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Another Man's Sky: Xeno Galaxies

I can’t be the only person who is extremely excited by the prospect of No Man’s Sky while also slightly concerned as to what I’ll actually be doing from moment to moment in the game. Exploration for exploration’s sake is fine by me but there’ll need to be a lot more variation than in the current beta* to keep things interesting. Xeno Galaxies, currently Kickstarting to the tune of CAD$45,000, is also aiming to create a procedural universe for players to explore, but Neovariance Games are much clearer about what will be happening in that universe. You’ll be mining, trading and shooting a whole lot of things.

I like that the video points out that shooting an asteroid is not the same as mining it. Minecraft and the like have trained a generation to believe that punching, hitting and generally destroying things is the best way to harvest resources. Not so. You need bloody great factories and machines to suck out the minerals. When you’re not sucking or crafting, you’ll be playing a role or shooting (space) fools in the face.

Role Play Elements – Not a full fledged RPG but not a brainless shooter either. There is equipment and inventory management and the ability to accept missions from terminals. Complete missions your own way – blast your way through or use subtlety and finesse by hacking doors, turrets and force-fields.

Old School First Person Shooting – Fight various alien and human factions in their ships, stations and outposts, and wild creatures on the planets. Expect intense action, with a destruction system that makes use of the sandbox / block nature of the environment.

In a contrary sort of way, I’m encouraged by the relatively basic graphics and events in the video. It’s no Starforge but then neither was Starforge when I played it (in passing, if anyone knows what sort of state it’s in now, make with the comments). Xeno Galaxies has ambition but the limits of that ambition are much clearer than in many other games that promise the moon. And several million other procedurally generated moons to go with it.

The campaign hasn’t had the speediest start but there’s plenty of time to go and it’s on track for success provided the word keeps on spreading. I feel like I shouldn’t draw attention to this but I’m absolutely fascinated by the edit at 3.10-3.12 in the pitch video. A man so tired of blocks that he phases out of existence for a moment.

If you feel so inclined, you can vote for Xeno Galaxies on Greenlight and there’s a pre-alpha over yonder.

This random spaceship generator that Alice just sent me a link to is vaguely appropriate and absolutely the best.

*not actually the current beta

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Adam Smith

former Deputy Editor

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