It's no surprise that No Man's Sky is generating a lot of hype. From the fact that the game has 18 quintillion planets, to the fact that the game itself barely requires any hard drive space, all the way to fact that the the creator received death threats after announcing a short delay, the game is making headlines.
The latest: The game is already the Number 1 game on Steam's Top Sellers list.
Why is No Man's Sky selling so many copies?
The game has been closely followed ever since it was first announced, and the major reason for the hype is that the game is a virtual universe. No, seriously, thanks to a Redditor with an affinity for numbers, we can estimate that the universe inside No Man's Sky is 3.75 times bigger than our measured universe.
On top of that, the folks over at Hello Games (with their comfortable-looking offices) have only been giving us small bits and pieces of information — but it's all been good. Each trailer has shown more aspects of the game without spoiling anything major. It's been the perfect mix of information and intrigue.
For instance, the gameplay previews we have seen have been tantalizingly good. So good, in fact, that the brief demo Sean Murray showed Stephen Colbert caused the host to wonder if he'd perhaps replaced Morgan Freeman as God:
On top of that, the game's four pillars — Explore, Fight, Trade, Survive — only recently debuted their respective trailers. Each trailer revealed just a little more info and gave players an idea for what exactly their key focus will be on when playing. The slow trickle of information has only gotten people more worked up to experience the game for themselves.
Okay, but is there some sort of bonus for pre-ordering No Man's Sky?
If you hadn't guessed from the image above, yes! Players who pre-order the digital version for the PC will receive the Horizon Omega ship which is "equipped with an upgraded hyperdrive and increased firepower to help you travel faster and survive longer on your interstellar journey."
If you're looking to pre-order, keep in mind pre-ordering from the Humble Store donates 10% of your purchase to charity.
Of course, digital copies for the PC are not the only way to get pre-order bonuses. GameStop is offering early access to the Rezosu Z65 multi-tool with pre-installed plasma upgrade, the upgraded Alpha Vector ship, and 10,000 in-game currency units for those that pre-order the physical PS4 edition.
Several other retailers are offering the Alpha Vector ship on its own for the physical PS4 edition, and purchase from the PSN digital store will net players 10 unique avatars.
Oh, and for the truly dedicated, there are the two exclusive editions for both PS4 and PC with several bonus items:
Can No Man's Sky live up to the hype?
We've discussed this before in more detail, but it's worth bringing up again here. Far too often, games with this much hype surrounding them before release fail to live up to expectations. And to be honest, I don't know how you can set bigger expectations than "entire universe simulated in a game."
But it is important to remember that this game, more than many, is all about what you make it. It's built around four pillars — nothing more. It has a story, but it's relatively bare bones. The point of the game is to feel like you're in a universe that's worth discovering.
The game promises a virtual universe. It promises a focus on four things. Any other expectations players have going into the game are likely extrapolations. I think if players go into the game expecting exactly what it's promised, then it will be more than enough to warrant the Number 1 spot.