Surviving a cold universe in No Man’s Sky on PS4

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Surviving a cold universe in No Man’s Sky on PS4

We go hands-on with Hello Games’ red hot procedural space opera

Even in the clutches of a ceaseless winter, this planet supports life. Cat-like creatures prowl through the cold, hunting tirelessly and growling at my approach. The dunes around me are icy and dark, and the chill wind eats away at the thermal protection of my suit — paltry layers between me and a frozen death.

This is one of quintillions of planets in No Man’s Sky. Some are exorbitantly beautiful. Others are cruel. And at a recent event in Los Angeles, the team at Hello Games showcased how “survival” plays a central role in this interstellar exploration.

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Many of you may have glimpsed the awe-inspiring concept of No Man’s Sky on PS4 in its trailers. One moment you’re trekking across an alien planet, untouched by sentient life, and the next you’re aboard your trusty craft, punching through the atmosphere and breaking into the endless expanse of space. Trails of distant starships perforate your view, signs of trade and travel — or perhaps the occasional pirate looking to make a deadly score.

No Man’s Sky is built on this concept of absolute freedom, but the team at Hello Games want you to feel the constant challenge of survival as you journey between stars. The planet I explored during my first play session with No Man’s Sky was one of extreme cold. Wade out into the wilderness for too long and your suit’s protections fail, your health slowly dropping until a black screen announces your untimely demise.

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Surviving on a planet such as this means finding shelter. Craft explosive bolts to burrow underground seeking warmth and you might stumble upon a network of caves to scour for resources. Or gain entry to alien pods that offer a temporary reprieve from the unrelenting wind. These structures provide a safe space for much-needed crafting, where your suit, ship, and weapon can be augmented and improved with materials from an actual periodic table of in-game elements. These elements define the universe of No Man’s Sky and can be excavated from plant life, mineral deposits, and discarded supply containers half buried in the snow.

But be wary of what you take. Steal too much from a planet and the omnipresent sentinels — stewards from a bygone era — remove you from the world. Forcefully. Defeat a few of the smaller machines and larger walkers come to finish the job.

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Not all planets in No Man’s Sky will be uninhabited — far from it. Members of several distinct alien races will occupy these innumerable worlds, speaking in unique languages that you’ll learn over time in order to communicate and trade. Break into their planetside structures to claim resources or perhaps escape the cold. But be warned: unwelcome visitors are not regarded with kindness.

Many planets are watched by alien space stations, which you can visit and use as a trading hub during your time in No Man’s Sky. Here, in the bright and cavernous docking bay, is a small room that Hello Games’ own Sean Murray picked out specifically for the event. It is, he describes, his “favourite” view in the game.

In that small room is a window which looks out on the planet below. One planet, made up of a deadly cold and the life that endures there. One of many quintillions in this fictional universe that we could spend the rest of our lives exploring.

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31 Comments

  • Can’t wait for Christmas – am hoping to buy a PS4 so I can play this and Uncharted 4! This looks incredible – gonna be great to just sit back, chill out and play some No Man’s Sky :)

  • Thanks, Ryan! Nice write-up on one of my most anticipated games this year.

  • Is this single player only or does it have online?

    • Both. You can play it offline, but you are in the same galaxy as all other (online) players, but it might take weeks, months or forever before you encounter someone else due to the sheer size.

    • Oh that sounds really cool

    • That’s cool, but it’d still be nice to be able to meet up with friends and explore together, do we know if this is possible?

    • Doesn’t it have a Journey style sort of encounter system? That seems to be confusing people.

    • @Flipside666 If you can find each other, then yes. You would be able to explore together. But from what Sean Murray has said, I don’t believe you can set a waypoint to another player. And remember, these are “planet-sized planets” and the space around them is even bigger. You could theoretically describe to your friend exactly where you are, or where you want to meet. But the chances of you actually finding eachother is infinitesimal. For all intents and purposes, you shouldn’t consider finding your friends an option in No Man’s Sky.

    • @DoYouLikeMyID And yet I somehow expect a crowd-sourced online megamap that plots the charted universe to make this possible. And if random is truly random some players could end up relatively close to each other in the first place.

  • I am hoping this week be compatible with the VR headset it would be even more amazing in VR…

    • I doubt it will, it looks like they’d have to compromise on quality too much to provide a decent experience, more simplistic Virtual Reality games are going to be required on games consoles.

      The test applications are out on the PC now to show how ready your computer is for VR. Those applications and the headset developers are saying that our top end hardware will do the job but really we’ll want hardware released in six to twelve months.

      Headset developers have made it clear that Apple doesn’t have a Mac that’s capable of running Virtual Reality software yet.

    • CluckNuggets My Android phone runs decent VR, so surely anything the PS4 could manage would at least be better than that!

  • my ps4 is ready , pink floyd music is ready , gimme the game .

  • The price point is the only thing keeping me from playing this game.

    • What.. Can’t you save your pocket money. Do a few more chores and you should get enough. I’m only saying that because it would be laughable if you were implying this massive extraordinary game wasn’t worth it.

    • Oh man I can totes see why you’d think that paying 40 quid to access a near-endless, infinitely variable universe shouldn’t be worth 40 quid….

  • Can’t believe UK release date is 24th June, my birthday is on 23rd so I thought a magnificent present to myself on my birthday off work when I first saw it was out on 22nd, only to have my plans cruelly dashed.

    Why 24th for UK only please?

  • Yawn not more nomads ski boring.

    • Yeah, we get it. You’re not interested in No Man’s Sky! So why do you feel the need to comment on every Blog post about it with the same old obnoxious phrase of “nomads ski”?
      Read the title, realise it isn’t for you and move along… This saves the rest of us reading the same drivel from you every time!

    • Shadiest187 +1

    • Man, I’d have been proud to share my gamertag with it, if Sean Murray had called it Nomads Sky

    • It’s just my opinion on this so called game shadiest 187 if you don’t like reading it just move along and moe 83 why didn’t you just thumb up the post then just adding another line?
      Also pure nomad thats a pointless comment, I have a great gamer tag named after a great game series resident evil.

    • What a colossal spanner you are.

    • That’s not very nice lol.

  • This game is going to be amazing!

  • Looks amazing can’t wait, I pre ordered the collectors edition from EB Games $119.00 from memory. Just what you can do and see blows me away

  • There is already a lot of discussion about this game. People are saying this is going to get real boring real quick. and that its going to be a case of everything is just the same on every planet, just different colors. you might encounter a blue fish on one planet. go to a different planet, and the same fish will be there, but purple etc. same for the planets vegetation. I really hope this isn’t the case

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