Salt – It makes food taste better, rots our cars in winter and is what No Man’s Sky is cover in at the moment.Lets face facts. The game left a lot of players either scratching their heads, or sitting on the floor, kicking and screaming “Mummy this game isn’t what I expected!!! I want a refund!”. Can’t say there isn’t anything to sneer at. The first 20 hours of No Man’s Sky was a rollercoaster ride that built up so much excitement as you climb the first hill and as you feel the rush of plummeting at near 90 degrees to the ground you level out and… Well at this point you’d normally be in for a bunch of twists, turns and maybe a loop-da-loop. Sadly for many players, No Man’s Sky just seems to level out on a straightaway and keep going at the same speed. A let down to be sure. Most of the twists and turns were in the form of features talked about and footage of the game that painted a different picture of what was delivered on August 9th.

No Man’s Features

Many of the “missing features” are actually in the game, such as Space Battles and Working Portals. You won’t find these things on a speed run of the game. Think of Star Trek for example. Their mission was to explore strange new worlds. Now think of what’s covered in say, one episode or even one feature film. It’s a true linear narrative that brings story, characters and conflict. All packaged in a nice slice of you Saturday night. Now imagine if you really were Captain Kirk on a 5 year mission to explore the galaxy. In No Man’s Sky, every play session is an episode, every 2-3 hours a movie. However unlike Hollywood, not everyday do the Klingons attack, a planet faces impending doom or you find an artifact with grand significance. The real job would take time. No Man’s Sky takes time but temper’s the mundane with more than a straight up simulation, and less than a 2 hour Hollywood story. You’re meant to explore, walk across a desert, swim oceans and climb mountains. Record your journey by uploading your discoveries and get paid for doing it. It’s fun but what about those huge dino-like creatures from the original trailer? Why can’t I activate the portals I’ve seen in the game’s many videos leading up to launch? Well they are there… and yes you can.

dino

Nook and Cranny

To get the most out of the game in it’s current form, you have got to get lost. So remarkably lost that you’ll feel a sinking in your stomach that you definitely won’t be home for supper. Then find a star of a different colour. These need a decent hyperdrive but if you’re as lost as I hope you should be then you probably have a lot of planets and units and resources behind you. Land your ship and start walking. Survival won’t be too difficult but pay attention to resources just the same. Get some discoveries on your list and find an outpost to summon your ship. Also, if you haven’t upgraded your ship then perhaps you can find a crashed ship to fix up with more inventory because you’ll need it. Should you happen upon a trading terminal, have a look to see if a cave is nearby. See, a quick look can mean big profit. On some worlds, these are littered with Vortex Cubes and Pearls. That cash may not serve you now, but when the announced bases and large freighters arrive via patch, the only way to get them might be to purchase them. Don’t expect them to be cheap.

Stay In School!

Words – Etyemazeta umachios ru make sense nog uta keep learning them. Did you get that? Never turn down an opportunity to expand your alien vocabulary. Some players stop visiting monoliths once they reach a point where the alien dialogues make sense. Well, enough to respond correctly. Remember, this Atlas part of the narrative was co-written by a pretty famous science fiction writer. There is more to monoliths and language in No Man’s Sky that meets the eye. If you keep up with the community then you will know there is a deeper aspect to what’s written in the messages upon activating a monolith. Watch for clues. Could lead to something cool.

So for now, forget the center of the galaxy. It will be there for a while I think. Enjoy the game as it was intended. Be an intergalactic Indiana Jones. Be a Kirk without a crew. Explore the cosmos as the devs hoped you would. You just might enjoy yourself in the process.

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Ryan Brooks
Ryan Brooks
Managing Editor at the Galactic Observer
Ryan is a veteran from the advertising set. An art director and writer from Toronto, Canada, Ryan has been a science fiction aficionado since 1977 when his father took him to see a little known space opera called Star Wars. Gaming is a passion shared by his wife and three year old son. For Ryan, a good story is one of the most important aspects of the games he plays. Especially if you get to create the story yourself.