Mac Format

No Man’s Sky

The game that gives you a universe to explore




NEEDS macOS 12.3 or later

o Man’s Sky was released with great fanfare on Windows and the PlayStatio­n 4 in the summer of 2016; seven years ago. It’s since appeared on the PS5 and Xbox Series X and S in 2020, and even the Nintendo Switch in 2020. Yet it didn’t appear on the Mac – a system that’s more than capable of running it – until this year.

On its initial release, No Man’s Sky was plagued with problems, however, disappoint­ing both critics and gamers. Seven years on, the bugs have been fixed, features installed and the game polished and expanded. Us Mac gamers might have had a long wait, but at least its issues have been solved.

The game takes place in a procedural­ly generated, open universe. If you can see it, you can go there. There are 18 quintillio­n planets to explore, but don’t try to visit every one. That would take an estimated 585 billion years. Exploratio­n and discovery are its key themes. As you travel the universe, you find new life forms, valuable minerals and exotic flora and fauna, all of which you can record as you go, and resources can be traded in for upgrades.

So was it worth the wait? Well, it’s mixed news. No Man’s Sky clearly shows the danger of using procedural­ly generated environmen­ts instead of writing them by hand. It may make for a potentiall­y huge game, but it’s often at the expense of depth. There may be more

NThere are 18 quintillio­n planets to explore, but don’t try to visit every one

planets to explore than you could handle in a lifetime, but they frequently feel alike. Similar gravity, similar mineral deposits, similar plant life and wild creatures.

Best life in space

Resource management is key, as you learn to build new equipment using the things you collect. You can set up bases too, expanding and enhancing them as you go. Progress is slow but steady. When outside of a base, your exosuit protects you. Keep it charged, or you could come to a sticky end.

There are three ways to play. You can follow the storyline involving Atlas, the mysterious cosmic entity, you can make for the centre of the galaxy, or you can ignore it all and explore, treating No Man’s Sky as a simulated life in space rather than a game to be completed. Surprising­ly, the last way proves the best. The storyline is thin and heading for the galaxy’s centre isn’t very exciting, but living your best life in space is satisfying.

No Man’s Sky has been compared to Elite and its sequels. Perhaps a better comparison would be Nintendo’s Animal Crossing. It gives you a fictional world to live in and enjoy, with ‘completing’ the game of secondary importance. Like Animal Crossing, this title is something you may come back to again and again if you enjoy it. Ian Osborne

 ?? ?? Finding and logging new creatures is an interestin­g part of the game.
Finding and logging new creatures is an interestin­g part of the game.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia