Courtesy of IGN First there is now another video of No Man’s Sky gameplay to share with the world. Up until now we’ve assumed the planets are pretty much empty and untouched by intelligent life, most likely because we’ve been force-fed that drivel since day one. But, as revealed in the latest gameplay video, alien races have already explored the ‘unexplored’ planets and have set up shop; you can trade with NPCs inhabiting the planets. There are also buildings, which we have seen before in previous demos but the planet feels much more alive now that you know intelligent life is already on it – which contradicts the whole narrative of the game.
If you’re unfamiliar with No Man’s Sky your goal is to reach the centre of the universe. You’re a random nobody on a random planet. Nothing has been explored, discovered or named. To reach the centre of the universe you must scavenge for resources, buy/steal a ship and as an optional side quest you can rename all the flora and fauna on the planets you visit along the way.
But No Man’s Sky is a hypocrisy machine. All of these planets have already been inhabited by sentient lifeforms from other galaxies. They have already set up trade routes and started living on the planets. The only thing they haven’t bothered to do is rename the giant dinosaur roaming outside Dickasuarus Tex Mex. Presumably everything has already been seen and mined by these sentient lifeforms, or odds are they wouldn’t still be hanging around swapping space rocks for spaceship decals.
A part of No Man’s Sky which I haven’t seen any evidence of existing yet is the chance to dominate planets and (to an extent) colonise them. I’ve mentioned before how this game mechanic would be a great inclusion but Sean Murray has gone on record stating that this kind of gameplay negates Hello Games’ intentions of No Man’s Sky; they want you to go off into space to explore, not take up residence and spawn an incestuous empire. Yet at some point alien races have built factories, landing pads and space stations – it seems like that is something worth taking advantage of. I should be able to pool all my elements together to build my own factory where I can manufacture my own items. If I choose to hate the alien races I should be able to force them off the planet, otherwise I’m blackmailed into coexisting with them for the sake of game progression.
Reach out to me on Twitter @LeeLaments and let me know your thoughts on No Man’s Sky. Are you excited, bored or just don’t care? Or are you watching it closely hoping it will surprise you? Because, believe it or not, I’m in that camp.