Video game escapism in its purest form.
No Man’s Sky in undeniably a work of art, but have you got time to look around the whole gallery?
No Man’s Sky launched last week after much hype and billed as quite literally the biggest video game ever made.
The self-perpetuating game, which promises to be potentially endless, was four years in the making by a tiny team in game production terms. And you can tell as it will instantly take your breath away.
Make no mistake there has never been anything like this before. As you fly ever deeper into the universe, new planets and solar systems roll silently into view – some will have been seen before, others discovered for the very first time. And you have 18 quintillion of them to choose from...
Each has its own set of flora, fauna and inhabitants. By exploring, players gain information about the planets that they can submit to The Atlas, a universal database that can be shared with other players of the game and for which they are rewarded in currency each time.
Each planet is a work of art you could spend hours studying, analysing and dissecting. These works of art are housed in an endless gallery and for art connoisseurs it will be Manna from heaven.
However, most people’s playing time will be finite.... unless you’re at university and can afford to miss the odd class here and there to squeeze in just one more exploration of a peculiar alien planet.
And that is where one of the game’s key sticking points comes in. As much as No Man’s Sky takes us to Infinity and leaves us wondering what waits beyond, there is also an almost irresistible itch which you can’t scratch because you can never truly “complete” this game in the traditional sense.
But that is very much a personal take on NMS, many people might enjoy jumping on for a couple of hours here and there, discovering lots of different things and logging it to the Atlas, if anything it could be cathartic but many people like a beginning, a middle and an end to their games.
The care, thought, time and brilliance that has gone into this utterly original video game is mindblowing and deserves to be experienced by PlayStation gamers.
It is the purest form of video game escapism we have ever seen and should be celebrated as such.
But it will more likely go down as a cult classic than the blockbuster success it’s craft deserves.
It is the purest form of video game escapism we have ever seen and should be celebrated as such.Damien Lucas, gaming columnist