After a delay of three years with numerous stories about the game’s developmental glitches on the internet, No Man’s Sky finally arrived on Tuesday, the 9th of August, 2016. It is available on the PlayStation 4 and the PC. As its early advertising had suggested, booting the game and navigating its vast world is quite a daunting task indeed.
However, despite the mundanity that we are faced with at the initial hours of the game, it transforms the task of discovery into an act of sheer joy and thrill. The developers of the game, having been concerned about the happiness of the gamers, have kept the objectives of the game separate from the hackneyed story arc.
There are no bars. Simply hop onto your ship, blast into space, and make your adventure.
No Man’s Sky is a game which was developed by a small team from Guildford, England, by a small company that goes by the name Hello Games. The game represents the cosmos that is built of innumerable, algorithmically-conceived planets.
The number of planets is so vastly beyond comprehension that every new player can start their journey of exploration in parts of the cosmos that are highly likely to be untouched by any other player. At the start of the game, you find a small trashed Kubrickian spaceship by your side, lying smoking in the dust.
After repairing and re-fuelling, you leave the planet for the next and so on. Everything you discover during your voyage can be named and catalogued, which is presumably a delight for anyone with a flair for vivid, whimsical, or smutty coinages.
Perhaps this is for anyone who, like me, has simply craved to name a Solar System after themselves. In any case, once named, the names of the planets and stars and the galaxies can be uploaded and seeded to every other player’s game, where they reside forever.
However the possibility of another player encountering your discovery is highly unlikely. This is because Sean Murray, who is the co-founder of Hello Games, and one of the co-developers of the game, told the NEW YORKER in 2014 that even if you were able to visit a new world inside the game every second, our own (real) sun would die out before you could see them all.
Of course this claim can’t be verified or measured as the vastness of it all is unthinkable, even though it’s right there in front of you on the game’s map, as a pellet of a constellation.
Thanks to the algorithm, an endless variety of flora and fauna blooms in this infinite cosmos. The flora and fauna have evolved in each planet according to its environment, characteristics and proximity to a star.
This has inevitably resulted in a huge number of original life forms. Some of them include floppy-eared dogs with tails resembling the stegosaurus, deer with leathery backs that are twenty-foot-tall, and lanky crabs.
It was reported that ten million new life forms were discovered within the first twenty-four hours of the game’s release. There aren’t even that many species known on Earth!
In the last study trying to figure out this exact number, which was co-authored by a member of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), it was found that there are approximately 8.7 million discovered species.
The study released in 2011 proposed that around 6.5 million of those were found on land whereas 2.2 million were found under water.