When I first heard about No Man’s Sky [official site], I wanted to jump straight into a spaceship and explore infinite procedural planets. I wanted to look at all of the creatures in their infinite variety and I wanted to spend an infinite amount of time doing…well, what exactly? Observing? Collecting? Discovering? No Man’s Sky looked like a game in need of some verbs. What would we be doing on all of these worlds?
Pip’s splendid preview marked the first time I understood the verbs. Surviving! Learning! Gathering! Fighting! The latest trailer shows some of that fighting, on the ground and in space.
As soon as I can, I’ll play No Man’s Sky for a day and a night. Maybe I’ll never go back to it again or maybe it’ll become one of my favourite games of the year. I still don’t quite know what to expect. Will I be shooting spaceships and giant robots wherever I go, or will I be running around looking for a neat new plant or cuddly animal for most of my playing time? Will I ever feel threatened when resources run low and dangerous creatures close in on all sides, or will they be nothing more than a mild annoyance interrupting the grand tour?
Even though I have a better idea what I’ll be doing, I have no idea what the balance will be. It’s not clear whether combat is a necessary element of progression or an option for those who prefer shooting with a gun to shooting with a camera. It’s the screenshot galleries I’m looking forward to though, rather than the spacefights, and I’m hoping the trailers’ lack of variety in flora and fauna is to do with holding back surprises rather than having a limited pool of parts to build from. We’ll know soon enough. It’s out August 9th.