That just means you're fully invested, right? Fuming at a video game. When you're locked within the vice-like grip of a wonderful title, your emotions can play ridiculous tricks on you. Like, for instance, coercing you to rip your Ocarina of Time cartridge out of your N64, when you just can't get across that f**king invisible walkway in Ganondorf's Shadow Room, dash it onto the floor and start stamping on the bloody thing after your tenth try in the space of ten minutes results in failure!*
I'm a fairly excitable dude, just so you know, and have existed for a little while over 30 years now. I've seen cool things ebb and flow, and played some pretty dope games too, luckily. But I haven't been as excited for a game as much I was for No Man's Sky. And, as I said earlier, I'm an excitable guy! Something fresh our way comes, and all that.
You too were probably super excited, reader, especially after the first time the game was revealed at E3 2014. I took to Facebook and was like "IT'S SKYRIM IN SPAAAAACE!!!1!1!" or something along those lines.
I was instantly and immeasurably hooked. Swept along by the hypetide. But, you do have to admit, the game looked utterly sick back then! We hadn't seen anything quite like it.
Fast forward two arduous years with nothing but a few very colorful screenshots here and there, a few new trailers and exclusive hands-ons, interviews with the beard himself Sean Murray, and that was it. The confusion and mystery behind No Man's Sky was palpable. Sure the aesthetics of the game can be easily discussed, but what about its emotional content?
We knew we had to fly about, trade stuff and survive in the isolation of an almost infinite vg universe. But, still, what would actually occur in this almost infinite universe that promised all the fun and all the adventure our fleshy minds could handle?
"Getting Awful Crowded In My Sky"
I'm a fan of sci-fi, have been forever. I grew up with OG Star Trek, Star Trek: TNG, Babylon 5, Andromeda (for better and for worse), and Stargate SG1 as my main star-addled fixes. There's just something about space that moves me, and I'm not sure what it is yet.
But as soon as I popped No Man's Sky into my PS4, I felt at home. Wandering the ice cold face of the Promised Land, as I had unoriginally named the planet I woke up on, I felt like a blue-shirted Starfleet officer landing on an alien planet for the first time. Though it is daunting having no Scotties to beam you up.
And believe me when I say I love trawling around a planet, documenting new lifeforms and all of the mad flora that exists on these worlds. The pace of the game is also immense. I'm a lowkey hoarder at heart, so the No Man's Sky's initial skill-set building first mission was a dream come true. "Amble out and fix stuff." Okay, game! It took me about two hours to repair my ship and haul ass into the galaxy, whilst wandering around and running away from the floaty sentinels.
And when you finally reach orbit, it's as if you've dived into the deep of the ocean. The neon, murky colors of space astound as you dodge asteroids, or shoot at them in order to unlock the sweet compounds that lay within. But that's where my major gripe with the game came into play.
No One Can Hear You Scream
I'm not the most patient of people, that's why I find the inventory system very aggravating. The game is about survival and exploration. I get that. But one annoying thing to come with survival and adventure games is becoming encumbered.
Like in Fallout 4 for example. You've been wandering the wastes for hours, collecting lamps, fans and badass weapons as you go. And then boom "You are over-encumbered and cannot run." But I'm in a power suit...? F**k you, Fallout. And the same feelings are starting to emerge within No Man's Sky.
Isn't there anywhere I can store these items that has more that a measly amount of slots to transfer upgrades, compounds and other such goods to? Or do I literally need to fly back and forth from space station to planet surface in order to trade and survive, trade then survive and then stare blankly at a robo-headed Korvax as it bleeps a question at my visor?
Another annoying thing to happen was trying to build a hyperdrive. Putting one together takes a lot of grind or a lot of credits to accrue the parts to create the engine. I managed to get my hands on an integral part to aid the creation, but the game was adamant that I needed to buy one from the trade market. 'Cause, tutorial.
But I already had the part! So why wouldn't No Man's Sky acknowledge that? In the end I had to head to a trading outpost on the Promised Land, that I was lucky enough to stumble onto, sold the part and then had to head to the nearest space station in order to buy another one. Yeah, it was as annoying as it sounds.
I guess I'm pretty surprised by huge the survival element of the game is. I would have loved to have simply been given the keys to a starcraft and head out, collecting things, selling things, buying upgrades and documenting lifeforms, instead of jittering about a planet's surface and jonesing for plutonium. Real life is hard enough, now you want me to apply its rules to the little free time I have to relax?! Well I might as well seeing as I paid for it.
All in all, after 6 hours of No Man's Sky not having even discovered the means to create a hyperdrive yet, there will more than likely come a time where I'll grow sick of flying about, shooting plants and trading compounds. Especially when I'll have a great haul of cargo ready to be traded, then I'll blow up and crash land on a planet with nothing to my name. In the same vein as how my TV will crash land on the pavement as I lob the bastard out of the window.
But not yet. For now I'll keep my eyes to the stars and create my own solitary adventures in the almost endless black of No Man's Sky, quite possibly the most realistic and chill space-survival game I've ever played. Man, the stars are so, so rad.
(*I'm not proud to admit that this is actually true.)
What do you think?
Enjoying No Man's Sky?