Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Impressions: No Man's Sky (20 hours)

One of the things I've been doing (which doesn't require much concentration) is playing No Man's Sky. 

That's bad for development, because most of my development time on Fighting Eleven is going unused right now because of issues with concentration.

That's good for having time to form deeper impressions of the game, though.

After 20+ hours, I'm still having a great time with No Man's Sky. There's a core gameplay loop--explore, gather, upgrade--and I find that core loop both engaging and relaxing.

If you like that loop, like me, then this game has hundreds, or even thousands, of hours of content. It could become what I like to call a "lifestyle" game, where you don't really play anything else.

If you don't like that core loop, though, I can see you being disappointed.

Maybe part of the outrage over No Man's Sky involves eras. The resource gathering reminds me of Starflight--in inspiration, at least. Some of the space station moments remind me of Wing Commander. Some of the aliens remind me of Star Control.

So No Man's Sky evokes a ton of incredibly pleasant memories of other games, now in one quite spectacular-looking package. It's inspirations are clearly from an era where games came on floppies.

If you're younger, and not from that era, your expectations will probably be different, along with your degree of satisfaction when you play. For me, though, sitting down and playing for 20-30 minutes, puttering around the universe, is incredibly satisfying.

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