This generation of gaming hasn’t seen too many original IPs make a major impact, with prohibitively-expensive production costs pushing developers to rely more and more on known properties. And while highly-anticipated original titles do exist, the ones that have caught on tend to be ambitious – a word which nicely describes No Man’s Sky, a PC/PS4 open-world space-exploration title that uses a procedurally-generating content algorithm to make an estimated 18 quintillion (18,000,000,000,000,000,000) planets potentially available for players to visit.
Now, with the game officially dated for June 21st, a new video offers an extended look at just how big No Man’s Sky can get.
The 15 minute promotional video, hosted by Hello Games founder Sean Murray, features Internet personality Anthony Carboni sitting down to play the game; showing off many of the exciting new features and varied gameplay along the way. Carboni tries out visiting planets, traveling in space, shooting enemies and piloting vehicles; giving a small sense of just how much variety players can expect from the finished version of the game.’
A passion project for Murray and Hello Games, No Man’s Sky is said to have originated as a concept during the development of Joe Danger 2. What was originally a title being worked at by Murray and a dedicated team within the company eventually grew into one of its central long-term projects, and despite additional support being offered by Sony once the formerly-independent production was tipped for a PS4 release, the team refused all development support (though the PlayStation-producing company did step in to provide promotion and marketing muscle – which included making the announcement of the project part of its big 2014 E3 presentation).
The game’s procedurally-generated content has wowed programmers and fellow developers alike, utilizing specialized techniques like the so-called “superformula” equation to allow natural flora and fauna to generate in recognizable natural shapes. It has also been designed to allow individually-formed planets to develop their own ecosystems, life cycles and inhabitants. While impressive enough as a demonstration of technological capability, it also has a core gameplay purpose: As the game focuses on exploring and mining planets in order to add new data to an ever-growing information bank, the near-infinite amount of content is expected to keep revisitation a consistently worthwhile experience.
As previously announced, the game’s release will include the availability of a so-called “Explorer’s Edition” collectible release (limited to only 10,000 units) set to include an impressive 1:35 scale hand-painted “tin toy style” ship replica (stickers will allow for customization), a “traveler’s pin” cast in hard-enamel, diorama display, a “rad box” and a mystery item that the developer will not reveal until launch. In a sign of the times, one thing that the $149 “Explorer’s Edition” won’t include is a copy of the game itself – instead, buyers will be emailed a code to download the game, ensuring they’ll be able to play even if the physical part of the product has not yet arrived.
No Man’s Sky releases on PlayStation 4 and PC on June 21st, 2016.