I'm really feeling it!
I'm really feeling it!
Illustration for article titled Beating The Backlog: iNo Mans Sky/i

I diverged a little, but that’s ok. Another one bites the dust! (insert obligatory Yoshikage Kira gif)

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No Man’s Sky famously launched to a very underwhelming response after the hype train missed a few stops, going way further than it ever should have. I am happy to report that now, in 2020, it’s actually a good game to play.

I didn’t actually play it in 2016, or whenever it was that it launched, but I did play it around this time last year and even comparing it to what it was then, there have been many quality of life improvements that just make the game so much better.

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I think I took this screenshot by accident on a rando hot planet
I think I took this screenshot by accident on a rando hot planet

Before we talk about that, I want to talk about just how enjoyable it is to explore the galaxy. I will admit that after 30 hours or so, it gets a bit samey, but there will still be things to surprise you - especially after the recent Living Ships patch.

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There’s something really satisfying about jumping into this colossal game and discovering your own corner of space, seeing things and places in the game that have never been seen before. You can even name them as you wish, and claim rewards for uploading your discoveries, at the same time you leave your mark should any other explorer happen to end up there. There are so many stars and systems, that it’s unlikely, no, impossible that they will all be visited. If you spent one second on each planet and could travel instantly between all of them, it would take you 584 billion years to visit each one - for comparison, our universe is estimated to be around 13.8 billion years old! According to someone on the internet, if everyone on earth spent their entire lives playing No Man’s Sky, they would have to each spend another 73 lifetimes playing the game to discover everything.

I found this huge ruin buried under the surface, it took me about 45 minutes to unearth it and find the relic it was hiding
I found this huge ruin buried under the surface, it took me about 45 minutes to unearth it and find the relic it was hiding
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Unfortunately, I don’t think the game is diverse enough to stay interesting for a lifetime, let alone 74 of them.

One of the biggest QoL improvements that I mentioned earlier is the Space Anomaly. It existed in previous iterations of the game, but is now an online multiplayer hub ( among other things)

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The space anomaly can be summoned anywhere in space, and in this space station you can interact with other players and even embark on missions with them. Most of the missions aren’t all that interesting, admittedly, but it could and most likely will improve at the rate Hello Games has been adding new content. Just a year ago when I first tried NMS, the Anomaly wasn’t quite what it is today.

If you like, you can also go all Minecraft and build yourself an epic base. You can build yourself several, if you like, and warp between them at will. Just check YT for some of the insane bases people have created.

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There is just so much to do in No Man’s Sky - you can be a space pirate, a space bounty hunter, a space explorer, a space interplanetary trader, just about anything you space want to do - you can do. You can go where you want to go. So long as you upgrade your ship, that is!

One of the things I enjoyed the most was hunting for rare and exotic ships. Each system has a handful of it’s own unique designs, but only one exotic which spawn quite rarely. It is exploitable via save scumming, but it definitely takes time finding a system with a design that suits you even with the save scumming method.

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It was kinda fun flying headlong into a black hole, if scientifically questionable
It was kinda fun flying headlong into a black hole, if scientifically questionable

Finally, I’d like to take a minute to talk about the story. There are a few quest lines, the main one gives you backstories for each of the 3 races, and various other bits of lore. I have no complaints about the main story, the characters and the premise are both mysterious and interesting, the climax ( which you can put off indefinitely I think) gave me a mild existential crisis which I appreciate. Not anything to write home about, but engaging enough that I wanted to see it through and interesting enough that I’m still thinking about it almost a week later.

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I would recommend this game to anyone who enjoys sci-fi settings and open world/crafting type games. Not recommended to those who like story-driven games, since you can basically ignore the story if you want and just do your own thing.

My only complaint about the game is with regards to the black holes - I had hoped and kind of expected them to be ominous looking centers to their systems, and by space (spoiler alert) they are not.

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I need one of these to get to work, no more traffic!
I need one of these to get to work, no more traffic!

I really enjoy No Man’s Sky, and intend to keep playing it now and again. I had intended to play and finish Kingdom Come Deliverance, but will get to that later. I just wasn’t feeling it, I had a space itch to scratch!

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Have you played No Man’s Sky? What did you think? Has it recovered from it’s abysmal launch? Weigh in below!

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