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