PS4 Review: No Man’s Sky

To boldly go where no game has gone before?

No Man’s Sky sets out to be an endless exploration game, set across hundreds of trillions of planets to explore, each randomly generated with it’s own climate, wildlife and resources scattered. It’s one of the most ambitious games I’ve come across in years, purely on the scale of it. But is ambition enough to justify this trip to the stars?
You begin by landing on your first planet with no way of taking back off until you repair your ship. How do you do that? Easy, you hunt for resources like that can be turned into fuel and so on. Once repaired, you can set out for the stars again and dock at the nearest Space Station, where you will be given your next objective of creating a warp drive by hunting down the necessary parts on the next planet.

Essentially, this is the main course of No Man’s Sky. You create new tech to travel further and further across space as you try and reach the centre of the universe, all while collecting resources and learning alien words. Sentinel robots cover all planets, even the ones without life…and if you take too many resources with them noticing, them may become hostile towards you. Wildlife may also be hostile, so always be wary…
There are times where you will be battling enemies in your spaceship. The space battles are fairly fun, but if you die you will lose all your ship’s resources in space until you reach the spot where you died. If there’s a problem to be had, it’s that No Man’s Sky feels like it’s missed a big opportunity by making it a solo experience. The vast scale of the game is something else, but if a group of 3-4 players worked together it would have been something truly incredible. Instead, it feels like a very lonely experience…sure, you come across aliens that you can converse with, but they mostly speak nonsense unless you learn every alien word there is.

Despite that, the game handles like a dream. The ship controls are easy to get to grips with, while getting around on foot is just as good. The menus take inspiration from Destiny in their design, which is both a blessing and a curse. Visually, the game is incredibly strong but the time it takes to load up a new universe can seem like a lifetime. The framerate has a few dips now and then, but I never found it to be game-breaking.

The Verdict

While it could never live up to the hype it started 3 years ago, No Man’s Sky does an amazing job in providing a must-have experience for gamers. The scale of the game is huge and while it’d be nice to have more to do on the planets, as well as a lack of social features…it cannot be denied just how fun it is to explore these vast worlds.

Score: 8.5