If there’s one word you can’t use to describe No Man’s Sky, that word is small. Most games seek to create a world; No Man’s Sky seeks to create a universe.
At Sony’s E3 press conference we got a chance to see just how big a universe actually is. Sean Murray from Hello Games got up on stage and played a few minutes of the game. Playing the game involved zooming out the camera and taking in the sheer size of the universe: we saw thousands of stars, each with their own solar systems of planets, each planet having it’s own forms of life and layout.
Even then, that’s only a small portion of No Man’s Sky. The game is almost too big to comprehend; there exist billions of combinations of systems. Every single one is procedurally generated and populated into a universe that keeps growing as you play. The scale is so large and the environments so varied that no one person will ever see them all. Hell, every player on the planet working together will never see them all.
No Man’s Sky gives new meaning to the term “open world”. For the first time we got to see how gameplay works, and Sean explained that there’s no set course throughout the game. Explorer, hunter, trader – these are all valid options. The universe exists for you to do as you please.
Adding to it, we got to see the game’s incredible destructible environment system. Every single one of the game’s near-limitless planets can be torn apart piece by piece. It may not neccisarily be easy, but it’s entirely possible.
The combat system was also showcased, featuring both space and land battles. In the space battles, two sides fight over control of a territory and the player gets to choose which (if any) side they wish to help. Don’t want to fight? No problem, just jump to any system within range and keep doing as you please. No Man’s Sky won’t railroad you into any specific path. you’re free to choose your own destiny.
Even forgoing all the details of combat and exploration, it’s hard not to be impressed by the incredible scale No Man’s Sky has on display. No single game has ever been bigger, and if Hello Games has their way, no game ever will be*.
* We mean this in the most non-threatening way possible