The logo for No Man's Sky. A geometric object hangs in the air over the game tile with a sunrise in the background.

How No Man’s Sky Reignited The Console War

No Man’s Sky may be the killer app for the next couple of years of gameplay, and that’s really unfortunate for some gamers.

Some people say I’m an easily excited person, but my excitement for No Man’s Sky was hard-earned. A spaceflight simulator with the ability to pierce orbit and explore the surface of a planet, explore, harvest materials, and all sorts of things, No Man’s Sky is aiming to be the title that makes me break down and upgrade. I’ve been playing similar games for quite some time and they’ve all been lacking what others have and I think what we have here is a glorious amalgamation of starshippy goodness.

I’ve been waiting a long time for a spaceflight game that I can call home. My first foray into the genre was Fury3, where you were a star pilot who went around blowing up bad guys while awesome nineties techno played in the background. I loved that game. Unfortunately, it took place on different levels and you couldn’t actually leave the planets that often.

The player explores a sea in No Man's Sky. A shark approaches from their front as a school of fish swims past.
I bet I could torpedo those sharks from orbit. Spore never let me torpedo sharks from orbit…

Next I got big into Spore, which had me really hopeful. All the early stuff is neat and all, but flying around space dropping your designer species on planets and getting rich off of spice is rather nice. At first. Unfortunately it gets bogged down with incessant calls for help and I just got tired of it.

After Spore was X3, and that was a game I adored. It was a little frustrating at first, the learning curve and all, but the freedom was exhilarating. I was flying around in space saving lives, making deliveries (sometimes successfully) and commandeering the ships of my enemies. Unfortunately, for all its charm, I always felt so lonely. “Go play EVE!” they said. “It’s fun!” they said. And I enjoyed it for a bit too, but I’m not hardcore enough for that. People commit real life property damage for this game! Way out of my league y’all!

So that leaves me with No Man’s sky. When I saw the first ever footage of the game, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was looking at. Spore 2 maybe? I heard talk of a fully procedural game and here I am watching someone swimming with sea life and they’re walking out and my mind is blowing over and over.

From the cockpit of a ship we see several big starships and fighter ships zooming around with energy pulses flying around.
It may be sacrilege but duking it out in an asteroid field sounds like a far better way to spend the afterlife.

Look at them leave orbit! Look at those huge ships! The space battles? It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven, except replace bland old cloudy cities and pearly gates and replace them with an entire galaxy to play around in to my heart’s content.

So as I’m watching the trailer and freaking out, it occurs to me that there’s no way my current set-up is going to be able to handle the game. You have to be this tall to ride and I’m a foot too short. At the time of this writing, No Man’s Sky is available for the PS4 and the PC. How do I choose? I mean, the Xbox is definitely out (sorry, Chief).

Sony has quite a few things that appeal to me on the PS4, especially Transistor and No Man’s Sky. Unfortunately, those are also both PC titles. I think practically the only reason I would want to play No Man’s Sky on a console is because when you have a big TV and a small monitor, sometimes you want to sit in the dark on your couch rocketing around space even if it isn’t the absolute most high definition it could be.

A giant sandworm slithers across a desert in No Man's Sky
Just y’all watch, some jerkwad is going to fuse with one of these things and then make it so we can never play with them again.

Now, I have some definite concerns about the game, on PC or PS4, with regards to its multiplayer. The fully procedural universe is universally procedural, so everyone has the same universe. To that end, if some jerk decides to engage in a quest to depopulate planets, those planets would be ruined for you. Now, the universe is a big place and all but I’ve never seen griefers back down from a chance to ruin a game for everyone.

Also, given my experience with other huge games is memory leakage and I’d definitely have concerns about a huge universe and slowdowns as I got further and further into the game. But I could be wrong. But maybe I’d be best not being an early adopter and letting the bugs get sorted out. Bide my time watching Let’s Plays and keeping an eye out for any shenanigans.

I guess what this means is I’ll just have to wait and see. The price of a PC, built with parts bought on sale, would come to about the same as a PS4 if I’m lucky or a little more. I’d probably have to consider the other space titles coming out, and balance that with the fact that I really, really want to play The Last of Us Remastered. Weighing that against Star Citizen and Dreadnought… It’s so hard to say since Dreadnought will also be on the PS4.

My current set-up of peripherals is severely lacking and while I could improve my quality of play greatly by spending more money, sometimes I’d like to get the most bang for my buck. If I absolutely had to decide now given all the other titles I’m interested in I’d probably get the PS4 now and wait to upgrade my computer because while the sky may be no man’s, it’s definitely this woman’s and she’s going to play the heck out of it.

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  • Great read. Man, this one is PS4 exclusive huh? That complicates things. Good thing I’m in no rush to buy a new console.

    • Savannah Winter

      PS4 and PC with room to expand. I mean, I’ll probably end up just getting a new rig because I have tons of stuff on Steam already and there are other PC exclusive titles (Civilization: Beyond Earth) that have me excited.

      But yeah, there’s no rush yet. And then it’ll be a hectic dash because they’ll dump tons of good things on us all at once.

    • Dave

      Can’t go wrong buying a PS4, games look and play great, PlayStation exclusives are the best, PS+ is amazing value for money with the free games every month, I’ve been hugely enjoying my PS4 since I got it last year.

      • Tim

        Yes, the quality of Playstation exclusives like Resogun, Infamous SS, Last of Us Remastered, LBP 3, DriveClub, Uncharted 4, The Order, Bloodborne, Witness, etc… cannot be beat by any platform.

  • XtrXpdr

    They only announced it like “console debut on PS4”, and it is not available yet. They (devs) are avoiding the question about exclusivity, if the game is ps4 exclusive… why not to clarify it?

    Take a look at (OXM site), it looks like it is a temporal exclusive game and Xbox One will get the game later.

    • Savannah Winter

      That would be really awesome for Xbox One players, but I have to wonder what benefit they glean by withholding that information at first. I suppose it definitely keeps the game in the mouths of the public because if there’s one thing I know we gamers can do, it’s argue forever about how much BS it is that our favorite upcoming title isn’t coming to our console.

  • Eagles83

    I’m intrigued by this game but haven’t been able to get to the excited category just yet. So far I’ve just seen flying around in a ship and going from space to the planets surface. Good stuff for sure but I still don’t know what the gameplay will be like or what the objectives will be. At this point it seems like a cool concept but kind of aimless. Hopefully they show more soon because I would love to get a better feel for what it will be.

    • Savannah Winter

      Yeah. In that regard I’m reminded a lot of the X games and while I played about 100 hours straight of that (not in one sitting, though, I don’t have a cyborg heart… yet) it was definitely something that needed more to pull me in further. Hopefully we’ll hear more soon.

  • JayJay

    Hey writer that’s good for you.
    This reads like a Facebook post more than an article the general public should be interested in. We already made our decision.

  • medman

    The developer stated the game will be coming to ps4 first, and that maybe they would like the game to come to pc later on, but at this stage that is not definite. They wouldn’t even mention xbox….at all. So if you’re hoping for a version for the xbox, you better pray Sony just doesn’t lock Hello games down as an exclusive developer going forward, or have offered them help so they become like Quantic Dream or Ready at Dawn who while not first party, develop only for Sony.

  • game looks boring as hell

  • Anders

    I would like to thank Shahid Kamal from SCEE who approached Hello Games and brought No Man’s Sky to PS4.