No Man’s Sky is one of the reasons I ended up buying a PS4 (Fallout 4 was another, if you’re wondering), but it’s been a long time coming. This week, it finally emerged and I was able to give it a go having spent the last year or more on media blackout because I wanted nothing spoilt at all.
Normally I’d post about something like this on my gaming diary, but as it’s a running commentary more than a gameplay report, I think it fits here better.
Here’s how my first hour and a bit panned out, presumably with early-game spoilers:
00:00:45 Oooh, space. Planets with funny names.
00:01:00 “Initialise…”. OK. I assume this is where it does all the fancy maths stuff to generate the universe.
00:02:00 “Initialise…” – taking a while. That’s fine.
00:03:00 “Initialise…”. Hmm.
00:03:30 Right, you have to press Square.
00:04:30 Oooh, pretty! I’m on the planet “Ragoinshyue” in the Euclid Galaxy. A planet with “pleasant” weather, “low” sentinels, “rich” flora, and “regular” fauna. Not sure what “regular” means in this case. Also: my ship has crashed. The planet seems to be mostly green, quite flat, rocky outcrops, and big purple things. And floating islands like those in Bob-omb Battlefield.
00:04:50 So my ship needs repairing, my biosuit systems also need repairing, and my multi-tool gun thing can shoot stuff and obtain resources.
00:06:00 Got in my ship. It’s knackered. Got out again.
00:06:35 FIRST IMPORTANT JOB: Rename planet to “Dave”.
00:07:25 Shoot rocks, obtain iron. Shoot plants, obtain carbon. Got it.
00:07:45 An animal! Chase it and shoot it! It squeaks and runs away.
00:08:40 HUD is telling me I need iron to make carite sheets, and I need these sheets to fix the thrusters on my ship. Shoot all the rocks.
00:09:05 More of the same animals. They look like sheep with fox tails and Predator heads. They’re too fast to shoot and kill.
00:09:20 A bigger animal! Like a ‘roided up antelope. I shoot and kill this one, and knock it around a bit. I feel a tiny bit of remorse, then shoot the corpse some more to see if I can get any resources from it. I can’t.
00:10:05 A flying scanning thing, presumably a Sentinel, appears and flies and scans. I stand still in case shooting stuff is illegal, although I contemplate shooting the Sentinel. It moved on, and I get back to zapping trees and bushes and rocks.
00:11:00 I have enough iron to craft one of the carite sheets, so I do that after some menu stumbling. Two left.
00:12:30 Oh! There’s a run button!
00:13:10 I realise my multi-tool is running out of power so delve into my inventory to sort it somehow. While there I realise I can repair its scanner function, so do that,
00:13:50 Spot a ? on my HUD, and decide to head for it. After charging my mining beam of course, which I forgot to do.
00:14:25 Life support low! Argh! Oh, wait. It’s at 75%. That isn’t “low”, but I charge it anyway.
00:15:15 Another Sentinel finds me, and catches me in the act of blowing up plants. It scans me and moves on. Plant genocide is clearly OK here.
00:15:50 I’ve enough resources to repair my analysis visor, so do that. Can’t figure out what it does though, apart from zoom in ever so slightly and slow everything down. With great power, etc.
00:16:45 Another carite sheet crafted! Cooking on gas now!
00:18:20 After destroying what can only be described as Humongous Purple Celeriac, which took ages, two Sentinels appear looking very angry. They scan me with blue light then yellow light. Either that or it’s the worst disco ever.
00:18:45 Discover a massive column of Heridium, which provides Silicate apparently. A new type of resource, hopefully opening up more stuff to make.
00:17:00 Made the final carite sheet, and also crafted a “stamina enhancement sigma” thing, which seems to let me run for longer. Slightly concerned my inventory is nearly full already though.
00:20:15 While destroying the Heridium Obelisk, the HUD informs me I can teleport stuff to my ship, so I offload the sheets.
00:20:35 And you can shoot through the Obelisk leaving some of it floating in the air. Erm.
00:22:00 I reach the ? I was heading for, and find what looks like some oil drums (filled with Platinum) and some cargo crates. Where did the crates come from? Why are they here? Who knows! They have shielding shards in them, which I take but can’t use yet. One contains “Geknip”. Nope, no idea.
00:22:25 Inventory full. Bah. Teleporting stuff to the ship.
00:23:10 I have enough stuff to repair my launch thrusters! That should help. Need Zinc for my pulse engine though, and I’ve not come across that yet.
00:24:05 Found a container which needs an “Atlas Pass v1”, whatever the hell one of those is. My first instinct is that these need IAPs. Bloody hope not.
00:24:40 Inventory full. Again. But I did find some Plutonium.
00:25:30 A save point! I’d not realised I might need those. You can’t just save anywhere? That’s going to be frustrating.
00:25:50 I’ve found a Grahgrah. I’d be excited but I haven’t a clue what one is.
00:26:45 So you can’t blow up the barrels of Platinum with the multi-tool. This is disappointing as I was hoping for a massive explosion.
00:27:25 I leave the save point and head off, finding a plant that provides Platinum when you interact with it rather than shoot it. I wonder why there are two mechanics. I then find a Zinc plant – so I have some Zinc! The HUD keeps telling me to return to my starship, but to hell with that.
00:28:30 “Journey Milestone Accomplished!” Woo! I’ve repaired my starship, presumably enough to leave the planet. But I’m not going to do that yet.
00:29:10 Inventory full. GAAAH.
00:30:10 SHOOT ALL THE THINGS.
00:31:30 The HUD telling me I have unredeemed items (for preordering the game) is annoying me now. I know I have them, but I don’t want to redeem them just yet, so leave me alone!
00:32:15 A wild ? appears! I make my way towards it, shooting everything on the way.
00:33:25 INVENTORY FULL DAMMIT HULK SMASH.
00:34:05 The ? turns out to be some sort of pod in a clearing.
00:34:35 There’s a signal scanner next to it, which needs a bypass chip to operate. I saw earlier the option to create them in my inventory, but lacked the resources necessary to do so. I shoot the pod because why not, but it doesn’t do anything.
00:35:00 Inside the pod I find it’s sort of like a botanists’ research lab. There are some plants in pots, a desk, some computers, a light I can turn on and off and a spinny chair that I spin. Wheeee! Sadly, you can’t sit on it. One of the computers gives me new technology in the form of “beam focus sigma”, but I can’t craft it yet. The HUD once more encourages me to leave the planet. Dear HUD: No.
00:36:10 I leave the pod, find some cargo crates and INVENTORY FULL. Sigh. Worryingly, my starship inventory is also nearly full.
00:37:00 Another save point.
00:38:25 I leave the pod area and head towards another ?, but realise I can make a bypass chip now so do so and return to the signal scanner.
00:39:00 The scanner lets me look for one of four things: monolith, outpost, transmission, or shelter. I choose monolith, and it shows me the location of one. I don’t have any more chips so can’t scan for anything else right now.
00:40:40 I head for the monolith, finding some Plutonium plants and another curious Sentinel on the way. I’m tempted again to shoot the Sentinel but decide against it. I try to do some inventory management but my starship is now out of range so can’t fuel it or anything to use up some resources.
00:42:50 It seems I have a jetpack! Wheeeeeeeeeeooohhhhhsplat. Oops. Lost a big chunk of health there falling from height. Note to self: don’t do that again.
00:43:00 Shoot ‘n’ chase another foxsheepator. It escapes.
00:45:10 Rummaging through my inventory I find I can now improve my multi-tool by crafting that beam focus upgrade I found earlier. So I do that.
00:45:40 I shoot some mushrooms because why not. Almost at the monolith now.
00:46:10 Around the big metal? Stone? structure, there are a few Knowledge Stones. Activating these tells me I have learned a “Gek” word, whatever Gek is. After triggering all the stones near the monolith, I’ve learned the words for “give”, “high”, and “docking”.
00:47:25 Activating the monolith itself, I’m told some sort of moral fable, about a winged creature that is almost dead but being kept animated by the power of the monolith. I’m asked if I should leave it or kill it, and I choose the latter. This pleases the monolith and my “standing with the Gek increased”. Yay? I also learn the “Atlas” word for “awake”. I’m assuming Atlas and Gek are two alien races?
00:49:10 On my way to another ?, I fall off a cliff and lose a load of health again. Protip: watch where you’re going. The HUD once more informs me to board my starship for take-off. Once more I ignore this suggestion – the ? must be discovered!
00:49:35 As I find another sheep thing, I realise the sky has gone purple and it’s probably night time. It’s very pretty. I notice the sheep has an option to feed now, so I do that and a smiley face icon appears on it with it squeaks excitedly. I consider gunning it down but decide not to.
00:50:45 INVENTORY. FULL. EXPLOOOOOODE.
00:51:50 The ? turns out to be a waypoint, which zooms the camera out to show a really wide area of the planet, and tells me an advanced lifeform has been detected at some sort of shelter. Obviously I head for this post-haste. Well, once I poke some stuff and turn a light off and on.
00:52:40 Some odd robotic swoopy noises make me wheel round, but I can’t see anything anywhere.
00:53:30 More noises. Still nothing there. HAUNTED.
00:54:00 The land here is a lot more barren than before. Much more rock, much less flora. Much more purple.
00:54:50 A ? appears on the HUD, on a similar heading as the lifeform I was aiming for, but before I reach that. I decide to take a minor detour.
00:55:15 I very nearly fall into a gaping chasm. That was close!
00:55:35 And another. I really should be more careful. This one has weird glowing plants in it, and reminds me of that level in Super Mario Sunshine where you go under a floating purple village. Or did I dream that?
00:56:10 A new resource! Emeril, which, of course, I have no space for because INVENTORY FULL.
00:58:52 OK, I have made some space. I really hope I can upgrade the space I have sooner rather than later because this is ridiculous.
01:00:00 Back on track to find this ?, then. Shooting stuff on the way, as you do. No doubt my inventory will be full once more before too long.
01:00:20 It would appear to be another monolith or something! With some more knowledge stones. I now know the Gek words for “Gek”, “first” and “spawn”, and unlocked a Journey Milestone for knowing five words.
01:01:20 I attempt to trigger the monolith, but of course my damn inventory is full so I can’t.
01:02:00 Right, let’s try that again. This monolith tells me there’s a body, made up of different body parts (presumably from different creatures) encased in ice. I’m asked if I should leave it, or melt the ice. Obviously I’m going to melt the ice, but unfortunately that was the wrong choice, I lose a chunk of health and my standing with the Gek has now decreased. Bah.
01:13:45 With that mistake behind me, I resume the trek over to the “advanced lifeform”, and trigger another Journey Milestone for travelling 5,000u, however far that is. Presumably on foot, otherwise I’d cover that in seconds in a ship, surely.
01:14:10 The area here has returned to lush greenery, albeit more open than the starting area. It’s very pretty.
01:14:40 Oh, wait. No. It’s barren again.
01:15:05 As I climb over a small mountain, I spot my destination in the distance. It almost looks like some sort of farm? More of the predatorsheep roam here, and some sort of tentacle monster wriggles along with them. A praying mantis with a horseshoe crab stuck to its back scuttles up on its twenty or so legs and attacks me. I retaliate but it seems immune to my multi-tool mining beam, so I make a dash for the shelter in the middle of the farm.
01:15:45 As I approach it, a ship is just launching from a landing pad. My first thought is to shoot it but I’m too slow. I save at a save point and try to loot a crate but, yep, INVENTORY FULL. I’m betting the final boss is actually the personification of INVENTORY FULL.
01:16:10 I enter the shelter, and find a creature not unlike a rhino crossed with a parrot poking an iPad whilst wearing a hat made from a car tyre. He’s apparently a merchant, and I can’t buy anything from him, or even talk to him, because my inventory is full.
01:16:40 Some quick pocket shuffling and I have a chat. I understand “Gek”, “first” and “give” from his dialogue, so assume I have to give him something. The HUD tells me he smells amazing. Erm, OK. I give him 10 units, and he’s so pleased he hands me a spacecraft phase beam blueprint. Woo!
And that’s it for now. There’s more, mostly involving shooting everything and INVENTORY FULL, but it should give you some idea of how the game is panning out. I’ve not even left the planet at this point either, no matter how much the HUD nags me to do so.
I’ve included a video of the above playthrough which actually goes on for another half an hour or so, again with spoilers.