No Man's Sky - My Journey

No Man's Sky on PS4 at game.co.uk

No Man's Sky is a space exploration game with over 18 quintillion planets to discover, explore and - hopefully - survive on. Living out in the wilderness with only a few suit upgrades to begin with, a space ship to fix and a basic multi tool, Sci-Fi fans can really make their initial journey into the depths of the galaxy quite interesting.

Beginning the voyage

Starting up the game, there was no telling what planet I would crash on. Would it be a planet like Earth with nice weather, animals and plenty of greenery or one that would literally make me teeter on the brink of death due to extreme conditions?

Low and behold, the crash site was on a planet with a toxic atmosphere. Straight away, a robotic voice tells me that the ship was damaged, exo-suit needed repair and there was a storm coming.

Once you get to grips with the various menus showing what needs to be restored, resources to be collected and so forth, you are able to go wherever you please. All the information that the game is showing can be very overwhelming as there's a lot going on, and so many things flashing red due to various reasons.

"Oooh, look at that!"

In No Man's Sky, the trick to most of the discoveries is the scanner that can be found on the multi-tool. Each element is classed and has its own symbol that pops up once an environment scan has been completed. After a few tries, I managed to find the isotopes I needed to fix most of the damaged ship, and discovered a few creatures along the way.

Each discovery is logged so then you can either change the name if you wanted then upload, or just use the name that the game provided to gain in-game currency. However, if you press the upload button without renaming, you won't be able to change the name afterwards. I learnt this the hard way with a half-bird/half-beaver hybrid that I wanted to call 'Beavirdus'.

Some planets have no creatures to discover at all, so this can make meeting the 100% on a planet much easier!

If you need to make an upgrade but keep forgetting what to collect, you can pin the formula to the HUD so it pops up now and again to say what is outstanding. However, the downside is that it doesn't really tell you where to find some elements - so it's either collect everything in sight, or do some detective work and go from planet to planet until you find it.

There is a chance you can buy what is needed from a space station once you are flying, but this can be random and they mainly sell things that can be created from a blueprint.

Becoming a member of society

Once you are up and flying around, which is easy to get used to, you soon get caught up in meeting aliens and try to learn their language to build up a relationship with them. You do this in order to get better equipment, blueprints for upgrades or just a general status boost with the species. One alien wanted a certain amount of an element which then gave me a blueprint for a much more powerful hyperdrive- great! (Even though the original hyperdrive is still damaged).

Also, some of the buildings that you come across play host to a beacon that - once activated - can show you something of interest from a list of choices. For the most part, discovering alien artefacts that build up reputation can be seen as the most important, as you get to learn about the species and their past.

Some of this information can be important when you encounter an alien of the species that wants you to do something in particular, such as a ritual. This knowledge can increase your status and gain something quite hard to come by normally.

Once everything is fixed and you fancy a change of scenery, you're able to leave your 'homeplanet' and discover more of the system that you are currently in. Each planet is unique as it is procedurally generated - just remember that you are vulnerable and each encounter has consequences which can affect your reputation. There isn't a way on the menu that shows your current relationship with species of alien though, which could be useful.

Set course for the centre of the galaxy

The aim of No Man's Sky is to get to the centre of the universe - but you can get easily get distracted into going to every planet in the system and completing the milestones that earn achievements. On the first planet that plays home for you while fixing equipment, you can complete most of the milestones - or at least kick start the process.

Most of the systems have about 3 to 5 planets in it, and once the hyperdrive is sorted you can set a course for the closest system gets you to the centre. I have to admit though, the map that opens up to you takes some getting used to. You can move the cursor around to different stars (representing the systems) and it will let you know if there is enough fuel to travel there. Or, if you are connected to the internet, other players' discoveries appear which you can then visit.

No Man's Sky is a really enjoyable experience for those that love Science Fiction and all things about space. Scanning everything in sight to gain extra currency because you've spent it all on an upgrade on the ship (but probably got ripped off), mining your way through rocks to gain valuable resources to trade at a Spacestation.

Or if you are feeling brave, taking on pirates that want to steal your cargo in space battles above the planet's atmospheres. It's a game that can be picked up at any time and you still get absorbed into the space exploration. Literally, an open universe is there for you to explore and do whatever you want in.

At this moment in time I am on an extremely cold planet with constant ice storms and barely any zinc to keep the shields going. Wish me luck!

Written by Chaz C

Published: 21/09/2016

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