No Man’s Sky may simultaneously be the most hyped and mystifying game since Peter Molyneux promised us we’d be able to plant acorns and grow oak trees in the 2004 adventure-RPG, Fable. The allure of indie developer Hello Games’ No Man’s Sky is even more impressive, however, considering its minuscule development team and massive potential. The game is procedurally generated, which means that its nearly infinite array of planets, creatures, and items are all unique. No Man’s Sky is a game about exploration, but the specifics of its gameplay have been unusually difficult to put a finger on.
The problem with seemingly unlimited possibility is that it has created nearly impossible expectations. Hello Games founder Sean Murray is acutely aware of this problem and has been attempting to limit expectations, without spoiling the fun of players discovering the game’s secrets for themselves.
With only a day until release, Murray has posted a comprehensive breakdown of what to expect from No Man’s Sky over on the game’s official website. Early pics of the game and dozens of gameplay videos are posted, but Murray’s breakdown may have been the most revealing.
Here is what No Man’s Sky definitely is:
– Exploring a universe of pretty procedurally generated worlds, with beautiful creatures
– Trading with NPCs
– Combat against robots/mechs and cool space battles
– Survival/crafting in a universe sized sandbox
– An awesome procedural soundtrack from my genuine favourite band (check the NMS album out here)
– For one small moment, you might feel like you’ve stepped into a sci-fi book cover
He also posted a series of tweets breaking down what the game is and isn’t.
To be super clear - No Man's Sky is not a multiplayer game. Please don't go in looking for that experience.— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) August 8, 2016
The chances of two players ever crossing paths in a universe this large is pretty much zero.— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) August 8, 2016
We do have some online features and easter eggs so people can know they are playing in the same universe. It's about cool "moments"— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) August 8, 2016
Like right now watching people naming stuff, in our beautiful universe, on our server— Sean Murray (@NoMansSky) August 8, 2016
Journalists ¯_(シ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/rbZm4yeX8o
What Murray seems to be getting at, is that although the game definitely has “social features” to give the feel of a shared universe, multiplayer isn’t a feature of the game. While he does imply that additional features are coming in the future, it doesn’t sound like multiplayer is in the works, or would even jive with the experience that Hello Games has created.
A world of eager gamers will find out tomorrow whether or not No Man’s Sky is everything they hoped for. Whether or not the experience lives up to expectations has yet to be seen. But nobody can take away the fact that this small team of artists and engineers has been able to light the collective imaginations of the gaming world on fire.
No Man’s Sky will be available in the U.S. tomorrow, August 9, 2016.