No Man’s Sky’s exploration, combat, and more detailed
posted on 12.03.14 at 07:47 PM EDT by (@salromano)
Robots protect every planet's natural state.

No Man's Sky

First details from Game Informer’s No Man’s Sky cover story have come in.

The game begins with a space trip similar to the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey. You appear on a random planet—different for every player—which might have tough creatures lurking, perhaps rare items, or might just be a boring and unexciting.

Your mini-map displays an indicator that leads to your ship. The full map shows the entire galaxy, allowing you to zoom in and out at different levels and see stars up close. Star colors indicate which resources the planet has, and you can scan their solar systems to see if there is a space station or planet with points of interest. Previously explored planets will show exactly what’s on the planet.

Though you’ll have access to your ship, you’ll need a new hyperdrive and fuel before you can go a significant distance. And to do this, you’ll need money. Everything you do deposits money into your bank account. Blowing up rocks to gather resources, destroying other ships, and discovering new areas all award the player with currency.

Each solar system is equipped with a trading post or space station, where you’ll find ships entering and leaving, and where you can cash in resources for money, or buy new ships and upgrades. Every planet has a trading post so you won’t have to fly to space each time you want to cash in. Larger space stations will have better ships and upgrades to buy. And if it’s so desired, players can attack stations to lower its ranking (but no blowing it up). Outside of that, there aren’t any real rewards for attacking space stations.

Players can also attack other ships via arcade-like first-person combat and steal their cargo. But doing so might alert the local police. If you’re able to escape, the police will have a bounty on you that won’t let you go around the base without getting attacked.

In combat, you’ll need to determine which enemy to attack first: the smaller, easier ones, or the bigger, shielded elites. Some of the larger ships will shield the smaller ships, and some ships you won’t be able to take down unless your ship is upgraded the appropriate amount.

It’s also possible to lose your ship during combat. If this happens, you’ll flee in an escape pod and land on the closest planet, losing what items you had on the ship, but keeping your personal upgrades and money. From here you’ll need to buy another ship. And if you die after landing, you’ll be taken back to the pod site and lose everything you’ve gathered since leaving the pod.

Every planet has robots, of keepers of balance in the galaxy who were around before anyone can remember, that want to keep nature unharmed. The magazine shows bipedal and quadruped versions of these bots. Unlike the rest of the planet, they’re not procedural, so you’ll be able to learn how to deal with them. They won’t attack you if you’re just strolling along, but the more you mine for resources or kill alien creatures, the more they will attack you. The toughest robots can be found closest to the center of the galaxy.

And that’s the main goal: to reach the center of the galaxy. But you don’t have to go there, if you don’t want to. But if you do want to, it’ll take a good 40 to 100 hours depending on how much focus you place on getting there. To help, some planets have portals that could randomly transport you closer to the center, but you won’t know what’s on the other side until you go through one.

As far as multiplayer goes, there won’t be voice chat, but you’ll be able to see friends’ locations on the galaxy map, and some sort of in-game messaging system has been teased. The magazine also has a chart of possible upgrades for your suit, ship, and multitool, as well as things like shields, jet pack, armor, power, fuel capacity, hyperdrive, and the like.

No Man’s Sky is planned for release on PlayStation 4. A new video will be shown at The Game Awards on Friday, and an entire event surrounding the game is planned for PlayStation Experience in Las Vegas this weekend.

For more information and screenshots you can access now, pick up the January 2015 issue of Game Informer.

Thanks, NeoGAF and Reddit.

Save $3 with the coupon code "GEMATSU"
  • Karysonson

    Nice! Though I do wonder when the release dates are for both PS4 and PC…

  • Calbury

    This sounds awesome minus a couple things. You can’t actually blow up the stations, but can attack them? What is the use. And the online could be much more involved and interesting. And include voice chat (like why is that not a thing?).

    • notcarolkaye

      Lack of voice chat could be a meaningfully good design choice. I don’t see any reason to judge that at this point.

      • Calbury

        Meaningfully good design choice? How so? And with the online I mean more than just that.

        • notcarolkaye

          It’s like this. When I first heard about ‘Demon’s Souls’ it sounded like a train wreck of shitty ideas that could only be the work of sadistic sociopaths. Yet, people generally seemed quite fond of the game. I couldn’t make any sense of it. Then I played it.

          My point being, you could at least play the game before you decide that you know better than the people who are making it.

          • Calbury

            This is different but I get what you are saying.

        • Zackasaur

          Think of Journey and Demon’s Souls.

          • Calbury


      • Jay

        I agree – it’s pretty neat to play a game where your actions do all the speaking for you. That would certainly increase immersion, but I think people would ultimately like to chat with their friends while they explore. Humans just have that need.

        • notcarolkaye

          ‘Could’ was the important word. It could also be a bad design choice, but why form an opinion before playing the game?

          • Jay

            Neither you or I formed an opinion about the game… so, not sure what you mean.

            • notcarolkaye

              I didn’t mean you. I was referring to the initial criticism. Sorry that was unclear.

    • Jay

      Space stations are for all travelers (it’s a multiplayer game, remember?). If everyone destroys the bases there would be no way to upgrade your ship or progress through the game.

      • Calbury

        Have a way for players to rebuild it.

        • Jay

          That would be mean.

          • Calbury

            More fun though.

      • nothingreal

        yeah – makes sense.. it would be interesting though if there were a way for a player to conquer (or take ownership) of stations or NPC cargo frigates etc. and use this as a means of earning money.. still the game sounds good.

  • Chestnut Bowl

    I hope the PC version isn’t released too long after the PS4 version.

    • ManagedCorn

      PC has Star Citizen :p

      • Jay

        Very different types of games. For one, NMS will run on current hardware. It’ll be a couple years before we know what kind of hardware it will take to run SC.

  • Bangarang

    The end of 2001 was trippy so I can only imagine what the beginning of this will be like! I really cannot wait… O_O

  • Invisbin

    Most ambitious game of 2015.

  • tokyobassist

    Are we going to get to play this next year or 2016?

  • Zero

    It sounds amazing, everything I’ve seen so far looks special. I just need to get a chance to play it now.

  • Jay

    I am ready for this game. Since it will probably get some kind of timed PS4 exclusivity before coming to PC, it’s going to be super-difficult to stay away from all the stories about players reaching the center of the galaxy :(