At midnight of this past night, after a whole lot of anticipation, the game No Man’s Sky was released. It is a game about exploration: you find yourself on a planet, somewhere in the universe, and your task is to survive and explore. The expanse of the game is so vast that it’s essentially unlimited.
Here’s what it looks like:
As you move around, the game generates new planets—you could play forever and never reach its end. On those planets are alien creatures and structures, which you, the explorer, can name if you like. The Verge has a good description of what you might find as you move about a planet:
It looks like some sort of gigantic rodent, complete with a wispy rat-like tail, but that’s about all I can learn, as it darts away as I approach it. The building, meanwhile, is much more useful. Though abandoned, I find a mysterious, still-functioning computer inside. I choose a selection of numbers at random and apparently discover a new star system. I’m not really sure what I did but it has supposedly endeared me to an as-of-yet undiscovered alien race. Also inside are blueprints for a technology that lets me scan my surroundings, making it possible to locate resources and secret, undiscovered areas. I put it to use right away: about five minutes from the settlement I find a mysterious block, called a “knowledge stone.” When I scan it, I learn a new alien word. I do this a few more times and start to really get a vocabulary going.
Here’s a taste of what players have found in the first hours after the game’s release.
You might start on a planet like this:
And then move on:
Some have advantages:
Some do not:
Some are just cool.
Some of the animals are noble-looking:
Some are not:
Players have also discovered that alien animals don’t work exactly like Earth animals.
Last #NoMansSky comment for tonight.— Brian (@brian_nov) August 9, 2016
I found an animal that had its gender labeled as “Radical”.
This is just the beginning, though: we can only imagine that as people explore these worlds they will find stranger and more unique creatures and places. There could be a whole new taxonomy of alien creatures. We’ll have to wait and see what players discover in this great wide digital world.