My relationship with No Man's Sky it was quite conflicting. When it was presented it attracted my attention, at least minimally given that at that time I was playing Elite: Dangerous. Seeing so many colors and little austerity gave me the impression that the game of Hello Games was a nasty rip-off of the title of Frontier Developments. So in the dayone I find my girlfriend at home who says she bought it. At full price. And on Playstation 4, not even on PC.
I play a few hours, then a few days. Then again I realize that something is wrong. Or rather, that there is not actually a game: I will be brutal, but that version published three years ago, in my opinion, was little more than a beta, an early access sold at full price topped off by a marketing campaign made of shirts colored, bare feet and false statements. I do not know if you remember what was said by Sean Murray on multiplayer, on the actual possibility of meeting other players and the consequent impossibility that this event could really happen, given the magnitude of the universe of the game. So two players arrived on same space station without even being able to see each other. In short, a very long series of missteps to which, incredibly, the software house has remedied with time and a commitment that is rarely seen.
I also underline that, apart from the brief experience I had at the dayone, I never again played the game, therefore this review applies especially to those who, like me, want to approach No Man's Sky for the first time. As soon as the game started I immediately noticed some differences, such as the presence of the third person view, introduced in the Next update, and of the missions. Our first task is to listen to a mysterious transmission, coming from who knows where, and then we will discover to be sent by a mysterious Artemis, and to repair our ship so as to start from this planet where, we don't know how, we crashed. The first few hours of play and most of the missions essentially make up what is a giant tutorial: almost everything is well explained during the first phases of the game (and not only the first ones), in this way the sense of disorientation deriving from the impact with a series of infinite menus and sub-menus is greatly reduced. There are so many, many things to do, to build, to collect, to research and to discover.
We understand how to proceed during the game. The No Man's Sky loop is soon clear: with the laser gun we have to collect a vast series of elements that serve both to recharge all the devices in our possession, whether they are connected to our suit or part of the spaceship, or as ingredients for the development of new tools and technologies. Clearly many of them must be refined through a practical refiner that we can always carry around with us. Once we have gathered a good amount of basic resources, we have two choices: keep analyzing every single element of the planet where we are, action that yield nanites, currency that we can exchange to search for technological improvements that must then be created within our inventory or leave, continuing to follow the trail of missions that inevitably leads to the discovery of Nexus.
This is represented as a large space station, which can be recalled at any time and in any place of space, and which serves as a Main HUB of the game in which accept multiplayer missions, search for upgrades o team up with other people given its function as a social hub. On PC the lobbies can accommodate up to 32 players and is also present both a system of exchanges between players, even if limited, that the possibility of facing missions together. You can also show your friends your cottage. One of the most important features of No Man's Sky is in fact the possibility of build bases with different materials. Just choose which part you want to place, whether the floor, the roof or the walls, and start building our house. Then just place a nice teleporter out, a generator that gives it power and so the problem of distances is also solved: from any station or other teleportation we can go back to our home in a few seconds in order to organize ourselves better for our explorations. But this is only the beginning. Later in the game a series of quests is unlocked linked to the very base in which it is also possible to start recruit NPCs, to be placed inside the various structures that we build and that continue to always unlock new elements and rooms to be built.
This amplifies even more the feeling of being in a gigantic pulsating ecosystem of life, thanks also to the additions and improvements made by the No Man's Sky team both in terms of biomes and animals who inhabit the various planets, all of them made procedurally and whose algorithm has been further improved to give greater diversity. The possibility of has now been added tame the animals through the construction of a nutrient processor, useful to supply us with feed with which we can approach the animal that interests us most. Or you can milk them, so as to obtain resources. And if you don't like the place where you have installed your base, you can always change it as you like through a practice terraforming gun with which it is possible both to destroy and to create land and here, of course, the fantasy can fly very high. In the presence of water you can also create your own submarine base or simply limit yourself to creating one whole city. Here I say it and here I deny it: with the possibilities offered, No Man's Sky could easily become a new one Minecraft and fill up more and more with crazy buildings. With these premises, also talk about longevity as for this title it is not easy, since the main mission can be completed in about thirty hours but the things to do are endless and the game ends only when you decide. If you also add the possibility to install against, the picture is complete.
Technically the game is pretty solid: the graphic rendering is really amazing but still having some strange little problem, often presents slow loading of textures, pop-up of objects is wasted, the HDR is completely broken and there are various errors scattered here and there that give a strange impression, like the presence of untranslated words in Italian or even of sections where the game code is present. I also continue to have big problems with the gamepad. Some inputs don't work and I have to press the key on the keyboard directly. It is not even possible to configure or remap it from within the game: these are problems that leave you quite strange, small errors that can be solved quickly through patches but are still there, as a sign of a game whose development is still continuing and will continue for who knows how much. But if the road taken continues to be this, there can only be always and only improvements. Unfortunately I can't tell you about the VR component, introduced with No Man's Sky Beyond, since I'm still without a viewer.
And my mind rushes to another, much more recent game that seems to be sharing the fate of the Hello Games title, with a big difference. Both are born empty, with no content. The first, however, is resurrected from the ashes, that of Bioware is receiving extreme unction. Yes, I'm talking about Anthem. And personally I would have expected the opposite, given Bioware's historical background, and even the idea of comparing them to those who at first seemed to be only the scapegraces didn't even touch me. Hello Games, on the other hand, succeeded in what seemed like an impossible feat, did not give up even for a moment and pulled a series of upgrades better than the other out of the hat, which managed to turn No Man's Sky, finally, into a big, huge, title that deserves to be played. As usual, al following link you can find the gallery of images in 4K.
Note - The game was performed on the following configuration:
- Mobo: Gigabyte Z390 AORUS PRO
- CPU: Intel Core i7-9700K
- Ram: 16GB DDR4 2133mhz Corsair Vengeance
- Heatsink: Noctua nuh-d14
- Power supply: EVGA 650GQ 80 + Gold
- GPU: Gigabyte G1 2080 8gb
- HDD: WD Blue 1TB
- SSD: samsung 256 GB