano planet. There was a heat bar. I assume it was a heat bar because it was a flame icon filled in red. This planet was apparently hot and not in an aesthetic way.
It was at this time that the game crashed. Now I’m not one to rail on a game for crashing, God knows I’ve had my fair share on the podcast. My issue with the game is that, at least from first glance, there was nothing to do other than collect these resources. That’s fine if that’s a big chunk of your core gameplay but even Minecraft brought in obstacles that needed to be overcome. Some form of enemy, that isn’t the bullshit survival mechanics, need to be implemented to give the player a sense of urgency or danger. My life supply being on 50% isn’t that immediately life threating. You constantly reminding me of this fact just makes this mechanic annoying.
When all’s said and done my recommendation is to wait. Wait until the game has more content, more direction and for the price to go down. There’s a little too much repetition and walking for the game to be worth the price tag. I know it took a lot of dev time to create the planets, the different world, the various creatures and space ships. The issue here is, much like with most modern titles, it’s focused on style over substance. If you enjoy walking and collecting tat as well as Titanium then be my guest. The game is gorgeous without a doubt and piloting the spaceship is by far the most satisfying gameplay element of any game I’ve played recently. There’s just not enough meat on the bones to make this a satisfying experience.