As a rule I try not to get too excited about upcoming games, I have been let down too many times. More and more games tend to be overhyped and end up being disappointments. However, rules are meant to be broken and I am extremely anxious to get my hands on “No Man’s Sky”! Not much information has been released about the game developed by Hello Games, but what we do know is that it’s procedurally generated awesomeness. You might be saying, “Hey Blake! What is procedural generation, and why should I care?”. Well grab a chair son, let me explain. Procedural generation is content that is generated by algorithm rather than manually. In No Man’s Sky, an entire open universe will be created by a host computer instead of pre-rendered visuals. So when you discover a new planet in the game, no one knows what will be there, not even the games creators. Now, by no means is this a new concept to video games. A little game about two aliens from Funkotron had procedurally generated levels. That’s right I just brought up ToeJam and Earl. Is there a connection between these two games? Nope. Just wanted to mention an awesome game from my childhood.
From what we have seen of the gameplay, you will mostly be on your own. You will start off on some far flung planet with enough tech to get you back and forth to a space station. It’s up to you to gather materials to upgrade your equipment to travel further and further into this massive open universe. Others will be playing in that same universe but the creators say that contact with other players will be rare, as they will be on other planets elsewhere in the galaxy with limited tech. As you upgrade your ship you can bounce planet to planet looking for more ways to upgrade. Hello Games says that 10% of the planets will have life on them, it’s up to the player to discover them. The creators have actually had to go out and find planets with life to showcase in demos, as they have no clue where they are. So, when you discover a new planet with life, you are actually the first person to see it!
This is an exciting concept. This is so far beyond “sandbox” I wouldn’t even know what to call it. Every once in a while a game comes along that changes everything. If done correctly this could be one of them. “No Man’s Sky” is set to release some time next year on PS4.