Imagine being on an alien planet in a science fiction Video Game
, gazing out into the Alien Sky
above, then hopping into your small fighter and going out to explore the other planets in that bizarre, unknown sky.
Got it? Because that's the bare-bones premise of this game.
An upcoming game by Hello Games
(the same company who developed Joe Danger
) revealed at VGX 2013, No Man's Sky
is, for lack of a better a better term, a hybrid of Minecraft
, and FTL: Faster Than Light
with heavy emphasis on exploration and discovery where players are able to get into a ship, take off of one planet, and then go and explore other procedurally-generated
planets in that system and the universe, seeking to discover strange new life, valuable resources that can be used to upgrade one's ship, tools, and EV Suit, and relics of civilizations long gone. It'll be completely multiplayer, but rather than grouping players all in the same place like most Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games
, they'll be scattered throughout the edge of the universe (where they begin the game) with little to no direct interaction between players (though Word of God
has confirmed that a more traditional Multiplayer mode will become available after release, and that players will be able to play the game offline); most player interaction coming instead from "uploading" information about a certain planet, lifeform, trade route, resource seam, or other such things to a persistent database (if they so choose) and finding worlds, resource seams, lifeforms, trade routes, and so on discovered by other players.
There's also a large emphasis on survival: if you don't upgrade your ship, tools, or suit you could very well end up dead thanks to the fact that everything from interstellar pirates to rampaging wildlife can very well kill you
Finally, the game's developers boast that the game has infinitely many procedurally-generated worlds, and while that might not be true, there are still going to be plenty of worlds for you to explore.
While it doesn't have a definite release date yet, the game will be released first as a timed exclusive to the PlayStation 4 before being ported to PC,
the developers saying that they want the PC port to have a "console-y" (here meaning "high framerate and solid controls") feel to it.
Watch the E3 trailer here,
the "Infinite Worlds" trailer here,
and the VGX Reveal trailer here;
and if you don't want to go digging through news stories to get every minute detail about every single feature promised so far, this list contains almost every feature the devteam has touted will be in the game,
and if that doesn't suit your fancy, you can keep up to date with the game through its website here.
Tropes featured in No Man's Sky:
- Alien Sky: A given for a science fiction-centric game, and interesting in that you can go out and explore every celestial body you can see in that sky.
- All Planets Are Earthlike: Averted. Within the planets you can explore, only 10% of them will have life on them, and only 10% of those worlds will be flourishing, earthlike "garden"-type worlds.
- Arc Symbol: The Atlas, a rhomboid-shaped object with a mysterious red orb in it that serves as the game's logo.
- Asteroid Thicket: Once again, this is a given; however the asteroids can be shot at and damaged to create such things as pathways through them.
- Big Bad: Hinted at. A mysterious entity known only as "The Malevolent Force" serves as the antagonist.
- Cool Starship: A handful. Larger ships are more of the "flying box" variety, while smaller craft like the ones you fly are more streamlined and evocative of such staples of Sci-Fi like Elite and Star Wars.
- Further information has revealed that they're divided into three different classes:
- Traders are large, bulky, and slow but make up for it by having hard-hitting and powerful weapons.
- Explorers have weaker weapons, armor, and shields but compensate with higher speed, stealth, and FTL capabilities.
- Fighters are the squishiest but have better weapons and combat capabilities.
- Diegetic Interface: Somewhat. Player ships feature displays that may have some importance (for example, one screen displays your current speed and another one serves as your radar) but for the most part information is displayed via a Heads-Up Display in your suit's helmet.
- Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: Among the fauna are creatures that resemble sauropods and Stegosaurs.
- Everything Trying to Kill You: As mentioned above, everything from asteroids to Space Pirates to rampaging (or downright aggressive) wildlifenote to the very resources you need to gathernote can possibly kill you. And that's not including asphyxiation due to lack of atmosphere (or possibly even exposure to hostile atmospheres), death by Falling Damage, or drowning in alien oceans. When they say that there's an emphasis on survival, the developers don't kid around.
- Fetch Quest: Defied; the developers have specifically said that they don't want players to have to deal with missions where someone's lost, say, five chickens and the player has to retrieve them (and considering the sheer size of the planets players can explore, it's probably for the better).
- Floating Continent: Two worlds featuring them are shown in the trailers, one of which (New Arion from the "Infinite Worlds" trailer) is completely comprised of them while the other (Soleth Prime from the E3 Trailer) has these alongside more conventional landmasses.
- Minovsky Physics: An interesting variation; to say the least: the game uses an alternative periodic table of the elements to help with worldbuilding.
- Procedural Generation: A big tenet of the game—everything from planets to flora to fauna to ships to star systems is procedurally-generated.
- Reconstruction: According to the developers the game will be one of the exploration-centric science fiction made popular by Star Trek.
- Recycled IN SPACE!: As mentioned below, the game has been described as Minecraft IN SPACE!
- Roguelike: Some elements of Roguelikes are present here, such as Everything Trying to Kill You, procedurally-generated content, and an increase in difficulty as you get closer to your goal (yes, there is a goal to No Man's Sky: get to the core of the Universe; though you can ignore it in favor of just exploring and discovering) combined with many elements found in the Wide Open Sandbox genre.
- Rule of Cool: Really, none of the planets you can visit should even be remotely as close as they are in the game, but the fact that they are adds to the Scenery Porn and gives some truly breathtaking Alien Skies; also see Rule of Fun below.
- Rule of Fun: Deliberately Invoked by the developers, who put it as a higher priority than scientific accuracy.
- Sand Worm: We see a few at the end of the VGX reveal trailer, though they have more in common with snakes than worms.
- Scenery Porn: It's positively gorgeous, particularly for a game with only a 4-person production team.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: Deliberately invoked and justified; the ingame planets you can explore are deliberately grouped close together to make travelling between them less monotonous and the planets' close proximity to each other creates some truly breathtaking Alien Skies; see Rule of Cool and Rule of Fun above.
- Shout-Out: A few.
- Space Pirates: Also a given, and sticking to the tradition of such games as Elite and Privateer, you can either destroy those pirates or join them.
- Spiritual Successor: To Noctis, a space simulator with a similar premise and large universe consisting of billions of worlds made by Procedural Generation.
- Story Breadcrumbs: There is a story to the game, but there's very little given to you at the start and players are encouraged to seek it out and determine what it means for themselves.
- Wide Open Sandbox: The game has been described as basically "Minecraft in space," and the major emphasis is on player discovery. This article provides more detail.
- And it's big, too: by the time the last planet in the game is found, the sun will have burned out 117 times over.
- Quicksand Box: It's so big, in fact, that you might just choose to land on one planet and stay there.