Tomorrow’s the day.
The hype for this game — in my little world, anyway — has been intense, and with good reason. It’s truly unlike any other game, both in construction and in scope. Nothing exists until you (or someone else) discovers it. Planets, environments, flora, fauna, it’s all built on the fly, procedurally, the moment you encounter it. Once a gamer has discovered it and uploads her findings to the “atlas,” it becomes permanent and available to all other gamers.
It’s been a long wait — more than a year, for me — but as usual, some spoonhead decided to spoil it for others.
Last week, one gamer got his hands on a copy. He uploaded videos of his gaming sessions, knowingly spoiling surprises for thousands, thereby winning bragging rights as Gaming’s Biggest Douche. He also claimed that he reached the center of the galaxy — the game’s purported goal — in 30 hours. That length of play seems short, but so what? There’s always going to be some gamer whose twitch muscle response time is best measured in nanoseconds, some gamer who has more time on her hands than those of us who have families and lives, so “winning” No Man’s Sky is not part of my expectation package.
My expectations are still high, though.
I expect the game to be wholly immersive: if you see it, you can go there; no artfully placed walls or cliffs to keep you inside areas crafted by developers. I expect it to be hi-def, gorgeous, yet hearken back to the sci-fi paperback cover art of my youth; a mash-up of Paul Lehr, Eyvind Earle, and Roger Dean. I expect the gameplay to be flexible, with some activities that I can dip into for an hour or so, and others that will keep me playing all day.
Mostly, I expect this game to be something that will stay loaded on my console for years, rather than a few months. With its open universe concept, variable activity types, limited DLC money-grabs, and complete non-reliance on any PvP ThunderDome mayhem arenas, No Man’s Sky promises to be exactly what I’ve been looking for.
See you on the other side.