By J.H. Diamond
If you’re looking forward to the upcoming release of No Man’s Sky on June 21, you’re not alone. The game, developed by Hello Games, promises to be one of the most exciting triple-A releases of 2016. It offers players free run of a virtual universe and gamers everywhere can’t wait to strap themselves into the cockpit of their very own digital spaceship and start exploring. Read on to learn more about No Man’s Sky and discover just 8 of the exciting possibilities that await you.
It’s Big. REALLY, REALLY BIG!
You may have heard that No Man’s Sky is big, but just how big? The answer is “ridiculously big!” So big you won’t live long enough to see everything. Seriously! There are over 18 quintillion planets in No Man’s Sky’s universe. That’s an 18 followed by 18 zeros. That’s big! There are so many planets in the game that it would take over 370,000 lifetimes to see them all if you spent only a second visiting each one. Incredible!
Endless Discoveries Await
You’ve probably played games that feature exploration before, but let’s be honest — in the back of your mind you always knew you weren’t the first to discover a new area, city, or creature. Someone had always been there ahead of you. In No Man’s Sky, this simply isn’t the case. When you make a new discovery in the game, be it a planet, or an exotic alien species, you will be encountering something truly new. In fact, you even get to name your discoveries and have them recorded so the rest of the world knows you found it first. Now that’s pretty cool!
The Universe Doesn’t Actually Exist
You’ve probably heard that No Man’s Sky will be procedurally generated, but what exactly does that actually mean? Basically, it means that everything you see around you, whether it’s space, a planet, or a spaceship is generated as you visit it. It’s not stored on your hard drive. It doesn’t actually exist until you visit it. When you leave it all goes away, but don’t worry, if you want to visit again, No Man’s Sky will reproduce it exactly as it was.
The Universe Mimics Reality
In the real universe, planets have different environments depending on their location relevant to the star they orbit. The same thing is true in No Man’s Sky. Planets in close orbit to their sun will be hot and barren. Far-flung planets will be frozen ice worlds. In between these two extremes is what scientist call the “Goldilocks Zone” and it is here that you will find the most habitable worlds.
You Can Visit Anyplace You See
In No Man’s Sky, it’s not only the universe that is huge and full of exciting destinations. Each and every planet you visit is entirely explorable. That means if you see a place, a distant, mountain, or a speck on the horizon, you can actually go there!
Your Actions Have Consequences
Just like in real life, if you break the law, or act in manner society forbids, you will eventually have to face justice. No Man’s Sky also has law enforcement — the Sentinels. Sentinels are intelligent robots that police planets and keep you in line. Start running amuck and you will attract their attention. The worse your actions, the more intensely they will hunt you.
In addition to planetside Sentinels, No Man’s Sky is home to various Factions that are constantly fighting for control of space. Here again, your actions have consequences. Factions remember whether you’ve helped them or attacked them, and will act accordingly.
No Man’s Sky Let’s You Write Your Own Story
No Man’s Sky is not a linear game. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, being the largest open world game ever created. You’re given a primary objective — to reach the center of the universe. How you get there and what you do along the way is up to you. And that’s the point. Hello Games wants you to be in control of your own story. The game will be amazingly different for every player.
No Man’s Sky Has No Loading Screens
If you’re a gamer, you know how annoying loading screens can be. You move your character through a door and suddenly the game stops for a minute or more while the next area loads. No Man’s Sky makes loading screens a thing of the past. It generates everything you experience in the game on the fly. This is an enormous leap forward in modern gameplay and hopefully other developers will adopt similar systems going forward. For now, No Man’s Sky players can enjoy the largest open world game ever created without ever having to see a blank screen with a little spinning icon. Thank you Hello Games!
Are you excited yet? No Man’s Sky will release on June 21 in North America and will be available for both PS4 and PC. Until then it’s available for preorder in standard and limited editions. In addition, Hello Games has also pledged to continue supporting the game with improvements and free updates and for all players after the game is released.