The Trav­eller

Dani goes on a sa­fari in space in No Man’s Sky

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Ven­tur­ing out into the un­known is a won­der­ful thing and some­thing that pro­ce­du­rally gen­er­ated games such as No Man’s Sky do par­tic­u­larly well. There’s al­ways a new mys­tery to dis­cover when the game it­self doesn’t even know what it’s go­ing to serve up. It’s not per­fect, but be­ing an ex­plo­ration-based game of course I love it any­way. For this playthrough I switched to cre­ative mode so that I don’t have to worry about things like fuel or need­ing to breathe while pre­tend­ing to be David At­ten­bor­ough and try­ing to find the coolest an­i­mals I can. From fly­ing whale ser­pents to space ham­sters, any­thing is pos­si­ble when ex­plor­ing the gal­axy.

The first planet I start on is frozen and full of crab vari­a­tions scut­tling about my an­kles as I sur­vey the snow around me. Aside from the crus­taceans, the trees and ter­rain make this place a lit­tle too Earth-like for me so I de­cide to jet off into the stars al­most in­stantly. Space it­self is beau­ti­ful, the sys­tem I’m in has a gi­ant ringed planet in the dis­tance and as­ter­oid belts hang in the sky on a back­drop of swirling blues. Un­for­tu­nately there aren’t any an­i­mals out in this vac­uum, un­less you count the ag­gres­sive aliens that try to shoot you down, so I dive down to the next planet which is de­scribed as ‘rot­ting’. Lovely.

There’s only one way to de­scribe this place af­ter touch­ing down and that’s gassy. Plumes of brown funk bel­low out from vents dot­ted across the sur­face and all of the trees seem to be cov­ered in lu­mi­nous pus­tules. It might not be pretty, but at least the en­vi­ron­ment is sure to make for some in­ter­est­ing wildlife. At first all I can seem to find is end­less clus­ters of omi­nous, hum­ming eggs but even­tu­ally I stum­ble across a colony of sludge-green, fin-backed deer with com­i­cally small and flat faces pressed to the ground. Oc­ca­sion­ally a lop­sided and has a rear that would make Nicki Mi­naj blush. With a stumpy tail it re­minds me of a ham­ster, al­beit one cov­ered in bright pur­ple sores. It’s so out of pro­por­tion I deem it my first ma­jor dis­cov­ery and call the species Mr Squeaks. Male, fe­male – it doesn’t mat­ter, they’re all called Mr Squeaks now.

Voy­age of dis­cov­ery

My work com­pleted in this so­lar sys­tem, I jump to the next one which seems a lit­tle bar­ren, but even the empty plan­ets are beau­ti­ful. With no at­mos­phere there’s no life, but you can see the stars for miles. I stop for a break and watch the stars go by be­fore jump­ing once more. With four plan­ets and sev­eral moons this sys­tem is teem­ing with life, in­clud­ing a ‘par­adise’ planet in the dis­tance. I start lo­cally how­ever, head­ing to a hot, dusty place where I bump into an adorable grem­lin crea­ture al­most im­me­di­ately. The weather might be un­bear­able but this lit­tle bipedal fuzzy dude doesn’t care, he takes it all in with a con­fi­dent swag­ger. They don’t even seem to be both­ered by the 15ft tall stilt-bee­tles wan­der­ing around the nearby hills that would def­i­nitely eat five of them in a sin­gle bite if they weren’t veg­e­tar­ian.

Fi­nally I head to the par­adise planet hop­ing for a bounty of odd­i­ties. It’s filled with huge oceans and tiny Is­lands with bright red grass and clear blue skies. The tem­per­a­ture is a per­fect 22 º C with the oc­ca­sional shower and plenty of trees to pro­tect you from the sun. There is one ma­jor prob­lem, though… there’s a bounc­ing balls of eyes ev­ery­where. Huge mu­cousy mounds of eyes that blorp and gur­gle with ev­ery hop. They have no limbs to speak of, just more eyes where arms should be. Still, at least it’s bet­ter than most of the drunken lads you’d find in Ma­galuf. Sir David would be proud of my dis­cov­er­ies.

You can see more of Dani’s gam­ing trav­els on In­sta­gram: @daniel­lam­lu­cas.

“All I can seem to find are clus­ters of omi­nous, hum­ming eggs”

larger, spiky bear-thing walks among them and forces them to scat­ter in fear. Not ev­ery­thing here is friendly, and much like the harsh­ness of life on Earth the cute be­come food for the fierce.But amongst all of the bus­tle I spot some­thing hid­ing in the grass, it’s tiny,

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