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What is it about?
No Man's Sky takes place in space, in an infinite procedurally generated universe. You can travel to different solar systems, each of which have planets you can land on. Planets have unique wildlife, climate, and terrain, and other random aspects about the solar system like space stations and pirate battles help to make space feel less empty. It is a sandbox game with a loose story that you can choose to complete. You can upgrade your gear and personal spaceship with resources you gather on planets, and build bases on giant freighter ships or planet-side.

No Man's Sky is available on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. It is currently $60 USD.

Is it any good?
No Man's Sky had a notoriously bad release. The developer lied about many key aspects of the game, making it seem more complex than it actually was. Many people felt like they had been cheated. However, a later update added many of the features that were initially promised, including multiplayer. I started playing after this update ("NEXT" Update, July 2018). (I played on Xbox One)

Although the story line exists, it is un-engaging and boring to follow. Buying this game, I expected a sandbox taking place in an infinite universe, and in essence, that is what I got. They advertise a sandbox space game and that is what you will get, but unfortunately the sandbox falls flat quite often.

The worlds feel very empty. The terrain is all the same on any given planet, and it becomes repetitive very quickly. Of course, some planets should be barren and unappealing to look at as desert or radioactive, but many of the planets feel as if they are just empty. Wildlife, although randomized, does not really interact with other wildlife, the terrain, or the player. It genuinely feels like there is nothing to do on planets. The problem with planets feeling empty is that a lot of the game is spent exploring and wandering around, and it gets boring. You can gather resources to upgrade your ship and suit, but that is about all. Base building mechanics are frustrating to work with, as there are two separate kinds of structures that don't snap with each other.

In reality, the gameplay boils down to trading with NPCs for upgrade blueprints, flying to different planets to gather resources, and building those upgrades. Occasionally you encounter pirates who you can fight in space with your ship, but the fighting mechanics are nothing special and encountering pirates to fight is random chance, often you can be looking for a fight and never find one. Planet-side, you can fight Sentinels, robots who come after you in waves once you kill one. However, these fights always go the same way, with the same bots zerg rushing you head on until you kill them. Overall, fighting mechanics are poor.

Multiplayer exists in the game, but it might as well not. Basically, you can have 4 people in a game with you at a time, and you can see their character. After that, up to 12 other people can be in your game at a time, but they will only appear as orbs that you cannot interact with. I say multiplayer might as well not exist because it does basically nothing. You can fight pirates together maybe, but you aren't allowed to keep both of your freighters in the same system, which discourages being together, and there is honestly nothing else to do with other players. They can't build in your bases so you can't share anything with them.

Some aspects of the game were really neat. You can learn alien languages from artifacts one word at a time, which allows you to slowly understand what the aliens are saying. The space stations filled with NPCs were cool, but other than trading with them, NPCs do nothing. You can buy freighters, massive space ships where you can store smaller spaceships and even build inside. It's like a mobile base, but even that loses its appeal after a little while.

Is it worth buying?
At $60, no. The game has certainly improved a lot since its release and I am hopeful that the devs continue working on it. It definitely has potential. If you like space and sandbox games, then take a look at this one, but keep in mind the lack of direction.
Well... Rekt.
On the other hand, here's a true sandbox game: Minecraft

***SM84CE runs
One should try Starbound. It is like No Man's Sky but cheaper and 2D.
Starbound... had potential but it doesn't work. Try Terraria if you want something like that.
bikmin wrote:
Starbound... had potential but it doesn't work. Try Terraria if you want something like that.


I find Starbound quite enjoyable. It is good for exploration but not for combat. Terraria is good for combat but not exploration. In fact, these are the strengths of Minecraft and Terraria and Starbound:

Minecraft: Building, modding
Terraria: Adventure, combat, modding (calamity mod)
Starbound: Exploration, modding (Frackin Universe) building
  
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