Unless you have been living under a rock, you probably will have heard that the eagerly anticipated space exploration game, No Man’s Sky, by Hello Games came out recently.

Arguably one of the most hyped-up games since its initial announcement back in 2013 at VGX, No Man’s Sky has been met with pretty mixed reviews since it launched. Some people love it, others hate it and the majority of the hate seems directed to the fact that it’s a solely single player experience.

I’m honestly not surprised at the negative reception Hello Games has been hit with over this issue. The game’s creator Sean Murray constantly flip-flopped on the issue of multiplayer in this game all throughout the development period with vague answer after vague answer in interviews. He never really came out and denied nor confirmed that it was going to have a multiplayer option, so naturally everyone assumed it did. Plus, it doesn’t help that the limited edition of No Man’s Sky was discovered to have an online play option on the box covered up by a small sticker.

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Oh, and my personal favourite was the news of the two players streaming the game from the same location on a planet only to find that they couldn’t see each other when they tried to meet up. Which was how we all eventually found out that multiplayer in No Man’s Sky didn’t really exist.

But even though No Man’s Sky, for now, is a solo space adventure, I’m honestly ok with that.

As I’ve already mentioned before, I don’t really have a ton of spare time, so multiplayer centric games like Battlefield or Call of Duty are something I can’t really spend a ton of time with. I do enjoy them and what little time I can spare, but they require amounts of attention that I legitimately can’t give. That’s why I find No Man’s Sky so appealing, it’s a slow and pretty chill game that I can take at my own pace and not really pay attention to but still have a good time with.

I can wander around planets and moons, aimlessly float through space or do small chores like mining resources or cataloguing new species whilst still listening for anyone asking for help around the house. And when I inevitably do need to leave, I can pause it, go do whatever it is that needs doing and then go back without having to worry about forgetting plot points, who characters are or where I need to go next. I just have to pick up the controller, reorient myself for a second and then set off in another random direction on whatever planetoid I’m on at that time.

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Whereas something with the same amount of scope like Minecraft or to a lesser extent Grand Theft Auto, I have to worry about being kicked from servers for inactivity or someone coming along and either killing me or stealing items I might have. It’s stress that I don’t need when I’m trying to unwind.

Now, I won’t say that you won’t get a little lonely playing No Man’s Sky, when you’re standing in waist-high red grass on an irradiated moon at midnight watching local traders fly to a spaceport over on the horizon there is a small part of you that will feel a tad isolated. It does affect me a little bit, but not all that much because I’m one of those people that actually enjoys spending time on my own. When I’m not gaming or writing I’ll go walks, or to the movies or even just out into town on my own. Even in primary school I was one of those kids that would happily walk around the playground by myself with only my imagination to keep me amused (I was a weird child).

But even though you’re on your own, there are those rare moments where you encounter a world that’s already been discovered by someone and suddenly the dense black vacuum of space seems a little smaller and busier. I mean, sure I’m not walking alongside someone or taking part in a dogfight, but there’s a small enough amount of interaction with other people that it keeps things ticking over without it feeling too intrusive into my ‘alone time’ with the game.

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Although they will probably introduce more multiplayer-focused content further down the line after the amount of backlash for not including it initially, for now I’m enjoying what No Man’s Sky has to offer for a solo player like me. Sure it does get a tad repetitive in parts and some of the planets do seem similar to each other, but trying to see what’s just over the next rise in the land or what word the next set of ruins will teach me is enough to keep me forever ploughing onwards in the game. And there’s an odd cathartic appeal to mining through a bunch of resources in a cave and then selling them off on the intergalactic market. It reminds me of my old days playing MMO’s where I would spend a few hours mining ores to buff up stats whilst listening to music like it was a chore I was doing around the house.

For me No Man’s Sky right now is my own little slice of the galaxy that I can potter about in on my own like it’s my real backyard at home. It’s lush, verdant, full of weird creatures and I can hide from my neighbours in it.

About The Author

Contributor

A self-described child of the 90s, Matt is obsessed with everything nerdy in that era from Transformers to G.I Joe. Found inside a bargain bin of Doctor Who DVD's, he was quickly adopted by the Indie Haven team and tasked with writing humorous articles.

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  • Louis

    You wanna be a fancy little single player galaxy simulator? Fine. But paying full AAA price for a game with all the missing features that were promised is just robbery.