E3 2014: The Unending, Interstellar Beauty of No Man’s Sky

Lost in space.

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No Man’s Sky looks like the fulfillment of a promise sci-fi and space exploration games have been making for a long time: a massive universe filled with unique planets players can seamlessly hop between with ease. At Sony’s E3 2014 presentation, we finally got an extended look at this game which shed some light on its all-too-short announcement trailer. No Man’s Sky comes from the modestly sized team at Hello Games, who apparently have not lost a step after suffering a minor setback late last year.

In the announcement trailer, you see a ship take off from a planet and seamlessly fly out into space. In this updated look at the game, the player takes a mind-boggling journey from a planet filled with animal life, to a space battle in orbit around said planet, then across an asteroid field to another planet, then back into space, and so on and so forth. The immensity of scale--and the complete lack of loading screens through the entire presentation--was stunning to say the least.

With a bright, vibrant color palette each world popped with its own color theme. The art felt more stylized than realistic, more akin to a Team Fortress 2 than a Call of Duty. Sean Murray, founder of Hello Games, took the stage and discussed how No Man’s Sky is comprised of one massive, procedurally-generated universe that’s so expansive even the development team doesn't know everything it contains. What your goal is within that universe--other than exploration--went unsaid, however the space combat sections imply a larger threat. At any rate, No Man's Sky sets a high bar for the future of outer space exploration (in video games, at least).

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