As published on Wampaslayer.com August 23rd, 2017.
If you have been paying attention to any of the media surrounding the latest open-universe space game, No Man’s Sky, you’ve surely noticed that it has been rather negative. Many things promised by the game’s developer, Hello Games, weren’t exactly delivered as the community had expected. The biggest and most recent of these controversies came about when two players actually found each other in game. This is something the Hello Games has mentioned would be an astronomically rare occurrence, though not impossible. The fact that it happened so soon wasn’t the issue – as probabilities don’t always predict outcomes – but the players were unable to see or interact with each other at all! This was a complete let down and something that Hello Games hasn’t fully addressed yet.
But as the title states, I’m here to talk about the positives that you can take away from the game. Please note that the last one is going to be a big ol’ fat spoiler. But don’t fret, you’ll have to click it to see it, so no worries there.
Here are my top three positive things from No Man’s Sky.
Learning An Alien Language
Throughout the game, you’ll encounter several species of intelligent alien life. My absolute favorite, the Korvax, seem to be computer intelligences loaded into their humanoid bodies. You never see their face because they – presumably – don’t have one. In any case, when you interact with these aliens you see what they say in lines of gibberish because naturally you don’t understand their language. Part of the game is learning their language, and that takes a few forms.
Each space station and trade post has an alien NPC that you can speak with. After their initial bout of conversation, you can ask them to teach you a word. Now, if you are a rank or two above neutral with their faction, you’re given another option as well and the “teach me a word” option goes away after selecting it. However, you can select the alternate option and then the teaching option returns. You can repeat this process several times (forever?).
In addition, scattered amongst the planets are relics of each species. Interacting with one of these relics teaches you a word for free, no questions asked. And finally, many of the structures found on planets can have a special terminal that will supply you with a word as well.
Over time, you’ll learn enough words that you understand most or all of what these aliens are saying to you. A very cool prospect!
This is going to get a little existential, but one of my biggest regrets in life is that I wasn’t born in a time where I could experience different planets (and my human hubris is showing, assuming that humans will survive long enough to do so). Combined with being a hobbyist photographer, and the life of a planetary photographer sounds pretty awesome to me. Enter No Man’s Sky!
You may have read about this somewhere else as I certainly did, but I could go days at a time capturing images of these imaginary planets. It is the closest thing that I will ever get to actually taking photographs of alien worlds and that really inspires me. Now, I would love it if Hello Games actually built this functionality into the game and let me take photos of exotic locales with no waypoints popping up all over the screen. The featured image is one such shot of green tinted world’s sunset. I hope to capture sunsets and sunrises from many more planets in the near future.
I warn you, click below only if you don’t care, haven’t read about, or haven’t experienced the end of the game. You’ve been warned!
And there you have it, those are the three reasons that I am still even playing No Man’s Sky. I could write a whole other article about what I find wrong or lacking with the game, but for those looking for a reason to play it, I hope these three facets fit the bill.