Our first day of exploration on No Man’s Sky
So at 6pm on Friday evening, after a four year wait and numerous delays, No Man’s Sky finally dropped for PC. On Tuesday the game officially released for Playstation 4, however it was time for the game to shine for those of us who enjoy to play on Steam. Here I’ll look into the adventures that took place within the first two hours of exploration. This article follows the main story of the game, so be warned that there may be spoilers contained below.
STARTING AN ADVENTURE
The first image of this article shows the start of my adventure. A mess of a crash site sat in the hills of Fifensenburg-Noa, a toxic and cold jungle planet that is teeming with mysterious wildlife. I walk over to the Rasamasa S36, a cherry red starship that sits fizzing away showing all kinds of damage. The launch thruster and the pulse engine had both seen better days, so it was up to me to find the necessary resources to get the ship working again.
Walking around the crash site, I discover the different elements that exist on the planet. Using my multi-tool, I end up mining trees and plants for carbon, picking leaves for iron, and mining giant towers of glowing blue rock for the mysterious element of heridium. Once I have harvested enough minerals, I can finally get the ship up and running and start travelling across the planet. In addition to this, I find enormous rocks of pure gold, which I mine for myself as I know I may be able to get a pretty price for these rare minerals.
Up and down over the mountains and hills, notifications start to appear of waypoints that require investigation. Landing down on these points of interest, I discover they are settlements of alien races that have started to colonise these planets. Interacting with the Korvax race, I learn new words of their language to better understand them and discover new advanced technologies to further improve my ship and multi-tool.
As I leave one of the manufacturing facilties, I spot weird and wonderful fauna, and scan them using my… well… scanner. I can track the species I come across in my encyclopedia of discoveries, and upload to the galactic database for a reward of units, the currency used in the Euclid Galaxy. After spending half an hour on my first planet, I decided it was time to set off into the vast expanse of space.
After igniting my launch thrusters, I speed up vertically and engage my pulse drive, sending my ship to incredible speeds to leave the atmosphere of Fifensenburg-Noa. As this was my first planet, I thought it best I give the world a proper name. I settled upon ‘Alpha Jungle’, named rightly so for its biomes and the first planet I will have discovered on my journey.
THE VOID OF SPACE
After deactivating the pulse drive, I can finally let the view sink in of the vast expanse of space. I discovered I was in a solar system with an unpronounceable name. The only right thing to do was to name it after myself, and call it ‘The Musse System’. With my cargo onboard, I travel to the nearby space station to sell my wares.
In the space station, I find traders flying in and out with their goods to sell. With precious gold in my inventory, I walk inside to the reception and sell it all! Money comes flying into my account, and I can spend this new money on new parts I will need to build the hyperdrive, which will allow me to travel to brand new solar systems. This involves building warp cells which contain antimatter.
To build this mysterious warp cell, three steps are required. Suspension fluid is needed to make electron vapour, electron vapour can be fabricated into antimatter and then along with some Thamium9 from asteroids, a warp cell can be constructed. This sounds easy enough to make, but of course it involved travelling more and more across the planets to mine these ingredients. After visiting more buildings of the Korvax race and collecting these minerals, I was ready to take my adventure further into the galaxy. Loading it up with the newly constructed warp cell, I initiate the hyperdrive to the Sofoorneverja system.
LEARNING THE HISTORY OF THE GALAXY
As I come out of hyperspace, the new solar system unfolds in front of me. I am directed to the nearest planet to investigate a strange monolith, to learn more about the galaxy. As I dive down to the planet, the ship auto pilots towards the site. Sitting on a desolate and dangerously toxic red planet, halfway up a jagged family of mountains, lies an ancient structure.
It informs me that it will explain about Atlas, essentially the history of the Euclid galaxy. Around the site are more knowledge stones, to further understand the language of the aliens that inhabit these worlds. Capturing these memories will remind me in the future of where my adventure began once I get lost deeper and deeper in the cosmos.
Learning about the history of the universe for me is very important in a game like No Man’s Sky. This is because as much as I enjoy to free roam and explore for myself, there still needs to be an end goal in a game for me to try and achieve, so that I can say that I have fully experienced what the game has to offer.
With No Man’s Sky, it does it beautifully because after stepping through the tutorial steps, which is outlined above, it simply gives you small hints for you to follow at your own pace. You still have the opportunities to go round worlds and discovering new lands and technologies, however you’re not stuffed with overwhelming plot and dialogue, and you can interpret the story for yourself, as everyone’s experiences will be completely different to each other.
Leaving the planet of Doviistii Kurrem, I set off to sell more wares at the space station whilst mining the asteroids along the way to help fuel the pulse drive. However, a quick scan of the area reveals a hostile threat is upon me. Within moments, a regiment of enemy ships start blasting away at my ship. I dip and dive to avoid their lasers, shooting my own plasma blasters when they are in my sight. The shield on my starship keeps taking an almighty battering and I keep repairing it until I have no more resources to keep the tech alive.
I fight valiantly but being outnumbered to ships with better technology onboard than I is too much for me to bear. They deliver the final blow, my shield is destroyed and my ship plummets down to the planet below. I black out. The screen turns to black and I am shown a quote to consider during the respawn process.
I respawn back at the nearest space station with an empty inventory. In order to get my items back, I have to travel to my gravestone, the moment where I plunged down from space. After retrieving my items, I rest down on the planet below. After a good two hours of exploring, I decide to save my progress and return to the outside world for a while.
Overall, from my first couple of hours on No Man’s Sky, I can safely say that this definitely lives up to the expectations I had about the game. I managed to have that experience of travelling around discovering new, idyllic worlds and interacting with strange lifeforms in space stations and trading outposts. I feel that the game has managed to transport me straight into a sci-fi adventure, which we have only really experienced through television programmes and movies on the big screen. No Man’s Sky immerses you into a magnificent adventure of the cosmos, that despite the endless grinding of minerals and resources, leaves you wanting to discover more about the true story of the universe.
Image credits: Hello Games