18 Minutes Of Interrupted No Man’s Sky Footage

I like walking simulators – games about travel, exploration and sightseeing – but I don’t think that’s what I want from No Man’s Sky [official site]. I want to visit the landscapes of its procedural worlds, for sure, but the incomprehensible vastness of an entire universe suddenly makes overt game mechanics feel like a comforting rock to cling to. The 18 minutes of video below, from the folks at IGN, has some pretty clear detail as to what both the literal and metaphorical rocks of No Man’s Sky will look like.

More details of what you actually do in NMS have been trickling out since E3 – including six minutes footage that can be watched without commentary – but there’s more detail as to the mining, shooting, trading and so on in this video than I think have been released previously.

I like that there’s a security force that protects the sanctity of wildlife and wild landscapes should you decide to harvest or destroy them. I like the planet later on with the worm-like columns of rock swooping across the landscape. I’m not sure I like the look of the guns at all, which seem to act like hosepipes with lasers inside.

No Man’s Sky has no release date yet, but Hello Games said at E3 that it would release simultaneously on PC and PS4. We should have more on the game later today.

CUT TO: Me sat in a dark room, looking at a screen you can’t see, writing this post.

75 Comments

  1. Fede says:

    > This video is not available.

    Is it only me, or is the issue more widespread?

  2. raiders says:

    Man…that was incredible. I just want to play the damn thing!

  3. zeep says:

    The fish say “ba ba ba ba ba ba” all the time. Let’s just be clear on that.

  4. BeaconDev says:

    The pop-in is pretty jarring, but the game looks excellent. Hope they can get that sorted!

    • Ross Angus says:

      Voxel Farm has a similar issue (they do not use the same engine). I would guess it’s only generating that level of detail for the first time when you approach a new chunk of landscape. I wonder what happens if you fly fast and low? Perhaps your machine grinds to a halt.

      • Lim-Dul says:

        No. They explained how it all works before.

        NOTHING is permanently generated so you will have constant pop-up at a certain distance depending on your velocity, means of travelling etc. The whole world is only generated within the player’s line of sight. It’s a bit different to how other games generate things procedually. Here, everything is done on-the-fly and the only parameters for all formulas are the universe seed and the player’s position. :)

        So yeah, you’ll get constant pop-in but it doesn’t matter too much to me. I mean, you only see what is relevant to you at a given distance anyways. And major waypoints can always be displayed.

        • Marr says:

          They’re not literally calculating the terrain as you turn to face it, you’d never get an even frame rate. Some things will be cached in ram. Those animals are an obvious example, you wouldn’t spawn a swarm of near-identical creatures by generating each one seperately from nothing. There’s likely plenty of room for optimisation before release.

    • Syphus says:

      It’s obviously not finished yet, but one can hope this issue will be a bit less present in the PC version, though I don’t actually know what version he is playing.

  5. Sam says:

    I’m surprised by how busy with intelligent life the planets feel. Rather than exploring a far off frontier, he starts by paddling around in a lake right next to a starport, with dozens of other (AI) pilots flying around in dramatic arcs. I hope that varies as you move through the galaxy, desperately looking for a starport in barren systems to repair your ship could be fun.

    Inevitably disappointed by Talky IGN Man getting excited about “everything is math!” without showing understanding of important details about how their particular systems work. Him getting breathless about zooming through the random starfield is just a bit silly.

    • BurningPet says:

      I am getting the exact opposite vibe. what i am getting from it is a world filled with extreme un intelligent cloned behaviour, devoid of interesting meta game and those AI ships seems like simply animated fluff decoration, as do the creatures. i might be completely getting the wrong vibe and there is a galaxy wide meta game with civilizations running a mining economy with pirates communities going rogue, but i doubt that even if its that so, their politics/interaction with each other is severely limited.

      • eightohnine says:

        I really, really want to be proven wrong on this one, but currently I have to agree with you. The tech is amazing and the scope breathtaking, but right now it feels like a visually stunning walking simulator with asinine “things to do” added in. Hit a button – discover something new. Shoot a rock – collected resources. Shoot the ground – animal runs away. An essential raison d’être is not visible yet. No glue holding together the fabric of the universe, so to speak.

        And speaking of animals and spaceships, my initial excitement right after seeing the first seconds of NMS has drained considerably by now. That yellow two-legged alligator-like thing walking around? Gives off the exact same vibe as that pink-green-striped, immensely tall thing with a trunk from two planets over. That AI spaceship stylishly swooping in for the landing? Same pattern as the last 50 that came through. For all its visible grandeur, what’s left under the hood is just kinda… meh.

        • Shadow says:

          I have to agree, unfortunately. Despite all the promises and initial feeling, I get the impression the game’s potential is effectively capped due to the simultaneous release on PS4. There’s compromises on the graphics (everything’s streamed around the player) and it’s very likely such limitations will reach the procedural generation systems as well. My guess is the cookie cutter behind the scenes will become apparent before long.

          Call me a PC elitist or whatever, but I’ve learned to lower my expectations every time an ambitious PC game’s made with consoles in mind as well. And so far, I’ve yet to be proven wrong. I’d love to be, but I’m still waiting for it.

          Tangential example: Minecraft. They’ve had to significantly downgrade it to release it on consoles, and adapt to their stagnant, outdated hardware. If only the NMS devs endeavoured to get it right for PC, and only then worry about “compressing” it for consoles.

  6. Nevard says:

    With that many stars, I guess it’d be easy to find undiscovered animals but less likely for anyone else to ever see that you’ve named the entire population of this planet after parts of your anatomy.

  7. TheAngriestHobo says:

    That was a pretty smooth evasion of the question about tidally-locked planets. Why do no sci-fi exploration games ever include them? I’d love to explore a planet with a blazing inferno side and a frigid glacial side (kinda like my ex, yuk yuk yuk).

    • Matt_W says:

      Kerbal Space Program has tidally locked moons, and there was a mod awhile ago with a planet named Ablate with a very low tidally locked orbit around the sun — the sun facing side was smooth and the dark side had pretty spectacular geography.

      NMS isn’t aiming for gravitational realism. You can see it in those surface to “orbit” transitions, where you just fly straight up to get to space and then once in space, you fly in straight lines to reach your objective, neither of which would actually work in the real world. It appears that gravity in NMS is just a zone near the planet’s surface that provides a downward direction. I suspect that there are no orbits and that objects in space are just “pinned” onto a 3D grid that you can fly around in.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        Hm. I didn’t have the patience to stick with Kerbal long enough to get to the fun parts. Maybe I’ll re-install it and sandbox my way to the interesting explorey bits. Thanks!

        • ButteringSundays says:

          Aside from giving the science experiments a ‘purpose’ I don’t think the story mode adds much to the experience, other than a very linear progression for folks after something a bit more game-y. The beauty of the game is in the sandbox.

          My latest project was a refuelling station in orbit!

      • Zenicetus says:

        Straight-out trajectories to leave a gravity well would work in the real world, if you had a strong enough engine and unlimited fuel. And, I suppose, an inertialless drive to cancel out any uncomfortable G forces. ;)

        That’s how most of these games handwave away the need for Kerbal/Orbiter type maneuvers.

        • Matt_W says:

          Sort of true, but I’d be willing to guess that if you stop thrusting in NMS, you either just hang there in space or continue drifting in a straight line. In reality, you’d probably fall right back down to the planet you just left, since you haven’t bothered to achieve actual orbit. And even with unlimited thrust, you’d still have the problem that nothing in orbit is ‘stationary’ and everything moves in curved — not straight — paths. I mean, it’s fine. I’d rather that Hello Games focus on making an interesting universe to explore than that they try to make the most realistic gravity simulation out there.

  8. Myrdinn says:

    Looks a tad bit boring to be honest.

    • w0bbl3r says:

      I have been coming to that conclusion myself actually. Watching gameplay footage of this, each time it makes me go a bit more “meh” at the game.
      I mean, how dull can one game be? It literally is walking around looking at stuff. Fly away to another place, walk around and look at stuff.
      Funny but when it was only announced for PS4, I was thinking it looked interesting and I wanted it to come to PC. Now it’s been announced, and they are showing more proper gameplay, I actually don’t really care. And I care less the more I see of it.

    • Apocalypse says:

      The resource mechanics and escalating threat levels the closer you get to the core seem to make it rather interesting imho. Once planets become less friendly and more hostile and your resources start to run thin, etc

      Naturally it all depends how engaging the mechanics for all this will be, how deep the equipment configurations go, how interesting and challenging those hostile worlds will be, etc

    • v21v21v21 says:

      Same here. The case of it being too random and big to make sense? Thus forcing itself into nonsense?

      Rambling about naming the beasts of the land, knowing that the universe is too big for statistically there being any likelihood of anyone ever meeting my hilariously named Biggus Dickus procedurally generated nonsense, kind of… like… in… real life? Hmm.

      Anyway, I was burned by Spore, so…

  9. Napalm Sushi says:

    Each fresh scrap of news I gather about No Man’s Sky seems to further affirm that this is the game I’ve been waiting 20 years for someone to make.

    • w0bbl3r says:

      You have been waiting 20 years for someone to make a game where you travel to planets to look at animals and walk around?
      You must be blown away if you ever go into the countryside.

      • Napalm Sushi says:

        By that ludicrous level of reductionism, I’ve also recently enjoyed a game about standing in lockers, a game about clicking on soldiers’ heads and a game about moving icons around a map.

        • melnificent says:

          I spotted alien isolation and civ (or other 4x) in your descriptions… but no idea on the middle one.

        • draglikepull says:

          I nominate this post for Comment of the Month.

        • P.Funk says:

          One traditionally moves icons around a map to achieve some end. I cannot discern just yet what end the flying around and walking around and looking around serves.

          • aleander says:

            What exactly is that goal, and how is it any better than getting to the big glowy thing in the middle of the galaxy?

            …or, wait… are you… are you the games police?

          • Kemipso says:

            Papers, please.

          • P.Funk says:

            Oh good the opinion police are here to enforce the equality of perspective. You must have been fun at the debate club.

            And Papers Please? That game has a narrative.

          • bigblack says:

            >>And Papers Please? That game has a narrative.

            You write that pretty easily, as if narrative is the end-all/be-all of game design, and I feel that your criteria for success here is too limited for the size and shape of the world, and the many types of gamers who live in it. This game is clearly a work of passion, centered around free, unbridled exploration, and its developers seem to value experience far over PLOT. There’s obviously game here, as the (admittedly lame IGN) videos show. I just don’t get the negativity on this forum over this game.

  10. xcession says:

    I hope the ongoing IGN First coverage gets a bit more detailed. 18 minutes of “uninterrupted gameplay” is wrong on two counts: 1. it was interrupted constantly 2. I wasn’t expecting “gameplay” to mainly involve standing still, shooting rocks, while explaining things to a reporter.

    • AriochRN says:

      I admit that I watched it with the sound off, but I’m curious after watching the “uninterrupted gameplay”. What is the significance of the FMV of the 6 guys sitting in a darkened room? Is it a Her Story style mystery?

      • dsch says:

        The game is going to turn out to be an ARG in which you investigate a murder during an IGN livestream. This is why details about actual gameplay has been so lacking.

    • Urthman says:

      I think they just mean they turn on the game and keep it running rather than showing disconnected demo scenes and skipping over parts that aren’t finished yet.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      That’s probably why the title of the article is ’18 minutes of interrupted No Man’s Ky Footage’.

  11. Hunchback says:

    Please RPS, don’t post IGN hype videos… it’s horrible quality of “journalism” and kinda makes me wonna slap that IGN guy in the face.

    UGH!

    Also, this game seems super over-rated already, and it’s not even out yet… Or is it just me? o.O

    • Rindan says:

      Seriously. I won’t say don’t post it because the footage you have his the footage you have, but I desperately wanted to muzzle that “journalist”. Unless he was working on taking that guy back to his hotel room later and that was just his way of flirting, he didn’t need to endlessly express his orgasmic joy at literally every single little thing he saw. That “journalist” should be asking intelligent questions instead or praising everything, or, failing something intelligent to ask, just shut up for a few seconds. Uhg.

    • Crafter says:

      It’s not just you.
      That’s what hype is. Some people are overly exited about games for which they have only seen an E3 FMV video. I could even argue that the whole E3 presentations were long FMV sequences. Even the in-game footage is often (always ?) obtained on a monstrous configuration.
      When the game ships a couple of years later, the same people get up in arm because the E3 demo was more graphically impressive.

      This being said, NMS is aiming at interesting things. It could be my kind of game. I just don’t know how good the execution will be.

  12. XhomeB says:

    I still don’t quite get the *purpose* behind all these systems. If you’re supposed to play this game just for the thrill of exploration (until you inevitably start noticing every planet is the exact same copy-pasted thing with a different skin), then I guess it’s OK, but you might as well download Unreal Engine 4, create a big landmass and start “exploring” it (which is preferable to playing, say, Bethesda’s poorly designed and written hiking sims, for instance, and I fear the same rule will apply here).

  13. BlackeyeVuk says:

    Im probably gonna sound bitter and all, but when we will have proper gameplay footage? Yes we can see aimless wondering and wonky and funky shooting mechanic which will be great problem I can feel it. (Don’t get me wrong I know you can shape landscape, BUT EXACTLY TO WHAT EXTENT )

    Looks nice, sounds nice, but what IT can do? I want to see economy system(if any), I want to see AI behavior, both planet and off planet(ships), to see if they actually progress or just popup from nowhere once script parameters are in place.Mostly when someone say ” procedurally generated” often imply Ai is worse then basic. And easy way to avoid that is by adding scripts that just pop out stuff from nothingness. In which case I’ll pass this game.

    I don’t wanna play glorified sightseeing singleplayer game with “multiplayer” sticker upfront to justify always-on crap, and I bet it will be something like that.

  14. melnificent says:

    Game informer have some good vid from December last year. The random generation for animals is pretty awesome to watch…. one little animal has so many distinct variations that I watched it twice to check they really were generating off the same animal.

  15. Krazen says:

    Still the same as every other vid we’ve seen of it so far. Technically amazing but a completely lack of actual gameplay or depth.

  16. tomimt says:

    So are those animals as well procedurally generated?

    I must admit, I wasn’t that amazed on the planet surface thing, but after he lift off to space I was awestuck. This also made me wonder what Frontier will do with their own promised planet landing expansion on Elite.

  17. C0llic says:

    i’m interested in this, but I worry that there may not be enough narrative context to keep me interested for very long.

    It’s primarily the same problem I get now with Bethesda games, where the narrative just isn’t enough to keep me wandering, fighting and exploring. Eventually it all looks a bit too similar and the shine wears off fairly quickly. Systems and procedural generation are awesome, but I’ve come to the conclusion that unless its pinned to an interesting narrative or motivation (and that motivation can be difficulty in the case of rogue-likes) games like this just won’t hold my interest for that long because after a while I start to see the strings and there isn’t anything else to compel me to want to see more of what amounts to the same, at least in gameplay terms and player consequences.

    I hope to see more about what should make me want to exist in this world beyond existing in it.

  18. iucounu says:

    It looks a bit like Spore: FPS edition, to be honest. I still don’t quite know what the game part is supposed to be. (Zapping big crystal pillars to do crafting stuff?)

    • Apocalypse says:

      He did explained it in the video. The game part is managing and gathering resources to be able to survive in more hostile space. Space gets more hostile as you approach the center of the galaxy. Once you reached the singularity at the center you will meet Peter Molyneux … well, ok not Molyneux, but you basically beat that level.

      Does this make a good game?
      Yes and no. If the mechanics, the tools are not fun and engaging along the journey than you just have well “Journey” in space. And that gets old quite fast indeed. If the stuff you do along that journey is fun, shooting, mining, hiding, attacking, running for your life, etc than this game will be stellar.

      The basic concept is imho for sure awesome. Execution is what matters next.

  19. SuicideKing says:

    The animals were almost exactly the same as the ones in the E3 demo, save probably the two-legged ones on the planet. I wonder if that’s only for the current build of the game?

    And the sense of scale is a bit off – or that ship travels really fast.

    Otherwise, yes I want to play this!

    • SuicideKing says:

      Another thing – is this going to be a persistent universe like Elite: Dangerous? Because he keeps saying you’ll be able to see other players as traders or that once you name a discovery it’ll be like that for everyone…

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        The game is confirmed to have “online features” (ie. the shared naming, etc.), but I haven’t seen any talk of a persistent, shared online universe. That said, the game will also be playable offline for those who don’t want to keep running into Oranguwangs and Horny Titmice such.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Ah, thanks. Yeah exactly, would be really sad to run into crudely named stuff all the time. I wish there will be an option to just add your own friends (steam friends or by email address or something).

  20. spacedyemeerkat says:

    I know it’s not a simulation but I was a bit disappointed there appears to be no take off sequence.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      To be fair everything in the gameplay suggests it’s supposed to be quite fast and fluid. The jet pack was the first giveaway. I was also surprised by it, but I think it makes sense if that’s the pace they’re going for.

      • Apocalypse says:

        That is the ‘console-y’ thing about the game and it was intended from the start. They seem to wanted always focus on the core gameplay of their game, which seems to be exploration and anything that comes along with that .(resources, combat, walk off the beaten paths, etc)

    • PancakeWizard says:

      There is another video where he flies out of a launch tube on a space station, so there’s that.

  21. Freud says:

    My problem with games that’s almost all game systems is that game systems can be gamed and it’s easy to break things. It’s also hard to make sure the game isn’t tedious or non-challenging.

    It looks fine and the game description is fine, but I’m a bit skeptical. All super ambitious games made by small teams tend to have big cracks in them once you play them.

  22. draglikepull says:

    There may be stuff they haven’t revealed yet, but at this point it seems reasonably clear how the game works:

    You travel around exploring to build up enough resources/money to buy better ships and weapons and spacesuits so that you can travel to more distant/difficult environments.

    For people like me who like exploration and discovery, that’s going to be great. For people who want a more structured experience it might fall flat. But at this point it seems kind of disingenuous to ask “But where’s the game?” The game is exploring.

  23. P.Funk says:

    I would be more interested if the game weren’t so obviously streamlined. Rather than having any measure of difficulty in piloting the craft, landing it, one simply does it and no matter where they land it appears that the landscape is lush and overrun with life.

    Is it really exploration if it doesn’t make a bit of difference where you go? Its like looking for the perfect waterfall on a planet of waterfalls. Much harder to be impressed when everything is so procedurally bucolic.

  24. Itdoesntgoaway says:

    Absolutely.

  25. rodan32 says:

    I’m getting a real “STARBOUND 3D” vibe. It looks like a huge fun universe and all, but I’m not sure what I’ll do with it. Fly around, land on planet, dig, fly off, land on planet, dig. . .

  26. TK-093 says:

    I don’t really like that he got attacked by an animal… defended himself by shooting the animal, which immediately gave him a wanted level.

  27. Pliqu3011 says:

    Gives me a bit of a “Spore 2” vibe TBH, which is not a good thing. There’s all this cool technology, but the gameplay seems so shallow.
    I love “walking simulator” games, but the planets in all of the footage I’ve seen look so similar and boring. As the main developer of Voxel Farm said a little while ago, you still need a human making decisions to generate a truly interesting world. I can imagine something like neural networks changing this in the (near?) future, but we aren’t there yet.
    So from what I’ve seen exploration is boring and the gameplay is shallow. What’s there to keep your attention after the initial awe at flying to the surface of a planet without a loading screen wears off?

    Also, letting players name discoveries seems like an awful idea. Seeing named Dickbutt might be somewhat funny the first time, but will get tiring very, very quickly.

    • Pliqu3011 says:

      It seems the comment automatically removes everything between chevrons.
      The last sentence was supposed to say “Seeing generic small, easily scared creature #41396 named Dickbutt might be somewhat funny the first time, but will get tiring very, very quickly.”

  28. airknots says:

    I’m guessing that fans of Noctis are probably drooling over this.

  29. tumbleworld says:

    Why would they keep cutting to two boring blokes in a home cinema staring off into the distance? WHY?

    Vanity, thy name is IGN Idiot.