No Man's Sky is set to release for PS4 on August 9th, and potential space explorers can prepare with our guide of everything you need to know about the game.
At the 2013 Spike Video Game Awards, the creators of Joe Danger announced their next project, an ambitious first-person exploration game called No Man's Sky. The initial reveal trailer for No Man's Sky helped it become one of the most anticipated video games in recent memory, with Hello Games promising a massive adventure the likes of which has never been seen before in the gaming industry.
No Man's Sky is an ambitious project to be sure, and so it can be hard to keep track of everything players will be able to do in the game. While there's still likely some aspects of the game being kept under wraps, we have compiled the most important bits of information to tell players everything they need to know about No Man's Sky ahead of its PS4 launch on August 9th and PC launch on August 12th.
What is No Man's Sky?
No Man's Sky is an open world survival game, with a focus on exploration. Its attracted the attention of mainstream media for its massive scope, with the developers claiming that it would take 5 billion years in real time to explore all 18 quintillion planets that are said to be in the game. In other words, there is a distinct possibility that No Man's Sky is the largest video game ever created.
So, how did the team at Hello Games create all this content? It would have been impossible to handcraft everything there is to see in No Man's Sky, and so the game utilizes procedural generation. This technology is used not only to create the game's many planets, but it also materializes the game's alien species, plant life, buildings, spaceships, and more.
Players will work together in No Man's Sky to document all there is to see in the game's shared universe (no PS Plus subscription required). Even with players working together, it will still be virtually impossible for everything to be discovered in No Man's Sky, as the game will be a constantly evolving experience.
Exploring the Universe
The primary theme of No Man's Sky gameplay is exploration. Players are free to explore the game's gargantuan universe, and are encouraged to collect data on what they find during their travels. This data will cover the planets players discover, the different alien species encountered in the game, and more. Some of this data will have a practical purpose - for example, players can learn how to speak alien languages so they can communicate with the creatures - but otherwise, this data can be sent to The Atlas, a database accessible by everyone playing the game, in exchange for payment.
Collecting data on what they find in the universe will reward players in other ways as well. Players are free to name their discoveries, and will receive credit for their discovers in The Atlas. However, there's a lot more to explore in No Man's Sky than just the planets; players can also fly throughout space to visit space stations and fleets belonging to the various alien factions in the universe.
Some of these alien factions will be a threat, and choices players make throughout the game can antagonize them. There are many other dangers in No Man's Sky as well, including the robotic Sentinels that will attack players if they harm creatures on a planet or take an excessive amount of natural resources. A wanted level similar to the one in Grand Theft Auto is used, so players should know when it would be a good time to either tone it down or flee.
Tools of the Trade
Exploring an entire universe is hard work, so luckily players will have a variety of tools to help them out. These items include a jetpack to aid with traversing planets, weapons to fight enemies, and a scanner to collect resources. The latter will be one of the most important tools for players of No Man's Sky, as it will enable them to craft the materials they find to create more valuable items that can be used, sold, or traded at space stations.
Crafting will be one way that players will obtain better items in order to better explore the universe. Some areas will be inaccessible until players acquire better equipment, so crafting (and purchasing) this equipment will be an important aspect of gameplay in No Man's Sky.
Another important aspect of No Man's Sky's gameplay is the spaceship that players will use to travel between planets, space stations, and other areas. Like other items players acquire in the game, the ship in No Man's Sky can be upgraded to better prepare it for extended space travel.
After a number of delays, No Man's Sky has finished development, and its release is in sight. Players will be able to purchase the game for PlayStation 4 beginning August 9th, and for PC on August 12th, with both a digital and physical retail release planned. There will be a standard version that comes with the game, and then a Limited Edition that includes an art book in addition to a comic meant to expand No Man's Sky's fictional universe.
PC players will have a third option when it comes to purchasing No Man's Sky. Called the Explorer's Edition, it will be priced at $150, and includes a replica of a spaceship, items to customize the ship, a pin, and a mystery item that won't be revealed until the game's PC launch on August 12th.
In the meantime, there's a possibility that No Man's Sky will come to other platforms. Microsoft is interested in the game, so it may come to Xbox One at some point down the road. If Nintendo NX takes off, Hello Games may want to consider porting No Man's Sky to that console as well, but for now, it is only set to be available on PC and PS4.
Considering the almost incomprehensible scope of No Man's Sky, the game probably holds many mysteries that won't be revealed until players discover them for themselves. In the meantime, this is everything we know so far, and should help prepare players for the epic space exploration adventure that is No Man's Sky.
No Man's Sky will be available on August 9th for PlayStation 4, and August 12th for PC.