Thinking some more about No Man’s Sky

No Man's Sky inventory

More and more people are starting to get their hands on early copies of No Man’s Sky, and I’ve spent the last thirty minutes watching someone stream the game on Twitch hoping to get a better idea on whether this is a game I’m going to want to play. It could be argued that watching a Twitch stream of an “unauthorized” copy of a game is morally questionable, but it’s hard to decide not to watch when so little is known about the game just one week before its official release.

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From what I’ve watched so far, I’m beginning to think more and more that No Man’s Sky might not be the game I’m looking for. It seems to rely heavily on resource gathering as a grind, or gateway hindering further exploration if that makes sense. The stream I’m watching is early on in the game, and the person playing has spent the last thirty minutes trying to gather the resources necessary to build a hyperdrive. The planet the person is on looks cool, but as far as I can tell there’s little incentive to look around and poke at things for any reason other than to find the resource required to advance the game. What’s more is that the person’s environmental suit and mining laser also require resources, so they must continually mine for these resources while mining for other resources.

Now there’s a lot of resource gathering involved in games like Minecraft, but Minecraft at least offers a nearly unlimited amount of things to do with those resources. No Man’s Sky seems to only require resources to perform one or two specific tasks, mostly just upgrading and acquiring new technologies. I could see how this could be fun, at least for awhile, but if the planets offer little more than a change of skin while mining resources I’m not sure I could see myself playing the game for many hours.

No Man's Sky screenshot

There’s still much more to learn about No Man’s Sky, and I certainly can’t base my opinion of the game on one streamer’s experience, but at the same time I feel like I’ve already had my fill. Maybe it’s a game that will be much more fun to play, rather than watch, but I think I’ll get easily bored if all the game asks of me is to find a series of resources on a series of unique planets if there’s little else to break up the monotony of shooting at things with a mining laser until they spill out their guts and fill up my inventory with minerals.

If No Man’s Sky were to be released today, I would probably buy it and see for myself. However, with eight days left before its PC release I’m afraid I’ll find that the idea of No Man’s Sky excites me less and less with each passing day.

No Man's Sky screenshot

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