By Dan Moren
October 27, 2015 11:49 AM PT
No Man’s Sky gets release date, new trailer
Of the many games I’ve been keeping an eye on, No Man’s Sky ranks near the top. The latest trailer has done nothing to curb that hunger, and it attaches a date, too: June 2016.
This massive title has been created by a relatively small studio, Hello Games, and features as its selling point an enormous universe that is entirely procedurally generated.1 It’s a fascinating counterpart to something like Destiny, which has a grand scope but a relatively small actual playground. According to its developers, No Man’s Sky will have around 18 quintillion planets. (This is definitely not a game for completists: it would be impossible for a single player to visit every single planet, taking on the order of 584 billion years if you only landed for a second.)
Much of No Man’s Sky seems to be focused on exploration rather than combat, though this trailer definitely spends some time on the latter. The developers have been closemouthed about what exactly the narrative of the game is, though they have said that there is one.
But it’s the immersive nature of the title that has me sitting up and taking notice. For years I’ve wanted a game where you could fly out of a spaceship, land on a world, and get out, all without jumping to cutscenes or feeling like a strange mishmash of clumped together games, and it seems like No Man’s Sky might actually deliver on that. No more planets that just hang in the background like a matte painting—if you see one, you can land on it. You may be the first person to discover it, or the thousandth.
More to the point, it seems like something different to me. I enjoy first-person shooters and third-person sandboxes as much as the next guy, and while this has some of the traits of both of those, it also seems like a surprisingly non-conventional game, especially for the attention it’s getting. And that, to my mind, is a good thing for game players and a good thing for the industry.
About the only downside for me is that the game launches on PlayStation 4 and PC, neither of which are platforms that I own. I may have to make an investment between now and then.
- That is to say that a planet is basically created from scratch when someone first lands on it, complete with flora, fauna, resources, and so on. ↩
[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Twitter at @dmoren or reach him by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. His latest novel, The Aleph Extraction, is out now and available in fine book stores everywhere, so be sure to pick up a copy.]
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